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HEATHER HUYBREGTS: A letter from a mom to the Easter Bunny - it's OK to go minimalist this year

The Easter brunch and cake walk at the Bauline Community Centre is today from 9:30-11:30 a.m. and includes a visit from the Easter Bunny. $10 adults, $5 children. Also, at 10 a.m., the whole family will enjoy a “hungry farmer brunch buffet” at Lester’s Farm Chalet, as well as playing with the baby chicks, lambs, piglets and more. There will be an Easter egg hunt, egg decorating station and even a visit from the Easter Bunny.
Take it easy, Bunny. -123rf Stock Photo


I predicted in late 2019 that “I Can See Clearly Now” by Johnny Nash would be played ad nauseam on New Year’s Eve (2020...20/20...as in perfect vision… you’re right, it didn’t kill on Twitter either). And, while our evening was spent at home in sweatpants annihilating any holiday leftovers covered in cheese or chocolate, I certainly didn’t hear about my foresight coming to fruition at midnight.

But it seems there might be something to this idea: the year 2020 giving us clarity, a new perspective. I’m not sure exactly what the lesson is (stop spending frivolously! Bring back personal space! I have a family?) but it’s a theory I’m running with because I have not had this much free time to think in all of my adult life so far.

And now Easter is upon us. A few days ago, I was on the phone with my mother, whining to her that, perhaps, the Easter Bunny would be unable to procure the desired amount of chocolatey loot and spring-themed playthings, on account of the current pandemic and necessary boycotting of crowded, public places. I expressed to her that perhaps if the Easter Bunny ordered online, it wouldn’t be the same as if he had the freedom to wander store aisles and be inspired to make spontaneous purchases. It’s worth noting, too: many of us are no longer receiving an income or are living on a fraction of what we’re used to having. Not that that should matter because the Easter Bunny is the goody-getter but...ya know...that’s a thing to think about.

My mother then recalled Easter morning in her house as a child. Mom grew up in a modest, three-bedroom home. With two parents and nine children, it was hardly spacious. Every year, on the day before Easter, their mother would boil a couple of dozen eggs. Mom emphasized the “day before” part of the story so I could appreciate the fact that not only were their Easter morning treasures actual hard-boiled eggs, but they were cold, day-old, hard-boiled eggs, whose yolks had turned an interesting greenish-gray colour. She went on to describe how quickly she and her siblings would gobble down these old, green eggs as they found them, placing an opportunity to eat above the thrill of the hunt. If they were lucky, there might be a small, chocolate treat afterward. But that was it.

And each year, they whole-heartedly looked forward to this: Easter morning, a full house and a belly full of boiled eggs.

Being grateful for what we already have, regardless of how modest, is something I think we all need to keep in mind this year, especially around holidays.

Not to mention, we need to look out for the Easter Bunny. I’m not sure if any large, magical rabbits who - correct me if I’m wrong - poop chocolate (?) have been affected to date, but I still don’t like the idea of putting him at risk.

And E.B.’s health aside, going from house to house? During a pandemic that shuns such high-risk behaviour? How and where is he even washing his paws between homes? Those adorable little generous mitts must be a Disneyland for viruses!

So, given the state of the world, maybe we all should unite and send a public health warning to ol’ Cap’n Hippity-Hop himself. I’d be happy to draft something up...

Dear Mr. Cottontail,

Can I call you Peter? Doesn’t matter. How are you? I’m not sure which part of the world you call home. But wherever you are, I’m sure you know that we’re all in a bit of turmoil at the moment. Many of us are unemployed and sporting home-haircuts. Most of us are not even leaving our houses; we’re trying to avoid any unnecessary physical contact with other people or objects they’ve touched or sneezed on.

Where does that leave you? Are you still planning on leaving that cozy burrow of yours and venturing out into the danger zone?

Dude. E.Bunny... I don’t think it’s worth it, man. I mean, yes, the children look forward to your arrival each year. But, again, 2020 is a one-off in terms of “normal”. We cannot safely act “normal”. I don’t see why you should be exempt just because you are a giant (tiny? regular-sized?), generous, well-travelled, candy-pooping rabbit.

Perhaps your absolute absence would send the world into a tailspin (or should I say, “COTTONtailspin”? No? Cool.) So here’s what I’m recommending this year: GET IN, GET OUT.

Let this be the Easter of minimalism. I know sometimes you go a little over the top and bring toys and bigger surprises, but this year, we give you permission to go small and go home. Respectfully. A few hidden treats, just to let us know you hopped by, is all we need to feel the magic. No pressure. In addition, we will spend the day enjoying our families and being grateful.

That’s what we will try to take from all of this, gratitude even during a crisis, even without an abundance of treats. Gratitude even just for some cold, hard-boiled eggs, cooked (yesterday) with love. Sorry, inside joke.

So while I love a good Creme Egg as much as the next guy, this year I will remember to be grateful, with or without them.

Your comrade in unruly body hair and chocolate obsession,

Heather

Happy Easter, stay-at-homies!

Heather Huybregts is a mother, physiotherapist, blogger, YouTuber and puffin whisperer from Corner Brook, N.L. Her column appears biweekly.

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