And, along came Easter. You know, the celebration of when the Son of God defeated death and sin? When the tomb was found empty because God had found a way to get us all “get out of jail free” passes by sacrificing himself? That day.
You might not recognize Easter as that though. You might know it better as “National Indulge Our Collective Societal Addiction To Sugar Day.” Because for WEEKS leading up to today my kids have been getting plied with candy every place they go. It’s impossible to escape.
So, how does a sugar-eschewing Mom handle a day like today? I’ll tell you: It’s all about knowing your kids. Knowing what sorts of things (besides candy) make them happy and makes them feel that you know and think about them.
That, and the Candy Redemption Program.
The best part about the CRP is that it keeps me from having to be Mrs. McScrooge, unceremoniously taking away their candy. No one wants to be Mrs. McScrooge. I don’t want to suck the fun out of things! That is the absolute beauty of this: Instead of being the Bad Guy stealing away their candy, I’m now the GOOD GUY who sets up something even better than candy. Not too shabby.
So, I was able to say, “Sure!” when they got invited to their ten-millionth Egg Hunt, and “No problem!” when people gave them baskets and bags full of sweets. I was able to keep my blood pressure in check as the candy hoard grew bigger, and bigger, and bigger, because I knew it was all going in the trash anyway. And that they’d be the ones to put it there. That they’d be eager, even, to put it there!
Because of the CRP.
Both kids were immensely excited to have so much candy to “spend.” They’ve been waiting for today for this express reason, because I told them they could save up all the eggs and things they’ve been getting over the past weeks and cash it all in today. The very first thing they each bought was these cool crystalized window markers.
They decided to decorate the front door for Easter. He is Risen Indeed!!
Some of the other things they could have chosen from (if you’re wondering what sorts of things I keep in my Candy Redemption box) are:
You can see they really go for the crafty stuff. I also have (or have had) basically just stuff that I find in sales bins at crafts stores and places like Target: notebooks, calendars, tracing paper, little games and puzzles, window paint, any craft items that are different or unusual, books…stuff like that. I also (you can see in the picture) have a few food options – things like 100% fruit leathers, very dark chocolate almonds, and very dark chocolate covered cacao nibs. Interestingly, they hardly ever go for the food (even though it’s stuff they like).
And a lot of the things that were in their Easter baskets would have ended up in the Candy Redemption Box if they hadn’t ended up in the Easter baskets.
Because OF COURSE I gave them Easter Baskets. What kind of mother do you think I am?
They were filled with things like: stickers, cool pens and sticky notes, slap bracelets, crazy headbands and socks, tennis balls, cute little keychain toys, beef jerky, pretty multi-colored raisins…and, YES, some candy.
But good quality candy, not junky cheap typical Easter candy. These are all things that I knew my kids love and would make them not care about not having the typical jelly beans and Cadbury eggs: Kinderchocolate (a German thing), Altoids, gum, very dark chocolate covered cacao nibs, dark chocolate with almonds, and a dark chocolate “speculous” bar from Trader Joe’s.
The beef jerky was a hit. It was the first thing my son tore into!
And I have to throw in this picture of my daughter at church. She was particularly delighted with her froggy headband (as I knew she would be) and so, of course, wore it to church. This picture sums up her personality perfectly: A sweet pretty dress, fancy shoes…and frogs on her head. No one else had frogs on their head. She likes it that way. She was tempted to wear the Smart Chick socks too with the dress, but decided against it. (For the record…I would have let her.)
After all was said and done – after the excitement of dressing up especially nice for church, and the Easter songs that we all love during worship, and our nice meal, and the baskets, and the orgy of Candy Redemption – after all that my daughter exclaimed, “This is the best Easter EVER!”
Better than last year, when I did an elaborate scavenger hunt with different candy at every clue?
Yes. Even better than that.
However, they do love those scavenger hunts, and I would have done it this year except that I didn’t have any time on Friday or Saturday to set it up. So, I’m thinking next year we do both…a scavenger hunt AND the Candy Redemption Program. And they thought this year was good….