Hi neighbors. It is Easter weekend and many of you may be busy boiling eggs or stuffing candy into little plastic eggs for hiding. Coloring Easter eggs is easier than ever with many colors and stickers to choose from. Grandchildren enjoy decorating the eggs as much or more than finding them on the Easter egg hunt.
Plastic eggs that can be filled with candy or small toys seem more suited to outdoor use than the traditional boiled then decorated chicken eggs.
Most of us can remember the fun of taking turns hiding and/or finding the colorful eggs. Usually the eggs were hidden again and again so many times the shells started falling off!
Stuffed rabbits and chickens are always popular toys in Easter baskets; usually dyed in some bright color with ribbons attached to their necks.
Although some people buy real live chicks or bunnies for Easter pets for their children, the life expectancy for these little ones isnít very long. In case you are tempted to buy a green or purple chick for a pet for your childís Easter basket Iíll remind you of a couple of things. Chicks cheep constantly. They have to be taught how to eat and drink. They chill easily and they will follow you all around the house cheeping and pooping every few steps. They will bond to whoever picks them up first, and will follow that person faithfully till they (the chicks) drop from exhaustion. They are infants, small and helpless and easy prey for any household dog or cat.
If you donít want to be their designated nanny, try introducing them to the Easter rabbit your husband got the children for Easter. These too are small and helpless creatures, often loved to death by family dogs and cats. But, if you are very lucky the chick will bond to the rabbit and happily follow it wherever it goes.
Still, they both need specific diets; feeding care, warm shelters and cages large enough to wander around in and sturdy enough to ward off other family pets.
Children can also be harmful to these tiny little animals. Be certain your child knows they are living things and not toys to play with. Demonstrate how to pick them up and how to safely hold them and then release them. Remind your children about the rabbit or chickís diet and water needs. Make sure children understand that rabbits, chicks, dogs and cats do not get along in their natural state and that both dogs and cats see rabbits and chicks as prey and food ó not fellow pets.
Stuffed rabbits and chicks probably make better toys than the live versions and they seem more at home in an Easter basket.
Itís not too late to make some small Easter baskets for elders who are home bound or in nursing homes. Elders like to see children in their Easter finery join in an egg hunt. Many organizations conduct Easter egg hunts open to the public.
Children in hospitals like to receive small gifts of toys and candy (if OK with their nurses). Itís best to call ahead and see how many childrenís baskets you should bring and then leave them at the nursesí desk. They donít have to be expensive or elaborate. A tiny bit of fake grass, one or two plastic eggs with candy, gum and a small toy in them are fun.
Many families get together for Easter weekend for a special church service or a simple family gathering. Complicated egg hunts and some yard games are followed by barbecued meat and tempting side dishes for all. Desserts are fruit or pastries or ice cream. Everyone has a great time and gets some exercise. Donít forget to take pictures!
Remember that Easter is also a religious holiday to commemorate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. If this is part of your belief system, celebrate it with your family, explain it to your children or grandchildren, and take a few minutes to think again of the reasons for your beliefs.
Until the next time, enjoy the weekend, your friends and family and holidays spent together.