Several years ago, we thought it was time to start a new tradition in our family. One thing I’ve learned long ago is that traditions don’t always have to make sense, they just have to be fun and something that brings family together. I think my oldest son came up with this tradition. There isn’t anything really touching or inspiring about it. It’s just a lot of fun. Please, don’t get me wrong, we have our more reverent traditions that help us remember the real meaning of Easter and we value those special traditions. But this is something quite a bit more easy going. We call this tradition “The Peeps Challenge”.
As long as I can remember Peeps and Easter have gone together like soup and crackers. I’ve never thought there was much use for those odd little Easter marshmallow things they call Peeps. They have so much sugar in them that eating one Peep would probably send a diabetic into a sugar induced coma. I watch my kids eat those things by the handful and I think to myself that one of these years I’ve got to buy me a vile of insulin vile and syringe to have on hand, just in case. They hardly look like chicks or birds but I’ll take their word for it that that’s what they are supposed to be.
Several years ago, we had a basket full of those funny looking Peep things. My son Jake and I didn’t quite know what to do with them. I didn’t want them in my yard because I was sure they would get stuck to the bottom of someone’s she and we’d never hear the end of it from my wife.
Suddenly, Jake’s eyes lit up and I knew something was about to happen and it would most likely include Peeps. Jake ran into the garage and pulled out some tennis rackets. He and I started whacking some of our Peeps to see how far we could make then fly. After all, if Peeps are supposed to represent birds, right? Making them fly seemed very appropriate. Soon, other family members saw what we were doing and found other things in the garage to use to make them go farther than Jake and I had made them go. They found sling shots, ski poles, and several other gadgets. It was great fun. By the time we were done and our basket was empty we started talking about what we could do next year to make them go even farther. It was then we realized that a new family tradition was born.
Now, each year my children get together for Easter and they ask Mom when we’re going to do the Peeps challenge. She buys boxes and boxes of Peeps and each of us comes up with our own way of propelling them to see who can make them “fly” the farthest. The winner gets a bunny cup stuffed to the brim with Easter delights. The rules are simple and few. They are:
- EVERYONE helps pick up the Peeps out of the grass when the contest is done.
- Contestants take off their shoes before going back into the house (just in case someone stepped on one while picking them up).
- Nothing can be inserted into the Peeps to give it extra weight. Cheaters are eliminated from the contest. No bunny cup for them for that year.
That’s it. Like I said, it’s nothing overly complex or hard for anyone to do. It’s great fun and we finally found a great use for those colorful little Easter Peep things. But best of all, it brings us together as a family and gives us a chance to do something fun together. And after all, Easter isn’t really about marshmallow Peeps is it. It’s about family. And I guess that makes it a worthwhile tradition.
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