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Blake: Tie-dyed eggs? That's just not Easter.

On Sunday, children will be on the hunt. Their prey? Candy and plastic eggs.

Gooey and sugary and sweet and delicious and teeth-rotting candy. Plastic eggs in every shade of the rainbow, from red to orange to blue to the classic color that screams Easter – yellow.

Nothing screams Easter more than, well, screaming yellow, does it? And speaking of yellow, nothing tastes more like those Easter memories than a yellow jelly bean that you inevitably find in one of those plastic eggs.

Go ahead. Close your eyes, pop one of those little pieces of candy into your mouth and watch the childhood memories begin to come flooding back faster than the Easter Bunny can do the actual Bunny Hop.

I’ve always loved Easter. Aside from the plastic grass that you end up finding under the couch cushions on the Fourth of July, the spring holiday has long been my favorite. Due, in large part, to its simplicity.

Year in and year out, not much changes in the way of Easter traditions. Unlike Thanksgiving, where you never know if the turkey and stuffing is going to come out just right or if the mashed potatoes will be too mashed, too lumpy or too buttery, Easter is one of those holidays you can count on.

Children run around giggling and grabbing all the lovely loot they can get their little hands on. And, of course, they have a little pastel-colored basket in tow.

The scenario is always the same. In fact, I’d bet my entire candy-filled basket on it. That is, if I had said basket.

But on a recent shopping trip, I discovered that the Easter days of yore, of simplicity and charm and giggling fun outside in the marvelous sunshine of spring, could very well be over. I’m not sure who is behind this crime – maybe the anti-Easter Bunny? Is there such a thing? – but from what I saw at the store, things are definitely changing.

As I walked up and down the aisles, I saw the usual staples: white plush bunnies, chocolate bunnies, sugary sweet Peeps.

And of course my favorite: The speckled egg-shaped malted milk balls. I bought a pack, and as my sister and I were eating them the next day, we kept saying, “Oh wow. These are so addictive.”

But I digress. Sorry, malted milk balls tend to have that effect on me.

Where was I? Oh right. So there I was, giant bag of malted milk balls in hand, when I spotted the plastic egg display. It was a horrifying sight, really. Next to the traditional colors were packs of eggs designed in psychedelic colors.

I blinked my eyes. I had to. No. Really? Tie-dyed plastic eggs? That’s not Easter. It can’t be.

But apparently it was. And there was nothing I could do about it. But I do hope the children get more solid-color plastic eggs than tie-dyed ones this year. That’s the way it should be. They deserve to have those Easter memories that I have too.

The only plus-size – oops, I mean plus side – is that I have those decadently delicious malted milk balls. At least some things never change.

• Melissa Blake, a lifelong resident of DeKalb, is a freelance journalist and writer. She is the adviser to the Kishwaukee College newspaper, The Kaleidoscope. She can be contacted at

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