Sunday, April 4, 2010

With No Apology to Crappy, Pre-Fab Easter Basket Makers

I remember when I was a child, looking at those Ready-Made Easter baskets with eyes wide, almost salivating at their colorful, bounteous yield of toys and candy.  I would hope against hope my mother would do like the "cool moms" and forego our traditional wicker baskets with those huge fruit and nut eggs and that pesky plastic grass, to spring for one of those cellophane wrapped festivals of favors!

When I had children of my own, I became astonishingly uncool.  I decorated my chidren's Easter baskets, opting for cloth ribbon and wicker that would stand the test of time and gale force winds.  I bought the Peeps, jelly beans, Binky's and all the other edibles that would remain in the refrigerator until they were white with age or petrified and subject to Carbon-14 dating.  I purchased fruits and nuts in an effort to be more health conscious, and invested in trinkets that would actually last past 4 PM on Easter Sunday.  I scoffed at Ready-Made, and wondered at the character of the financial genius who stuffed chintzy baskets full of dollar store junk, wrapped it in shiny "come hither" wrap and slapped a paper bow on top, only to charge as much, if not more than I spent on my lovingly hand-selected and meticulously designed baskets.

My children too, begged for cheap, pleaded for tawdry and whined for "cool."  I was even tempted one year to give them what they wanted.  Maybe I should have, the way God sometimes gives us what we ask for.  We beg for junk that to us seems "the real thing."  We are lured by garish "come hither" wrap and we whine until we get it.  When our Easter dinner is over, the chocolate from our baskets is insipid or even vile, our trinkets are little more than tacky party favors or have met their fate in the bottom of the kitchen trash can, we know we have gotten just the crap we asked for!  Matthew 7:11 tells us that even we who are failed, mortal and evil know how to give those we love good gifts; imagine what a perfect Father and loving God can give us if we will just let Him.

Well, if allowing God to work in my life means walking past that gaudy plastic packaging and overdone self-adhering bow, I pray for the wisdom and courage to be uncool.
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