Way back in the 1970s, when I was a little girl and hippies wandered the earth, the Easter Bunny brought candy every spring.

Sometimes my basket was filled with Hershey’s kisses, marshmallow bunnies and those disgusting little Peeps. Other times, I found jellybeans and Reese’s cups.

But I could always count on there being one big chocolate rabbit right in the middle. He was my favorite, and over the next week, he would slowly disappear, feet first.

The hollow bunnies were the prettiest, but the solid milk chocolate ones lasted the longest. I can just taste one of those ears melting in my mouth now…

In the decades that have passed since Jimmy Carter left the White House and I became a mother myself, the Easter Bunny changed the rules of the game. Now, he brings toys.

Jimmy and Tommy were happy to get a few surprise toys tucked in with their Cadbury eggs, but Ronnie has elevated the Easter Bunny’s generosity to a whole new level.

This year, my youngest son has come up with his own Easter list, and it’s a doozie. No one encouraged him to ask for gifts from the Easter Bunny, but we didn’t tell him to stop, either.

So now he has filled up almost an entire sheet of notebook paper with specific items, such as a Flip video camera and an Air Hogs Hover Craft, as well as more general items, like a Target gift card.

Ronnie didn’t forget to include candy on his list. He wants a Pokemon PEZ dispenser stocked with lemon, strawberry, orange, cherry and grape PEZ. Actually, he wrote "pink" instead of "strawberry," but I’m pretty sure that’s what he meant.

He also wants a white pet mouse.

Obviously, I’m going to have to do some explaining before Peter Cottontail comes hopping down the bunny trail. Or, I could just put things off until Christmas.

At some point, Jimmy or Tommy must have pointed out how ridiculously long the list was getting, because Ronnie recently designated which requests were for Easter and which could wait until Christmas.

He did so by placing a "C" or an "E" after every item on the list. A few things, such as the Target gift card, have "C/E" after them.

I’m afraid to ask whether than means "either" or "both."

My biggest surprise back in 1973 was whether the Easter Bunny had brought a hollow or solid chocolate rabbit. How did Easter become so complicated?

I’ve decided to blame myself and all the dentists out there. It is the dentists’ fault for convincing everyone that candy will rot your teeth out, and it’s my fault for listening to them.

I’ve turned a holiday that should involve massive amounts of sugar into something that has gotten way out of control.

Back in the 1970s, we could have solved this problem with an after-school special, or maybe a folk song.

Instead, I offer you this column as a warning — to borrow that catch-phrase from the 1980s, I hope you "just said no" to Easter toys.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 18 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at or visit her Web site at

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