Bunny Bounced
March 31, 2013 8:22 AM   Subscribe

The true secret of Easter - but are toys replacing candy (or, more awfully, live animals) as the traditional Easter gift? And is that a bad thing?
posted by Artw (31 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by Fizz at 8:33 AM on March 31, 2013

Anti-obesity does not mean a complete prohibition on candy. It means getting exercise and eating a balanced diet and you will probably also have some things like candy and pizza and fast food once in a while. Getting stressed (and inducing your child to have stress) over every bite is also probably a bad idea.
posted by DU at 8:34 AM on March 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

Some pre-teen girls got a cat this week.

This cat cam from an old person who went into a home for their Alzheimer. The estate generates almost 7 figures in investment income.

The cat came with gift cards.

I hope when the girls are older they speak fondly of their first cat and call it - the Trust Fund Kitty.

(how memorable is that? Your pet comes with a trust fund?)
posted by rough ashlar at 8:35 AM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

I guess I'm not against limiting the chocolate at Easter (say, an egg plus some cute basket fillers), but that's speaking as a child who had an egg from her parents, brother, best friend and both grandparents. But really, I think the Christmas season-o-gluttony is more harmful than a one-off treat day.
posted by dumdidumdum at 8:51 AM on March 31, 2013

If you're a toy maker, and you can use prevailing social mores to demonize candy and replace it with your own products, that's just Marketing 101 - they'd be fools not to take advantage of it. Creating an expectation in kids that Easter is now a toy-receiving occasion is just another way to spur parents on to buy buy buy.
posted by Mary Ellen Carter at 8:53 AM on March 31, 2013 [3 favorites]

I thought the trick to limiting candy at Easter was that Easter candy is mostly terrible? My mom sent me a box of Easter candy and there was exactly one edible thing in there...
posted by Blue Jello Elf at 9:00 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Where Did The Easter Bunny Come From?
posted by Artw at 9:03 AM on March 31, 2013

As long as Cadbury Creme Eggs abound this time of year, blood glucose levels will rise in my home.
posted by Dr. Zira at 9:04 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Easter Spider.
posted by curious nu at 9:11 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

I suspect jesus kept himself hidden on easter weekend so he could avoid the brunch crowd.
posted by srboisvert at 9:27 AM on March 31, 2013

Huh. We always got a (bunny- or chick-shaped) plushie on Easter, except for the year we got very realistic-looking bunny-shaped banks with weird flocked fur on them.

Also lots of sweetart easter thingies, which are pretty much my favorite candies. I used to eat them until I had hot flashes and the flesh would be seared off my tongue. Mmm, so good.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:40 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

Cadbury Creme Scotch Eggs
posted by leahwrenn at 9:47 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

When I was a kid we hunted for dyed eggs and then ate nothing but EGG SALAD SANDWICHES FOR THE NEXT WEEK!
posted by vespabelle at 9:59 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

Always remember! Never forget! The War on Easter!
posted by Thorzdad at 10:01 AM on March 31, 2013 [2 favorites]

If you're not eating a terrible, terrible "Mr. Solid" bunny it's not Easter.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:28 AM on March 31, 2013 [5 favorites]

I got toys (one bigger - often plush - plus a few really cheap "good for three days of amusement" types), candy, and art stuff in my Easter baskets in the mid-1980s. My Grandma did Ukrainian style eggs and I did the easier dip stuff, and my dad did the "hiding Easter eggs" thing for me to hunt them all down by myself (they were plastic ones that had jelly beans in them, presumably because jelly beans are less horrific if you don't find the egg for six months.) I didn't get much candy in the basket - usually a chocolate bunny (they used to be solid, now they all seem to be hollow) and a Cadbury egg or something. I didn't really get much in the way of Peeps or similarly "pure sugar" stuff. It took me ages to eat the candy I did get (my dad was big on weird opposition-inspiring rules about consuming too much sugar; in college I ate tons of Peeps just because no one was there to harass me about it.)

I did get live bunnies as a gift one time, but that was after years of begging and my dad happening upon an unbeatable bunny-acquisition opportunity, and I think it was in like May anyhow. It turns out bunnies are extremely skilled as escaping, and (at least in the case of my bunnies) absolute crap at surviving on their own in an urban environment. Those were the last animals I was ever given responsibility for (seriously, that was like 1988, and I've never even had a mouse as a pet since.)

I'm really astonished at any parent, ever, who gives a child a pet as a gift. I mean, OK, yeah, you try it once with the oldest one because you've never had a pet as a kid and you don't know what'll happen. But come on, people. This never works!

Also: you'd think bunny acquisition would be ridiculously cheap in Southern California; Long Beach is completely overrun with the darned things. This is not a recent issue for the city overall; it was true when my dad first moved there in 1990.
posted by SMPA at 10:34 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

"Easter gifts? The gift of Jesus Christ? I don't know what other gift I would give."

Ha. Burn!

When I was a kid we always got "Welcome Spring" type gifts. I remember kites one year, baseball bats another year. I got my first ever transistor radio when I was around 10. I have a really clear memory of my father quietly snarking to my uncle that the batteries cost the Easter bunny more than the radio itself.

My kid gets chocolate (only, none of the gross candy) and a toothbrush and toothpaste. 'Cause the Easter bunny's got a sense of humour. I resent the parents who are upping the stakes. She needs a new bike and it crossed my mind to give it to her as an Easter gift but why would I want to set a precedent like that?
posted by looli at 10:44 AM on March 31, 2013

I used to get carried away and spend $40( or more) per child on toys and candy for their baskets. Last year as I was at the checkout, I realized how freaking stupid I was being. I kept asking myself why why why am I buying them all this stuff. It's Easter...not Christmas.

This year, they got a basket, one choco rabbit each, a little container off egg shapes gum and some plastic eggs with candy inside. I fretted that they would be upset by the lack of toys or a huge candy filled basket. I had cold sweats all night in fear of their reaction. Guess what? They were over the moon thrilled by their few little pieces of candy! So never again will Easter be a blowout. Just a few candies in a Easter grass lined basket.
posted by Sweetmag at 10:50 AM on March 31, 2013 [4 favorites]

40 Easter Bunnies more terrifying than a crucified man coming back from the dead.

Hey, I didn't know there was a new Sufjan Stevens album out!
posted by benito.strauss at 11:42 AM on March 31, 2013

Happy Easter, Which is Not Named After Ishtar, Okay?

Yep, it's not named after a fertility goddess from Canaan. That'd be silly. It's named after Jesus Ostara, a pagan dawn goddess from Germany. And the "War on Easter" article is a fun read, if only to see Bill O'Reilly refer to Easter as part of the "Judeo-Christian tradition".

Forget these tedious people. I have some delicious chocolate for tonight, and I've seen two amazingly cute bunnies in the garden over the last week. Happy Easter Charlie Brown!
posted by benito.strauss at 11:53 AM on March 31, 2013

Happy Easter!
posted by The Whelk at 11:53 AM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

We have candy, but we did an Easter Bunny scavenger hunt for the gifts...a General Grievous toy on his Star Wars movies, a plastic jellybean-pooping windup chicken next to the plaster chicken on the bookcase, two Captain Underpants books in his underwear drawer, and a chocolate bunny under the bed. There were badly rhymed clues to follow. It was fun, and no one went into a diabetic coma. We had the egg hunt at Grandma's too but frankly, that has always been marginal fun. We spent maybe 25.00 total. He's really not that into candy, and we always end up throwing half of it away.

The secular bit of Easter needs better activities overall. It's kind of a meh holiday for kids.
posted by emjaybee at 12:32 PM on March 31, 2013

I got toys (one bigger - often plush - plus a few really cheap "good for three days of amusement" types), candy, and art stuff in my Easter baskets in the mid-1980s.

In the 1970s-to-80s, our family Easter goodies were comparable. I suspect Mom indulged her five kids' love of decorating eggs because hard-boiled eggs filled up our baskets more cheaply than candy. (Baskets which, btw, we handmade from construction paper.)

We each got maybe two fat handfuls of jelly beans, a scattering of chocolate eggs, a small chocolate bunny (or a larger hollow one), and maybe a small toy in the basket. I seem to recall a cursory egg hunt, where The Easter Bunny hid candies contained in plastic snap-apart eggs, two or three little bits of chocolate or jelly beans in each.

And we (often? always?) got a larger present not in the basket, though I suspect that was often something practical rather than a toy. I say "I suspect" because I only remember one single Easter present, which has eclipsed all other Easter memories, and not in a good way.

Unlike our Christmas stockings, which we hung in the living room and which we had to wait to empty until the entire household was awake, our Easter baskets were filled and left at the foot of our beds while we slept, with the larger not-basket present set nearby.

It's funny: as the youngest in a large family, I had a hazy grasp on the truth about Santa for as long as I can remember, but apparently I didn't reeeeeeally apply that information to the notion of The Easter Bunny. I was pretty scared of The Easter Bunny, with his massive paws and his sharp teeth and his huge sensitive ears. I wasn't happy about him creeping into my room while I slept, but I was happy about licorice jelly beans, so I didn't make a fuss. Besides, who can stop a magical rabbit?

One Easter, The Bunny gave me a nightgown for my not-basket present and instead of folding it up and putting it next to the basket or hanging it on the closet door where I'd see it when I woke, The Easter Bunny draped it over me as I slept, the nightgown's shoulders over my blanketed shoulders, its hem reaching down to my toes.

I woke up draped over by this new blue nightgown, its pure white lacy trim tickling my neck. I looked down, saw it, and immediately saw the scene as it must have been: me sleeping helplessly in my little bed in the darkened room, a mammoth supernatural rabbit looming over me, shrouding my inert form in pale blue nylon and little-girl lace. I saw its giant rabbit teeth winking ever so slightly in the light filtering in from the hallway, its furry paws with huge sheathed claws hovering a fraction of an inch above my throat.

In a flash, I saw that scene, complete and chilling and irrefutable. And I screamed.

I screamed and screamed. I screamed the whole household awake as I kicked and thrashed that blue nylon nightie off the bed, off my sheets, away from my skin.

Happy Easter!
posted by Elsa at 12:39 PM on March 31, 2013 [19 favorites]

I like my take on Easter better, more skill involved in getting the prize defuse the egg or no candy!
posted by boilermonster at 8:52 PM on March 31, 2013

After much field testing I can verify the candy is gross.
posted by mazola at 9:11 PM on March 31, 2013

An Easter story from David Sedaris.

I only remember my brother and I getting candy; but, we had to hunt for our baskets. And we always spent Easter at my grandparents' house, and my mother insisted that we wait until everyone was awake to go hunt for the baskets. This was torture for us when we were little.

One Easter, we were both up at the crack of dawn, discussing this unfair state of affairs - and I had an idea. We could sneak down and find the baskets, eat a little chocolate right away, then get back into bed and wait for everyone to wake up and then pretend we were looking for the baskets again. We snuck down, and spent the next hour tearing my grandparents' house apart - I think we even ventured down to my grandfather's workroom in the basement and even in his truck - before finally finding a trail of jellybeans leading us to the right spot. We nibbled something each from out of our baskets and then scurried back up to our room, waiting until we heard someone stirring before tumbling out of our beds again all "mommy mommy can we please go down and look now?" And while the grownups were all getting themselves together and chiding us to wait, we were secretly chuckling at our smarts.

But then, when everyone was ready to watch us look, I discovered the flaw in my plan - my brother is a terrible actor. "Gee, I wonder where the baskets are?" he said loudly, walking in a beeline directly for his basket. "oh gee here is trail of jellybeans i wonder where it goes oh look i found my basket!"

I did not enlist my brother in any further covert actions after that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:34 PM on March 31, 2013 [1 favorite]

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