Sunday, April 1, 2012

Palm Sunday

"Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord."

The holiest week of the year begins now, on Palm Sunday, as we prepare to reverently commemorate the Last Supper on Holy Thursday and Jesus' death on the Cross on Good Friday, and then to joyfully celebrate Our Lord's glorious Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Easter is such a beautiful and holy day! And it's such a fun-filled and exciting day, too, when you have little children in the house; because you get to watch their faces light up when they find their Easter baskets filled with treats! I'm still putting together Easter baskets for my five sons--even though they range in age from 19 to 28 now--and I hope to have them in the mail tomorrow. Every year I think, "I really don't have to do this anymore. It's kind of silly." But then I find myself drawn to the Easter candy aisle of my local grocery store, and before I know it I'm filling my cart with all of their childhood favorites: chocolate bunnies, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the shape of eggs, Sweet Tarts shaped like chicks and bunnies, Reese's Pieces (all orange, and specially packaged for Easter in cone-shaped plastic to look like carrots), Jolly Rancher-flavored jelly beans, and marshmallow Peeps (though the Peeps only go to son #4; he could practically live on them, while his brothers can take or leave them). It's too much, I know it is. But for some reason, I can't seem to stop myself.

I'm going to try to scale back this year, though. Last year, son #4 told me I'd sent way too much, and that he would probably get diabetes if he ate the whole kit and caboodle. ("You don't have to eat it all. You could share some of it..." I offered, pathetically.) I don't know why I continue to go overboard on Easter baskets. I guess it all boils down to this: my boys are all living far away now, and I can't show my love in intangible ways, on a day-to-day basis, anymore; so I send them something very tangible (and edible!) to let them know that they're in my thoughts--and close to my heart, as always--on Easter. I'm not the only mom who can't let go of the Easter basket routine, though; I spoke to my baby sister today, and she does the very same thing with her grown children!

Just as my heart is filled at Christmas with a yearning to let my loved ones know how much I love them through gift-giving, it is filled with that same kind of yearning at Easter--and I choose to express my feelings through chocolate and jelly beans! But isn't it wonderful that on both of these holidays, the whole reason for that ineffable joy is one and the same: the reason is Christ.

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