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We’re excited! It’s our first Easter with three baskets to sit out in our den. I’m sure the Easter Bunny knows that a (by then) 7-month-old is not equipped to take down loads of chocolate, hard candies, soft gummies or any choking hazards. We’ve yet to determine if this little fellow has a peanut allergy (his mom outgrew hers), and we don’t plan on finding out on Easter Sunday.
But the older kids are sure to make out like bandits. They’re good boys, despite the fact that class clown Graham got detention for talking in class. He did his time, even knelt a little longer at the pew last Sunday, and we already knew he has a heart of gold.
The Magic Rabbit will certainly visit him and his brothers. They understand that Ol’ Pete Cottontail is a busy guy and deserves a little help with stuffing those baskets. We are happy to oblige.
Over the years we have knocked some out of the park, but there have been some misses. If you’re celebrating Easter by adding a little extra to the loot, consider first what doesn’t work. We are done with over-the-top candies. As a kid, I remember wasting a 2-foot-tall chocolate rabbit. Basically we couldn’t get past the ears. We ended up breaking off pieces of the less-than-stellar chocolate and putting them in the freezer.
There is a 3-foot-long gummy snake in the candy stash above my refrigerator that will never be eaten. The worst gummy mistake was a one-pound bunny which had to be cut with a knife. Imagine a few days of a portion of that sitting in your gut. We threw away most of it. The only grandiose thing I’ve not regretted was a Rice Krispies Treat the size of my pillow.
The moral is not to fall for the allure of anything shocking in size. Your kids won’t appreciate it, and it can only lead to bad habits if they do.
It’s a fun holiday to experiment a little, so look to the favorites from overseas. This is Katie’s specialty. She has a knack for finding unusual items that are unusually good. Lucas loves these super-soft gummy butterflies from Germany. Jordan almonds are a thing this year. Graham flips for these Australian chocolate biscuits called Tim Tams. They’re like the greatest Kit Kat ever.
Finding stuff like this used to involve tirelessly searching the internet, but since a World Market opened near our house, the job is a cinch. Try new things, get out of your routine and find your own new hits.
Maybe this is more generational, but there is a nostalgic market for the candy of our childhoods. Mine would be that of the ‘70s and ‘80s. You may not want to see your elementary-school student walk around with a pack of candy cigarettes rolled up in his T-shirt sleeve, or a bubble gum stogie dangling from her lip. Big League Chew is another tobacco product stand-in. We were tougher back then.
If you don’t want to have the Big Tobacco conversation, just stick to a few of our favorites from yesteryear. Ring pops don’t scream Easter, but maybe you can find them in pastel colors. Pop Rocks are always a blast. Sugar Daddys, Sugar Babies, Charleston Chews, Necco Wafers, Bottle Caps, Pixy Stix, and Nik-L-Nip wax bottles are fun for those of us who grew up watching “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Dukes of Hazzard.” Let’s bring our children into the fold.
You still have time to shop online, but locally you can find many of your oldie-but-goodies at the Moonpie General Store at St. Francis and Royal streets.
Sugar-free is a must
Not what you think. I’m all for rotting out the teeth at holidays, but you need more than candy. It’s not Easter at our house without a paddle ball in every basket. Paddle ball is a great way to build arm strength and hand-eye coordination, with a bonus of burning off the sugar. Paddle ball athletes are among the finest.
Cheap squirt guns are also popular. The Great Easter Squirt Gun Championship is right after the egg hunt. You may think it’s a waste, but I love cheap, disposable toys.
Of course every kid needs a chocolate bunny in the basket. That’s a given. For me, there are a few items as important as the green grass that holds them. First off, jelly beans. I don’t care if they’re el cheapos or designer, I need them. And if you’re not a fan of licorice, I’ll trade reasonably for yours.
Peanut butter gets a bad rap these days, but we cannot miss out on Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs. I’m not sure it’s even real peanut butter, but it’s good. We can’t send them to the school party, but if you visit our house, bring your Epi pen.
Cadbury Eggs are not my thing, nor are Peeps, but Graham will eat himself sick on them. They are festive enough that we have to stock them. And what would Easter be without that commercial?!
Now is the time to argue about the most important Easter candy ever. Call me crazy, but Whoppers Robin Eggs are the finest thing about April candy. Around since the 1950s, nobody gets a bite of anything until Dad knows there are Robin Eggs in the house. Change my mind.
OK, parents, eat all the eggs you can, but let’s give that Easter Bunny some help this year. I hope this makes things easier for you. Shop now.
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