Saturday, March 19, 2016

An El Cheapo Easter or Minimal Disposable Income Easter

After the initial excitement of "A store where everything in it is 99 Cents!" faded (rather quickly) we rarely if ever went back to it.  Oddly enough, the last time was several years ago when I bought broad brimmed straw hats in bright colors (traffic cone orange; neon pink and black) for the females at our Easter dinner.   I still have mine (black) and am saving it for Palm Springs or Cabo.

That was then.  Yesterday I remembered that I wanted to buy plastic eggs for the kids' Easter egg hunt in our back yard.  The terrain is rather challenging  - aka Vietnam West - so I will be spectating (and laughing) from the balcony above it. 

Toward that end I remembered the 99 Cents store and off we trundled.  I bought a couple of bags of plastic eggs and a box of Peeps and four decorative (read: sequined) eggs on thin sticks.  The idea is to "plant" them and let people think you are "growing" eggs despite the fact that they most closely resemble unfurled tulips.  They will look nicely realistic stuck in with the hydrangeas that are just coming up in the window box. 

The Peeps presented something of a moral dilemma for me.  I wanted them as a historic and classic Easter treat, but I didn't want anyone to eat one.  Huh? you ask?  I have noted that much of the goods at the 99 Cent store are Made in China and we all know what that means - a healthy dose (oxymoron) ((ha ha)) of whatever poisonous powder was popular the day they were made.  Still ...

This morning I examined their box and discovered that yellow chick Peeps are made in Bethlehem, PA.   How innocuous is that?

Further reading disclosed that they originated in 1953 when a Russian immigre named Sam Born bought the Rudda candy company and began making them almost daily..  When he had a fresh batch, he would put out a sign that read "Just Born" referring to the "chicks" and people would come in for them. 

Not content to sit on the nest for long, in 1995 lavender and blue colors were introduced and from 1999 to 2002 additional flavors (strawberry, vanilla, chocolate) were added and the product line extended to lip balm, nail polish and Halloween costumes. 

 I was glad to see the Traditional Yellow Peeps again.  I look forward to introducing them to the three kids (5, 3, 1) who will be joining their parents for Easter lunch here.  I am going to squat down (or if this isn't possible, sit in a chair) hand each child a Peeps, relate a brief history of them and then instruct them, "First you bite the head off..."  Ah, Easter traditions - they never get old, do they?

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