Sunday, March 25, 2012

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In a cost-savings measure, the Easter Bunny eliminated shipping to Boston this year. Instead, the Easter Bunny utilized long-range planning techniques to deliver Akemi’s basket to her a couple of weeks in advance of Easter so she could receive it while she was home for spring break.

The Easter Bunny has had to operate with certain Easter basket requirements for this household over the years. The Easter Bunny was aware that having a dentist dad meant passing out toothpaste samples on Halloween, so the Easter Bunny has had to be extra creative to fill baskets in which candy is a minimal component. No Peeps because they stick to your teeth, but a few jelly beans were okay. Special dispensation was granted for a small, solid chocolate Easter egg and a foil-wrapped chocolate bunny from See’s.

The main basket item was usually a book. Akemi says that Sharon Creech’s The Wanderer about a young sailor girl remains her absolute favorite from among the Easter basket books. Some years there were even two books, the second one, for example, being a music reference book or some “must-have” for the home library. As Akemi got older, the other items evolved from hair bows to body lotion to lip gloss. Easter Bunny remembers adding to Akemi’s “Beanie baby” collection.

Akemi thought perhaps the Easter Bunny dropped college students from the basket list, so she was happily surprised when a basket did arrive at her dorm mail center in her freshman year. The Easter Bunny even sprang for shipping her sophomore year, too.

This year, there was a box of See’s Easter mini-eggs, a chocolate leprechaun for a belated St. Patrick's Day, and a few more practical things. Thanks to well-placed sources, Easter Bunny was aware that Akemi’s apartment lacked a small dish for tea bags and one of those big clips to seal up snack bags. So Easter Bunny gave her the shoyu dish from Kamei Sushi, a momento from a Vancouver Japanese restaurant. Easter Bunny also was the recipient of some items from a recent USC conference gift bag, so Akemi was the beneficiary of a Keck Medical Center of USC snack bag clip, USC gold costume earrings, and lip liner from a conference sponsor. Really, this Easter Bunny is the last of the big-time spenders. Oh, and a $10 Starbucks gift card, for those hot chocolate and oatmeal breakfasts at airports.

Easter Bunny’s pièce de résistance, though, was a set of Star Wars cupcake stencils. What is this, you wonder? They are pieces of curved plastic that are shaped to rest on the tops of frosted cupcakes, through which one dusts cocoa powder or powdered sugar to stencil the designs of a stormtrooper, Yoda, Darth Vader, and the Star Wars logo. You can gauge how big a Star Wars fan Akemi is when you hear that these stencils will go with her complete set of Star Wars cookie cutters.

So for at least this year, it appears that for the recipient, when it comes to the timing of Easter basket delivery, early is better than late, or never. It might have started out as a cost-savings measure, but the Easter Bunny found out that with home delivery, the Easter Bunny got to collect a hug from Akemi.

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