Easter was this last weekend. A religious holy day for many, but also a secular celebration for most of us.
Egg hunts abound, but seldom do they really involve real eggs anymore. Health issue and convenience have transformed them into an event where the kids scramble for plastic eggs filed with candy and hopefully a ticket for a big prize.
I watched kids cry because all they got is candy in their eggs.
I am amazed at the parents that I know that also fret over buying their kids "Easter presents" for the baskets. I'll admit this year I bought each of my grandkids a kite for Easter rather than add to the candy they were getting from many other sources, but I am referring to others who stress over I-pods and DVD's and other items to keep the children happy.
I'm not sure when Easter turned into a second Christmas. I used to get a new dress for Easter, but it was my spring go to church dress and I knew I would be wearing it every Sunday until fall.
When I was a kid, (I know many of you are rolling your eyes and tuning me out already) candy was a more of an uncommon treat. So we looked forward to Easter, Valentines day and Halloween as special because we were treated to candy we normally never got.
No I was not deprived. It was really rare to see a kid walking around with candy or a soda. Yes we did get them but not every day or even every week. We had cookies and kool-aid and other treats, but candy and sodas remained special.
Now I see two year olds walking around with bags of skittles at 10 in the morning, sippy cups filled with coke or pepsi and toddlers grabbing big gulps from their parents and sucking up the contents while smiling parents look on with pride.
You see 12 year old's with a can of Red Bull and a bag of Doritos and wonder why he has to take Ritalin to stay in his seat at school. Teens are drinking sports drinks because they think they are healthier than pop, but are getting way too much sodium and electrolytes they don't need.
As I struggle to keep myself healthy, I am grateful for the good foundation of nutrition I had as a kid. It was a gift our parents didn't even think twice about giving us. We are not doing that with this generation of young children. While it may be hard to go against the grain and limit the candy, pop and other junk food your child eats; it is one of the biggest presents you can give them for a long and healthy life.
Now that I have spouted off and maybe insulted some of you I will just say that I enjoy watching the organized Easter Egg hunts every year and applaud those that work so hard to make them special. I also am glad we have so many parents in our community that find ways to keep or make family traditions for their kids even if it is not the way I would do it.
I hope it was a special day for all.