Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Move Over, Easter Bunny

Since I'm American and my husband is Italian, we've always tried to give our children the best of both worlds--two languages, two home countries, two cultures...and two kinds of Easter eggs.

In Italy, there is no Easter Bunny, not like there is in America. That's right, the Easter Bunny DOES exist. Yup. For sure. Definitely. (Can you tell my 7-year-old daughter is reading over my shoulder?) And the Easter Bunny does visit our house...he hops right over the Atlantic, carrying baskets for my children. Nice of him to make the effort, don't you think?

Italian kids don't dye eggs, they don't do the baskets with fake grass, and there are no Easter egg hunts. What they do have are these gigantic chocolate eggs wrapped in foil. This photo was taken at my in-law's house 3 years ago when my daughters were 4 and almost 2. As you can see, the package is almost as tall as my then 2-year-old. Each egg has a surprise inside--a stuffed animal, a game, etc.

They even have eggs for adults. Last Easter, my 23-year-old niece got an egg from her grandparents with a necklace inside. Some have scarves, some even have lingerie.

Three years ago, my girls were too young to be influenced by brand names. Ah, the innocence. Now that they're older, they don't just want any old egg--nay. It has to have their favorite cartoon characters or just the right prize inside. Ah, it warms the heart to think the real Easter message is coming through loud and clear, doesn't it? (??)

If you look closely, you'll notice more foil on the table behind my girls. Since there isn't an Easter Bunny to dole out the goodies, kids receive eggs from all the adults in their families--parents, grandparents, uncles, and aunts. And in Italy, most families aren't usually scattered across the country, as they often are in the U.S.

Let me tell you, this makes for a lot of eggs. Which makes for a lot of chocolate. Which makes for a lot of weight put on by loving parents like myself who are simply trying to save their children from becoming victims of chocolate overdose.

Oh, the sacrifices we parents make for our kids. (As I reach for another piece of chocolate... )


TinaFerraro said...

I enjoyed hearing about your Italian Easter customs! And tell me, is it true that in Italy, instead of the Tooth Fairy, they have the Shoe Mouse?

Disco Mermaids said...

I wonder if the Easter Bunny knows there are new requirements for U.S. passports. If not, it could be a very sad Easter in Italy.

Tell you what, my dad does passports at the post I'll have him check and speed things along!

You're welcome...

- Jay

Natalie said...

Thanks, Tina! It is true that they have a mouse...we call him the Tooth Mouse in English in our house, but maybe he's the shoe mouse in Udine? In Italian he's called il topolino.

Here again, my 7-year-old cashes in big, since both the Tooth Fairy and Mouse leave a few Euros under her pillow (we...I mean, the Tooth Fairy...doesn't have U.S. dollars, so she does the When-in-Rome thing and leaves Euros, too. :-)

Ah, Jay...the passport red tape--I'd totally forgotten about that. I'll have to have my people call the Easter Bunny's people and tell them to call your dad--I hope he speaks rabbit. :-)

Thanks for stopping by!


TinaFerraro said...

You're right...Tooth Mouse. I had the name wrong. And just so you know, he makes international visits because my kids have put their teeth in shoes over here and found both American and Italian money there in the morning! Of course, that was some years ago...

Natalie said...

I'm glad the Tooth Mouse made it to your house, Tina! If it's been awhile since he's visited, that must mean he left Italian lire instead of Euros...that must have made your kids feel like they hit the jackpot! 5,000 lire SOUNDS like a lot, doesn't it??
;-) Natalie

patrizia said...

I have to say we always celebrated Easter American style. We had Easter egg hunts and usually went out for a buffet with family. And of course, there was the huge basket from the bunny.

We'll be celebrating it here on a smaller scale with chocolate and dyeing eggs, but it's not quite the same. Oh well.

Have a wonderful day with family.

Rita Kent at TesoroFino.Com said...

Ah, someone who can relate. Glad to have visited. Stop by and say "hi"; you'll be glad we connected. I will add you to my favorite blog list to stay in touch. Rita @