Ever since I got too old to believe in the Easter Bunny or hunt for cleverly-concealed eggs stuffed with candy, the best part of Easter has always been the basket.
It’s not the contents of the basket, because now that I’m technically an adult, I can buy my own candy and eat as much of it as I want. No, it’s the baskets themselves I look forward to, and more importantly, the basket-filling ritual.
Although I am not a parent, I have been inducted into the Secret Society of Easter Bunnies.
Oh yes, my poor uninitiated friends, I have helped purchase and distribute chocolate and confectionary for years now, counting each type of candy twice to make sure no one is shorted. I have participated in the hiding of baskets and I have even shaken baskets in order to get the jelly beans to settle at the bottom — allowing me to stuff more candy into the baskets.
Each year, my fellow Bunnies and I — my aunt and my mother, actually — sit on the floor in one of the bedrooms of my grandparents’ house, poring over bags and bags of candy, trying to remember who likes what.
I end up with a whole bag of dark chocolate. My brother gets all the peanut butter cups. This year, my brother’s fiancée also got a basket, and hers didn’t have any plain chocolate in it.
This year, I even made up a basket for my mother, a highly experienced Bunny whose Easter baskets just keep getting more fun every year.
Disaster was averted this year after one of the Bunnies mistakenly recollected her children didn’t like jellybeans, but beans were duly purchased. One Bunny couldn’t find any SweeTarts in the shape of chicks and bunnies, but another Bunny had extra.
It’s an exercise in consensus-building and shared memory of who likes what and who wouldn’t eat sour candies if it were the last thing on earth.
We decide whether to use tissue paper or plastic wrap to hold the jellybeans in the baskets — the messy fake grass has been forbidden by Bunny consensus for many years. We festoon some baskets with ribbons and others with more tissue paper.
One Bunny has a tradition of using the same basket each year, and another Bunny finds funky new baskets every year; all the recipients swear by the way their Bunny does it.
Just because you have outgrown egg hunts and receiving baskets of deliciously empty calories doesn’t mean you have outgrown Easter baskets. Next year, be the Bunny and have the sweetest Easter yet!