Just like during Advent, the combination of nightly ornament hangings, readings, and a countdown calendar has seemingly accelerated time. Easter is but 15 days away, unbelievably. We've got more than a few activities planned for Holy Week and I'll post about those next weekend. However, the Easter baskets are done.
Well, we have all the stuff for them. I haven't made up the baskets yet because it's easier to explain away cardboard boxes on a shelf as opposed to bright baskets of goodies. We kept it all pretty simple and tried to keep the emphasis on the real meaning of Easter. We also kept with our "three gifts" theme from Christmas. Quality over quantity and all of that.
Which means books. Now that I've been introduced to Tomie dePaola's work, I can't get enough of it. So, one kid is getting his Book of Bible Stories and another is getting The Miracles of Jesus. The third will receive Brian Wildsmith's beautifully illustrated The Easter Story. These are all books that they can come back to for years.
They're also getting an age-appropriate toy that relates to Easter in some way. Henry, I'm sure, will be intrigued by this 3D egg puzzle. Jane, who loves stuffed animals, but turns her nose up at dolls, will be happy with this little lamb. Oliver's is probably the one I reached most on, but the kid loves trains and at least it says "Happy Easter" and not "Happy Spring" or something like that.
And what's an Easter basket without candy? Only, we wanted to avoid a huge amount of junk that would get transferred to the old candy bowl on top of the fridge to be parceled out for months. Instead, we ordered each child one of these from See's Candies. It's perfect for them. There's a nice variety, a cute little box, and just enough candy to enjoy over a few days. They shipped quickly and were packaged well. I was a little worried about ordering online and having it delivered because we've been getting into the 80s lately. But, they showed up today in an insulated box accompanied by reusable cold packs. Everything was in perfect shape. (No, I didn't sample anything. I was tempted, though.)
Our final Easter morning surprise is something for all of us to share. I didn't want to make the same mistake I did at Christmas and not have something planned in advance for the Easter season. So, we have Tomie dePaola's (surprise!) The Garden of the Good Shepherd. It's a laminated 11x17 background board that comes with 51 reusable stickers to count the days from Easter to Pentecost. There's also a guidebook that explains the symbols for each night. The night before Easter, once the kids are in bed, we'll set up our little table for Easter and have this ready to go. Again, this is something that we can use year after year.
Now I just need to plan the menu and get the rest of the things to decorate the table with and...