Of course, I love chocolate Easter bunnies and those oh so delicious Hershey kisses in pastel foils. I can’t resist giving those stuffed animals a rub or hug, all the while pretending they are for the kiddos in my life. The jelly beans are always a temptation and the words, “just one more” is appropriate for malt balls. But enough has got to be enough. So why did I abandon tradition? Simple. I had to.
One of my kiddos was diagnosed with some severe allergies that prevented him from having some of the traditional foods we serve for Easter dinner including dessert. Many foods had some of the things we are trying to eliminate from his diet. Even my daughter-in-law has something similar. Two of my loves now have an autoimmune disease that must be addressed daily. The upside is that we are all eating healthier and smarter. This was my Easter dinner we had early because of trying to fit everyone’s family travel in.
Grilled Chicken Breast with Rosemary
Oven Potatoes sprinkled with onion powder and garlic.
Variety of fresh fruit
Green salad with lettuce and spinach.
Bowl of shredded cheese for topping
Banana Swirl (Blend frozen ripe bananas with fresh strawberries. Yum.)
The reason I had the chopped veggies and cheese separated had to do with some veggies family could have and others could not. This way no one felt left out. You just took what you wanted or could enjoy. Notice, I did not have any bread. Gluten is a problem now, so we are careful not to cross that line.
There is also the traditional Easter egg hunt, tons of candy, especially chocolate goodies, that are a part of our culture. Every year for my entire life, we have always attended worship services at our church. Even though I’ve moved to another state in the last year, that tradition has continued. Afterall, that is the reason for the season. My family is close by and participate in this tradition with love and respect. Since we have new restrictions in our lives, this Easter egg hunt thing also needed some adjustment. I talked to my adult children about my ideas and they embraced it enthusiastically. I’ll tell you about the results a little further down.
- No stuffed animals this year. I had several reasons. The current stuffed animal situation at both their homes reminds me of the Star Trek episode with the Tribbles. Need a reminder? Try this from YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4wM5KvUGEc I think most parents will agree. When I suggested no new stuffed bunnies they almost said in unison, “Great!”
- No traditional egg hunt this year! I decided on a treasure hunt. Of course, there were eggs. This year they had clues in them. One side had a letter such as “E” for something that related to Easter and a scripture. On the back was a funny clue like, “Find the next egg where the clothes dry,” or “you’ll find the clue where we brush and flush.” I also put a treat for each place.
- That brings me to the treats. I put a box of raisins for the scripture from Proverbs 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go.” Then I told them to thank their parents for “raisin” them right.
There were clues all along the way until they had collected the 7 clues, 7 letters from the eggs. With their parents help they glued them in order, vertically (they were numbered) which spelled out EASTER. It was colorful. The parents loved it and the kids thought it was fun too. And just to make things easier for the 23 month old twins we placed a some eggs in the open with a few Goldfish inside, which they loved.
Then they brought me their Easter page and I gave them their Easter bags which I had purchased at the Dollar Tree for $1 each. Here are some of the treats they found inside. Keep in mind I have 7 kiddos, age 23 months to 12 years old. So each child had a special collection. No one had the same things.
- Larabars (many flavors)
- Individual apple juice drinks
- Small packs of cashews for those who could have them
- Veggie/Fruit squeezie packs
- Star Wars letter books
- Coloring book of famous cities (pretty cool!)
- Jewelry for the little girls I got at Hobby Lobby
- Nail polish
- Little doll
- Sticker books
- Flower & vegetable seeds
- Hummingbird feeders
Well you get the picture. Not one of my kiddos ask where the candy was or if they were getting a stuffed animal. Besides, their parents were going to give them a basket at the actual Easter date. They could decide what would be best. I imagine the other grandparent would also have plans. But the fact my adult children appreciated the effort meant a lot.
Here is my Pinterest board if you want more ideas. https://www.pinterest.com/ptierneyjames/easter-for-kids/ The truth is it was a lot of fun for me too. I hope this gives you some new options for some non-traditional Easter activities. You’ve still got time.