It’s April 20. And you’ve been seeing magazines and blogs and pinterest, all full of crafty ideas about how to decorate eggs, or put together the best Easter basket ever, or how to throw the perfect Easter brunch/lunch, for the better part of a month. Not to mention the particularly inventive, photogenic ways to stage an Easter egg hunt while your children are wearing something freshly ordered, coordinated-yet-not-overly-matchy, from Crewcuts or Zara Kids or the Gap.
Because it’s a holiday. And we have to make memories! [Preferably whilst looking good.]
But maybe this year you just can’t pull it off, despite having ample notice, despite it being ‘an annual occurrence’, despite it happening every year around the some time.
‘It’ being Easter, of course.
You might panic, or feel overwhelmed by your impending failure at holidays and making memories! But then you’ll remember the underachiever’s guide to Easter and that initial sense of panic, or dread, will diminish into something more akin to ‘mild disappointment’.
‘I’m not the first one to botch a holiday,’ you’ll mentally settle-for-fourth-place whilst popping another [handful of] Cadbury mini egg(s) in your mouth.
Here’s how to pull off a less-than-stellar Easter.
Step 1 (This does require a modicum of forethought)
Stop at a store and pick up some candy. This year I settled on the number 3. I have 3 boys. I bought them each a Kinder egg, a Reese’s egg, and a Cadbury creme egg. Done. I did not buy plastic eggs. Or plastic grass. Or plastic baskets. It’s practically a healthy, environmentally friendly alternative to Easter baskets.
Step 2 (This might require some forethought or, in my case, pure happenstance)
Make a large amount of Saturday-before-Easter dinner (i.e. curried chicken and chickpeas) so you can eat leftovers on actual Easter. Even if your kids dislike the meal and protest its being ‘too spicy’. Just give them more rice and extra glasses of water.
Helps with digestion.
Step 3 (This involves the added pre-step of getting dressed, but as it’s managed by an overwhelming amount of the general populace, on a daily basis, even an underachiever should be able to pull it off)
Attend church. You might have to ask your youngest son not to wear fleece pants. And it might make you kibosh the whole going-to-church-thing altogether. And you might have to deal with the same son’s considerable and loud aversion to donning any footwear other than his bright yellow rainboots. Also you might bark at your family about being late and your 40 year old husband might spill a bowl of Lucky Charms (‘I was hungry’) with milk in the car.
Allow your children to fill their bellies with hot cross buns and fruit at the aforementioned church. That way, lunch is taken care of and those previously mentioned leftovers can be enjoyed for a more leisurely ‘linner’ or ‘dunch’ instead. (It goes without saying that you, the parent(s), should also eat a regrettable amount of fruity bread. Not only because you need food, but because Easter Sunday is also ‘last call’ for hot cross buns.)
Or is it?
Allow your children to play excessive amounts of Minecraft so you can get things done around the house. This doesn’t really have anything to do with Easter, but is a useful tip for getting stuff done. Or a way to enjoy your leftovers (see below) in relative peace.
Step 6 (This involves heating those infamous leftovers and possibly an additional grocery store trip, and possibly opening all the windows to air out the house)
Bulk up previous night’s leftovers by sending husband to grocery store for more chickpeas. Husband may ask ‘should I pick up some eggs so we can decorate them’ but if you’ve made it to late afternoon on Easter Sunday without decorating eggs, it seems silly to bother. Maybe next year can be the year of the awesome pysanky Easter eggs.
Also, don’t potentially burn down the house, or at least wreck a good pot, because you decided to steam 5 sad-looking asparagus spears while eating your leftovers and then promptly forgot about them. Better to compost 5 sad asparagus than buy a new pot.
Step 7 (This involves spending 2 minutes outside)
Order your children to stay inside while you hustle outside to hide the aforementioned ‘9 pieces of candy’. Of course, if your oldest child stands by a window and watches you do this, he might find the candy in less than 10 seconds.
Step 8 (This involves spending some time on the phone or ipad, it may also involve coming up with creative answers for Easter-type questions, unless you’re comfortable with the underachiever line of response)
Speak to grandparents. Confess failure to dress children in new clothes. Confess failure to photograph entire family [wearing new clothes]. Confess failure to stage a proper Easter egg hunt. Confess failure to decorate eggs. Confess failure to make a ham and potatoes and vegetables and dessert.
Alternatively, when Easter-related questions come your way, simply say ‘I think something’s wrong with your phone, because you cut out’ and deftly steer the conversation to a different topic.
Step 9 (This involves a moment of reflection)
Your husband might say something like ‘apparently we were supposed to take pictures of ourselves and put them on Facebook,’ after seeing multiple images of adorable families smiling brightly on his newsfeed. And you’ll say ‘yup’ and he’ll say ‘Easter fail 2014’. And your son might say ‘yeah, I think we kind of failed at Easter this year.’
Use this feedback to determine if you would like to enhance your 2015 Easter holiday experience. Of course, simply determining to enhance your 2015 Easter holiday experience does not mean it will actually happen.
‘It’ being an enhanced Easter holiday experience, of course.