Many years ago, before blogs, Facebook, Pinterest, and other visual reminders of holiday offerings, I fell into the trap. Every year, I’d vow this would be the last. And approximately eleven months later, I’d find myself in a wave of other harried mothers (and some fathers*), under some unflattering light, fighting over 99 cent plastic eggs and purple basket grass.
Yes, that trap is what I like to call, The Holiday Expectation.
Easter has been my least favorite holiday since having kids:
- Coloring eggs that can’t be put on display. Or if we do put them on display, we can’t eat them. Either way, WASTE.
- Filling a cheap basket with grass, all for the sole purpose of giving the illusion of MORE. Plus it takes nearly a year to find every last lost strand.
- Finding that balance of just enough stuff, but not so much to overshadow other holidays or heaven-help-us, raise The Expectation.
- Locating the perfect chocolate bunny that is the right kind of chocolate and not broken. (Hint: they are all broken.)
Further, we no more get a break from Christmas when things start happening. It begins in early February with Son One’s birthday. March is our wedding anniversary as well as my husband’s birthday. Daughter and Son Two’s birthdays are in April.
Somewhere in there, usually on someone’s birthday, is Easter.
I fully admit to allowing The Expectation to happen. I swore I’d find a way to reel it in and tone it down, but it never seemed to be the right time.
Then, all of a sudden, it came to a screeching halt.
While the official words hadn’t been spoken, it was clear: No one expected an over-sized rodent wearing a jaunty bow-tie and fabulous vest to hop in and drop off a basket of springtime goodness.
Last year, with a little bit of sadness, we transitioned over. I went to Target, bought a fantastic basket to be filled with goodies for the whole family to enjoy together. I felt pangs of jealousy as the other moms (and a dad!) decided which goodies to purchase for their little chicks.
This past weekend, my husband casually mentions we should probably get stuff together for The Basket. As we are walking into a certain big box store, there was a rather large display of candies touting everyday low prices. In 4.3 seconds, I had a little bit to please everyone’s palate. Brushing my hands dramatically, I declared, “Done. Ready for Easter.”
“Oh. Wow. Really? You’re not even going to get them a chocolate bunny? They’ll be crushed.” My husband said, as we walked away.
“Wait. What? Why? Didn’t we realize we were done with this last year?” I’m blushing as a couple of women tsk-tsk me.
“Well, yeah, but you were so sad, remember? ‘They’re growing up to fast.'”
And there, in the main aisle, between the checkout stands and poorly made-clothes in a variety of neon colors, I realized it would never be over.
Just when I found my out, the end of the trap, of trying to fulfill The Holiday Expectation, I’d turned my husband into one of them. Sure, he didn’t care much about coloring eggs or bunny-themed sidewalk chalks, but he wanted his yearly allotment of jelly beans, Cadbury’s Robin Eggs, and most of all, a chocolate bunny.
It’s too late for me, but hurry; save yourself. Cut them off while there’s time.
*photo courtesy of The Cagle Post
*Special shout-out to the dads. I’ve got mad respect for the men out in the aisles, willing to risk life, limb, or <ahem> to fill an Easter basket. Because moms on a mission? We can throw down.