Somehow, a celebration of rebirth has gotten stuffed into a gooey, mass-produced, junky mess of chocolate-flavored waxy substance. Or sugar-coated marshmallows, dyed pink. Or blue or yellow. Marketers make it, and we buy into it, somewhat mindlessly throwing these pastel-colored sugar bombs into our shopping cart without really thinking: is there a good reason to feed this to my kids? Is it feeding their health or stealing their health?
And if it’s stealing their health … (it is) … how on earth is that a reasonable celebration of the rebirth of a holy life? I mentioned this to a friend the other day, and she said (thankfully not in front of her child), “seriously, Jennifer, can’t we just let them have a little fun every now and then?” And then she stopped and said, “wow, did I really just say that?”
Yes, you just bought into what every food marketer wants you to internalize: Sugar=Fun. Taking away sugar=punishment, or at the least, loss of fun. And what parent wants to steal fun from their kids?
What if, instead, we spoke the truth? The junky candy that is sold at Easter = junk in kids’ bodies. Skipping it = showing love. There are thousands of ways to have fun that have nothing to do with junky foods! And there are definitely better ways to celebrate rebirth!
Here are just a few, to get you started:
- My favorite: Plant a garden together. If it’s not time in your area, start seeds indoors. Seriously, what is more rebirth-affirming than watching seeds turn into food?
- Make a clean sweep of a room that really needs it. Playrooms would be great. Where would these toys have a “new life” with kids who need them? Same with clothing, or books!
- Get a tree guidebook and look up the trees in your neighborhood. Give your favorites names, and watch them grow throughout the year.
- Adopt a dog or cat from a shelter – give them a new life! Note: please do NOT get a baby chick or bunny, unless you have experience with these animals and know how to give them a good, long life. Most die within a few weeks of being purchased for Easter.
- Sprout your own seeds, for eating! This is a great quick project – you can sprout things that grow within just a few days! Watch the seeds “come to life” together, and then add them to salads or sandwiches.
- Start a family “Rebirth” journal. Use this as your own personal new year, and have every family member write in what talent, hobby, or habit they want to be “born” in them this year. Every year, review the prior year’s commitment, and discuss how it has blossomed in your life.
That’s just a few, but they all have much longer-lasting, positive impact than anything that comes in a Pez dispenser or plastic packaging!
Happy, Healthy Easter!