It’s time to take back your power when it comes to the holidays. WHO SAYS that Easter (or any other holiday) has to have copious amounts of candy and chocolate? I get that most of us grew up with the tradition of dark chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, marshmallow peeps and a basket full of brightly wrapped chocolates and it made you feel happy and special.
But did it really make you feel happy? Or was it the happiness flowing from the energy and emotion around the holiday itself - your family getting together, no school, the flowers blooming, the thrill of searching for brightly colored eggs, getting dressed up in your new Easter dress for church service and having a big family meal where everyone was smiling and nice to each other?
I want to lovingly remind you that what we do with our children, they will most likely do with theirs. My daughter, Berlyn, is three and every time she has a cupcake or any sweet - she is an absolute hot mess. Sugar changes her personality. She won’t sleep through the night. She is cranky and irritable. She is now old enough to ask for it and it's not just an ask - it's a flat our temper tantrum when the answer is "no" (which is often).
When you research the effects of sugar on the mind and body - there is a reason why they compare the effects to that of legit drugs. And this is what we look forward to giving our kids (and ourselves) as a way to celebrate? Do we really want to argue with them about how much candy they are “allowed” to eat every day? Or deal with them bouncing off the walls and complaining of a belly ache? Seriously. Do we really want to put ourselves through the temptation of having the candy and chocolate in the house when we are on our own health journey and trying to keep a safe environment? This doesn’t make any sense when you really think about it. So why do we do it?
It’s important to get to the root of why we make the decisions we do and not just tell ourselves “this is just the way it has always been and will always be.” Because the truth is - it's the way it is because you choose to make it the way it is. There are other people doing things differently (and loving it) and it just might bless our socks off to focus more on what we want to create rather than just doing what is status quo. And perhaps it's time to ask ourselves, what is really driving our decisions? Are we more driven and concerned about what other people will think about us or what is best?
Healthy Easter Ideas from The Healthy Edge
Here are some of my top tips for the upcoming holiday aside from the traditional egg hunt.
- bunny shaped pancakes for an Easter breakfast spread with peanut butter or almond butter and drizzled with honey or maple syrup
- a small treat of some sort to be enjoyed on Easter (with no leftovers to tempt you or set you up to have arguments with your kids about when they can eat it)
- a craft that everyone can do together as a family (Pinterest has a lot of amazing ideas)
- tell the story of the resurrection of Jesus - the reason for the season peeps!
This year, I bought Berlyn a small stuffed animal (less than $5) that will be in her basket instead of a chocolate bunny. I bought colorful sparkly plastic eggs that I will put beads in (you can get these at the Dollar store or some other thrift store) so she can play dress-up and have fun hearing the noise when she shakes the eggs. I also found super small fuzzy “chicks” that can fit into the plastic eggs that are different colors and nice and soft instead of marshmallow peeps. Berlyn is three, so this works great for her. She has no expectations of the holiday, so this is the perfect time to decide what the tradition will be that we are creating.
If your kiddos are a bit older:
- put coins or dollar bills in plastic eggs along with a coin purse or piggy bank in their basket
- buy coloring books with markers/crayons and have a coloring contest (judged by the grown ups at the table)
- enjoy a craft or family project (puzzle, lego model, idea off of pinterest) and create something awesome together
- do some face painting
- have a board game marathon
- movie night
It’s never too late to rewrite traditions. You will find that what is really important to your kids (and you) is the atmosphere created around the holidays. Don’t let fear keep you from doing what you know in your heart is best for your kiddos and yourself. I look forward to hearing how your new Easter tradition went!
1 Corinthians 15:3-8
For what I received I passed onto you as first importance: the Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the twelves. After that he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
Jesus is risen!