Sunday, April 24, 2011

Going Overboard

Last night I was up after the girls' bedtime, filling the Easter baskets. I had so much stuff I was forced to save some for next year. (Not candy--other things. I know candy doesn't last a whole year. Not least because it would end up in my craw long before then.)

I don't usually go overboard with gifts. Quite the opposite, I usually follow (and preach) a philosophy devoted to modest expectations. Setting the bar a little low, if you will. Because, you see, personally I don't like consumerism; I feel uncomfortable with too many things (though you wouldn't know it by my recent drooling over the perfect handbag and the fact that I am the new owner of an iPhone, good Lord, help me, it's so complicated, I don't even know how to answer a call). I detest clutter; I aspire to simplicity.

Well...simplicity plus salon hair services and expensive skinny jeans and cute running gear.

And setting the bar low with small children is really smart; when they're tiny, a pack of sidewalk chalk makes them happy, so why buy them an American Girl doll? They'll be plenty of time for that later, when they won't be happy with a pack of sidewalk chalk. You know what I'm saying?

So usually Easter baskets in our house have a little candy, some--yes!--sidewalk chalk, stickers, things like that. Maybe one larger outdoor spring/summer toy like a bouncey ball or a jump rope.

But this year things got a little bit away from me. First, long long ago, before anyone should really be thinking about Easter, I happened upon the most adorable china mugs and bowls in the grocery store Easter section (of all places). Two dollars each--white, with little yellow or pink chicks on the outside, and the corresponding solid color on the inside. I bought a pink set--bowl plus mug--for Julia, and a yellow set for Genevieve. Then bought some candy with which to fill them, thinking of how I'd nestle the bowls amongst the Easter grass in their baskets, settle the mugs inside the bowls. Then I bought a chocolate bunny to sit in the center of each mug, surrounded by the loose jelly beans and chocolate foil-wrapped eggs. Then later on at Target I picked up some egg-shaped sidewalk chalk. And a packet or two of stickers. Fine. More than enough.

Time passed.

I forgot I'd bought the chalk and the stickers.

A friend gave me two giant Easter sticker books and two packs of twelve Easter pencils, because she had a surplus.

I went to Target again and saw butterfly-shaped sidewalk chalk in the dollar section: adorable! Bought it. Happened upon the cutest thing ever, not even in the Easter section: single-serve packs of cheddar crackers, but instead of goldfish, they were chickadee-shaped. Come on; are you kidding me? Who could resist?? Bought two bags.

Then Genevieve came with me one day to the pharmacy and spied a little teddy bear with silky soft fur, on sale even, and hugged him and stood below me and gazed up at me with the sweetest face imaginable and said, "PLEASE, MAMA. PLEASE." And this child never, ever asks for things in stores.

So later on I went back and bought two of the bears, to sit in the chick-printed china mugs. Because I had forgotten about the chocolate bunnies.

You see where this is going.

My daughters were thrilled to death on Easter morning. Such joy; those bears! The chickie mug, with which to drink their milk! The chickie bowl! The chickadee crackers! The pencils and jelly beans and butterfly-shaped chalk! The chocolate bunnies and foil-wrapped eggs! Heaven.

And upstairs, in the hidden drawer, I have other chalk, and more pencils, and two giant sticker books, for next Easter.

Someone remind me, oh, about next March or so? (Please, I'm begging you; someone REMIND ME.)


Mnmom said...

I've done that!

We also keep the consumerism to a minimum but it's NOT easy. My girls each got a gift bag with nail polish remover, hair bands, a chocolate bar, gummy bears, and a $5 gift card. Both John and I are thinking this is pretty nice. Then we sit down to enjoy a great homemade brunch.

Then youngest pipes up - "Oh, my friend down the street texted me this morning. She got an iPhone in her Easter Basket!!"

Mom and Kiddo said...

Mmmn, maybe there is some sort of app for your iphone that will automatically remind you about your Easter stuff for next year? Sort of like a "holiday overload" app. :)

Rita said...

Now, would you please tell me what you do with ALL THE CANDY?

I can't STAND how all our holidays are consumed with consuming.

And let's face it, this momma eats just as much as the kids!

Shannon said...

@Rita: the girls get 1 small treat each day after dinner. i.e. a couple of miniature chocolate eggs or 3 jelly beans or the chocolate bunny's ears. That sort of thing. Me? Um, I try to resist, fail, and then do the 30 Day Shred in a desperate attempt to compensate for all the candy I'm eating. :)