We wait for it every year, right along with the daffodils and Easter lilies, the colored eggs and the bunnies…
One of the great holiday traditions shared in my family and among many of our friends happens right about this time of year, and it isn’t Easter, and it isn’t generally talked about.
Oh, occasionally I’ll get a phone call or a message or a whispered aside in a conversation saying “Giant Eagle. There’s a lot of stuff,” or “CVS is only 25 percent off, wait till the end of the week,” but mostly no one is willing to discuss it publicly, even though we all know it goes on all around us, often in our own families.
It usually happens after Easter, or what we call American Easter, because if you are an Orthodox Christian, the Easter that you celebrate follows a different church calendar, so Easter for you falls on a different Sunday every year, usually after the start of Passover and usually after American Easter. This year it’s Sunday, April 8.
This distinction in holidays is very important because American Easter brings what may be the most illustrious of consumer traditions at Easter imaginable to Orthodox Christian people across the country, and that is Clearance Easter Candy: after American Easter, all the chocolate bunnies, eggs and chicks—and anything bunny-egg-or-chick-related—goes on sale, and we go out and buy it.
Oh, sure we have a few other traditions. We dye our Easter eggs red and we eat pink egg salad for the next month and a half. We drive home from Midnight Service at church holding our lit candles while one member of the family obligatorily harps on how dangerous it is to drive with lit candles in the car. And we follow a strict fast in which we don’t eat meat (and many other things) for the 40 days before Easter only so we can eat all 40 days worth of meat and other food in one magnificent feast on Easter Day, which usually starts at 2 in the morning, after the Midnight Service, because … well, because we can’t wait to wholeheartedly throw our minds, bodies and souls into celebrating the most glorious event of the Christian year, and most other holidays—except maybe Thanksgiving or Veterans Day—are better with chocolate. And lots of it. It’s an American tradition.
Haven’t you ever wondered who buys those masses of leftover Easter candy in the weeks after American Easter? It’s probably me and my family and some other people. Believe me, nobody is stocking up on Memorial Day peeps.