Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Candy Grumbles

Ridiculous, I thought as I pushed my cart through the isles of WalMart. Sugar, sugar, sugar and more sugar. Chocolate bunnies, ring pops, gum, jelly beans...I do not see the symbolism between candy and Easter. And yet, I emptied my wallet of $40 so my children could wake up on Easter morning and delight in the fact that Christ was resurr...I mean, that the Easter Bunny came. I'm happy that the Easter Bunny brought some things like chips and flip-flops and pennies to balance out the sugar.... but I have got to figure out a way to involve Christ more centrally in his own holiday because, as it is, I am a very grouchy Easter celebrator.

I try to keep my Easter grouchies away from the kids. In fact, I think I even scored a few good-mommy points because there were almost no rules about how much candy they could consume in one setting. Eat it, I think. Eat it all. 'Cause once it's gone, well, then it's gone.

And, awesome news for me, their candy was gone by Sunday night. All of it.

Easter aside, I'm not sure where my grumbles about candy come from. There's just something about seeing one of my kids with a face full of it that makes my stomach churn and my teeth hurt. I have never really relished in candy myself...even as a kid, after the chocolate was gone from my Halloween candy, the rest of it was likely to survive all the way to the next Halloween. Do you know what a basketful of candy smells like after a year? Just generally gross.

Now, let's not pretend that I don't love sugar! I am happy to make a batch of chocolate-chip cookies almost any time - and we usually have one or two big new desserts to try every week - and there is pretty much always a gallon or two of ice cream in our freezer. But, it's the gum, and the hard candies, and the chewy candies, and the cheap chocolate balls that get to me.

You know what I think the grouchiness might come from? Candy-drool. The sticky, colorful trails of goo in your carpet that lead to a child covered in it. Then they reach out to you, and nothing says love like sticky, drippy child fingers coming your way. Bleh.

Or, maybe it's the strings of gum connecting a child's teeth with his outstretched hand.

Or, maybe it's the chocolate melted into the blankets.

Or, maybe it's because my kids always turn into hyper-emotional zombies with tummy-aches when they eat it.

See, then they look at me with these big, happy grins and I feel a pang of regret that I don't offer them candy more often.

I do wonder: If I had more candy readily available for them throughout the year, would their candy cravings subside? Do most people have candy in their homes to snack on? What would happen if I just had a bowl of candy out on the counter for them to pick through? Initially, I would have to refill the bowl a zillion times, but - eventually - would they treat the bowl of candy like I treated my Halloween candy as a kid? I wonder...


  1. You could try my method of letting them eat all they can before church, then forgetting to lock the dog up and having him eat it and get peeps sugar all over your clean floor while you're gone! One thing I did was order some things from distribution for their baskets- a scripture marker and some scripture stickers. They totally were more excited about the chocolate, but maybe it made SOME impression? I also have a friend who does baskets on Saturdays....let me know if you find the answer!

  2. A lot of people do their baskets on Saturdays here. I want to, but Richard said no. We don't have candy in our baskets, but that's because they get loaded up by the grandparents' egg hunt. We have a GIANT bowl of candy and it doesn't get touched very often. I limit them to only one or two pieces and they are okay with that. Clara RARELY asks for it, but Katherine wants a "treat" almost every day. Part of her personality I guess. Good luck. I totally understand the mess.

  3. We do the candy thing on a different day than Easter. This year it was on Monday because Saturday was previous occupied by more important activities. The kids still had a great time and we kept Christ the center of Easter.

  4. Candy is totally over-rated. Especially in America. In the past we've only had candy on Satudays (and even then, they got to choose 5 or 6 pieces from the bins they could have). Now, we've decided to limit it even more and only have candy on Easter, Halloween, Christmas and Birthdays. It still ends up being a lot, but the kids are 100%, completely satisfied with their sugar intake and it works out great. If it's not around they don't think about it. (It does make it easier that most kids here are in the same mindset so no one really has candy - except for Saturdays).

    I love your picture btw Linds and I really enjoy your blog!

  5. I really have no idea what the answer is! But I know that we've never done the Easter basket thing with our kids. They generally do a little egg hunt with some friends on Saturday, and whatever candy they get from that is all the candy they get. I really hate candy. Don't get me wrong, my kids love it, and we usually have it in the house (the Halloween candy that lingers! :) ), but I hate it and I hate for my kids to eat it. If you find the perfect answer, be sure to share it with everyone!

  6. What great pictures. I wish we could have been there for the holiday... I love you all so much.

  7. I have tried to refocus Easter more on Christ than on bunnies and candy in recent years. We have our hunt on Saturday so Sunday is reserved for Christ centered activities. To limit candy we give the kids things like church videos, Easter books, toys, stickers, bubble blowing toys, etc. We replace a lot of the candy in the hunt with confetti filled eggs. We bought them this year, but they are easy to make. When the kids find the confetti eggs, they run and break them over someone else's head. They love it! Saturday night we make Easter Cookies. The ingredients help to tell the story of Christ's death and resurrection. You can find recipes on the internet, but put peppermint flavor in instead of the nuts and kids like them better. We also celebrate Passover, and point out all the symbolism of Christ that is in the Seder meal. Another thing we do is have an advent calendar that consists of 12 plastic eggs that have a surprise inside that tells about Christ's death and resurrection that we open during our scripture study during the weeks leading up to Easter. We don't do all of these things every year, but I always try to focus more on Christ than candy.