People look forward to Easter because it’s a sign of spring. Whatever your religious persuasion (or lack thereof), it represents hope (of better weather to come) and light (longer days) and beauty (spring flowers and all around more color in the world).
I take the spiritual aspect of the season with the utmost seriousness. It’s not a matter of flowers and bunnies and new finery, but genuine resurrection and new life–which is a heavy matter indeed!
But there’s another facet of Easter people don’t talk about as much, and I’m serious about it too: marshmallow Peeps.
I don’t care about jelly beans. Most chocolate bunnies aren’t fit to eat (and the rest are too expensive to justify the cost). Cadbury Creme Eggs are so sweet they make my teeth hurt. But Peeps? Ahh…. Peeps….. Peeps are the real Easter candy.
My earliest memories of Easter involve shopping (I’ve always hated shopping) for a new Easter dress (which I seldom liked but was committed to wearing every Sunday for the rest of the year) with a stupid Easter bonnet that I couldn’t wait to take off when I got home, and even stupider white gloves. The agony! Why do parents do such things to their children? The only thing that made it worthwhile was the basket of Easter candy. And the only thing that made the basket worthwhile was the Peep.
Yes, a singular Peep. My mom was of the opinion that sweets were bad for the health and should be avoided as much as possible. It wasn’t wholly practical to deprive her children of candy entirely, but she doled it out with the greatest of care. At Easter, though, we got a motherlode (to our eyes): a pittance of jelly beans, a little bit of chocolate, and one Peep.
I used to take tiny nibbles of that poor little thing, prolonging its agony/my joy over as long a time as possible. The idea of eating a Peep in one sitting was, when I was very young, an extravagance that never occurred to me.
Because I made my annual Peep last as long as I could, it was inevitably stale before I finished it. At some point, I realized I liked the stale parts best. Nowadays, when I get a package of Peeps (a whole package!!!!), I pull them apart and sit them around the kitchen to dry. As when I was a kid, I make them last as long as possible. But now, I eat a whole one at a time, though (such gluttony!), and make the package last as long as I can, rather than nibbling each Peep into a gradual, sugary oblivion.
But I only buy Peeps at Easter. Peeps are not to be shaped like ghosts or Christmas trees. They shouldn’t be white or pink or purple. Peeps are yellow. Peeps are peeps. They’re one of the joys of Easter, and should be reserved for Easter alone.