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Easter treasure hunt

In order to maximize fun and minimize sugar consumption on Easter, I tend to buy one or two things for each of the kids — a butterfly cookie, for example, or a fancy chocolate flower — something that looks impressive but won’t put them into a sugar coma.  I also try to get things that are unique, made locally, things that are a little different from the mass produced eggs and rabbits that fill the grocery store display cases.

I hide the treats around the house on Saturday night, and I leave the kids written clues beside their beds so that they can have a treasure hunt when they wake up on Sunday morning. The clues start off pretty simple when they’re young — just pictures with arrows.  As they get older, however, I start using written clues with puns that they need to interpret in order to find their treats.  I’m looking forward to when they get even older so I can really give them some fun and challenging clues.

This year my wife also baked cinnamon buns with the kids and with our Japanese homestay student.  The kids were quite proud to present what they had made to the extended family gathering on Easter Sunday.

Hunting up suitable treats and writing clues and baking homemade treats can take a bit of time and thought and energy, but our goal is to make holiday celebrations be more about the experience of family and fun and tradition than about simply stuffing ourselves with waxy chocolate. People often bemoan the commercialization of Christmas, but our other holidays are little different now, and the solution lies in spending time and creativity rather than money on each other. My kids will never remember one chocolate egg over another, but hopefully they will always remember how they used to wake up to clues for treasure hunts on Easter mornings.