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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Everything Easter! Or How to Focus on Holiday Time, not things

OK- so maybe not E-V-ER-Y-THI-NG Easter, but some great ideas. I hate to admit this, but I hate some holidays. Maybe all holidays---not every part, certainly not the essential meaning of them, but the commercialization of them. Isn't a love note to my child on Valentines every bit as meaningful, if not more important, than a new outfit, toy or thing???!!

I hate clutter, and maybe that is partially the inspiration behind this post. We cleaned out some children's rooms this weekend, and while I thought I was doing great at containing the "Mess Monster" apparently it has sneaked in while I wasn't paying attention. I think it travels in backpacks and comes home, then multiplies in the way of "prizes" for good behavior, and assignments that each kid "has to keep." Anyway we played clutter exterminator and then I looked down my to-do list and viola--Here comes Peter Cottontail. Easter is early this year!

The thought of more stuff makes my stomach churn. So this year almost everything they get is consumable. Play-Doh, crayons, candy (I know-sugar is bad), paint, sidewalk chalk and bubbles. This way they can play, have some fun, and throw away the evidence without feeling too badly about it. As I've been packing away these little items I also thought it would be fun to stick a couple of meaningful (at least by my standards) things in the eggs for the annual Easter egg hunt.

Here are some ideas that may provide you with some peace, time together, and a little extra spending cash--cuz they don't cost a thing.

This coupon is good for One Extra Story at bedtime.
This coupon is good for 15 extra computer/electronic device time
This coupon is good for extra help from Mom or Dad with the dishes
This coupon is good for 15 extra minutes of Outside Time
This coupon is good for one late night with friends at our house

I've created a FREE printable to take the work out of it for you.  Click HERE for the Easter Coupon printable. It includes the above ideas, plus a few others. Print them off, stick them in a plastic egg, or right in the Easter basket--and that's it!

So you can use the above ideas, or maybe they will inspire you to do your own. Either way, you don't have to buy a ton of "things" and you get extra time with your kids. Whenever you feel overwhelmed, just take a minute to remind yourself why you are doing what you are doing. If you can't remember, maybe it's time to make a few changes.

Along with that, maybe you could dye some eggs together (click here for directions) and then use the eggs for Potato Salad (see below) or Egg Salad Sandwich. For dessert try making pudding cups, topping them with granola or toasted coconut and a Peep Chick to add a bit of fun!

Joycee’s Spud Salad   (this is my mother-in-law's recipe, and it rocks)
10 pounds                   Red potatoes
12                                Eggs
4 cups                         Mayonnaise (not Miracle Whip)
To taste                     Onion salt

Wash and boil potatoes and eggs for 30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Drain water. Peel potatoes and eggs and slice them into small cubes.
Add mayonnaise and Onion salt.
Garnish with fresh Parsley and Paprika for added color.

And if you celebrate Easter as part of your religion, don't forget why you are doing it. We've all been given a tremendous gift. Happy Easter! 

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