Easter is that holiday, where every year I have visions of boiling red cabbage to dye eggs and personally felting special toys for each of the kids... then the inevitable smash cut to wandering the aisles of Target the night before, trying to piece together meaningful trinkets, and in an outright verbal battle for the final two wooden crates (they were entirely out of baskets- how?!).
This was our first Easter at home in many years, and I was really worried it would just be boring for everyone. I loooove (there can not be enough 'o's there) a quiet Christmas, but spring and egg hunts just seem to require family and friends. Spoiler alert, maybe we now have a big enough family of our own to carry that weight of fun. We missed hanging with our loved one's, but we truly had a great celebration all on our very own... thanks to Twister, fondue, and of course, Target.
We did actually use natural dye on our eggs, because we love eggs and buy them with care, and after reading a few articles on the typical egg dye not being good to consume, I got myself all freaked out. Still, there was no way I had time to peel a dozen onion skins or boil berries (all this might sound nuts to anyone not versed in Pinterest and Instagram, but I promise that everyone under the sun is all about that natural dye!). We cheated and bought our's from Natural Earth Paint, and having tried several other brands, this one is definitely my favorite. The colors are pretty. A bit muted on brown eggs, but the kids were pleased, and I felt good feeding them every last egg.
The biggest key to our holiday's success, and Smith proclaiming it, "the best Easter ever!", was the bunny leaving a treasure (aka egg) map. James was initially skeptical in the late hours of Easter Eve, when I put on the pressure to hide real eggs inside, hide candy stuffed plastic eggs outside... and oh yeah, draw a treasure map indicating each egg. After some whining about my making 'too big a deal out of everything', he pulled out that pen and totally got into it. I knew he would! In the end, I think we could have skipped noting the actual location of the eggs, because the kids just ran around searching randomly for them... but oh my, they were impressed by that map.
Smith is already an 'eagle eye' by nature, and spotted a bunch of eggs out his window before we even let him leave his room, in the early hours of morning. I had to stand on his bed and crane to even see where he was talking about. The kid is intense. Roo is a little less 'gifted' in egg sighting skills, but made up for it with candy enthusiasm. Together they were quite the pair, racing around our tiny yard to uncover every egg. The final treasure was hidden in their tee pee tent in the basement, a big crate full of board games and craft activities. I have to take the credit for that idea, and it really was perfect. We spent the rest of the day playing twister and beading necklaces... trust me, it was more fun than it sounds.
We ended the night with fondue, which is becoming a favorite celebration meal for our little family. It's so easy and there's a bite of something to suit everyone; winter veggies, spring veggies... every season tastes good dipped in cheese!
The kids actually cried on Easter night, wishing that we could do the whole thing again the next day. Five and two years old really seems to be the sweet spot for maximum magic and appreciation for these holidays. I'm trying to invent a few more, just to relish the moments. It's really good right now, and I'm soaking it all up and putting these memories in the reserves to get me through those impending preteen years. Maybe they will just stay sweet like this forever, but sleep more? Here's hoping.