Why We Won’t be Giving Our Kids an Easter Basket

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I originally began this post as a compilation of ideas for candy-alternative Easter baskets. We really try to avoid consuming too much sugar (especially the processed kind), so I had assembled a list of basket-filling options that included things like bubbles, flower seeds, gardening tools, JellyCat stuffed bunnies, stickers and more. I even ran into a few stores yesterday seeking some ideas. But as I began to think a little bit more about the trinkets with which I could fill my kiddos’ baskets, I balked. Not because they weren’t suitable ideas, but because I suddenly realized that my kids don’t need an Easter basket filled with stuff.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure and before you start thinking that I’ve deprived my little ones of some magical childhood experience that surrounds this particular holiday, let me just say that there is an Easter basket en route to each of them from my parents. And I’m pretty sure my husband’s parents have procured an assortment of Easter-related items for each kid. I have no doubt that those items will be met with much excitement. However, I’ve decided that my husband and I will not be giving our kids a filled-to-the-brim basket this year, and here’s why:

Easter celebrates the most important event in human history. It’s about the cross and the nail-scarred hands, the empty tomb and the words, “He is not here, He has risen.” I don’t want the commercialization of the holiday to overshadow its eternal significance.

With that being said, however, I know the focus can remain on Christ even in the midst of candy-filled eggs and stuffed bunnies. I’d like to think we’ve done it in the past, and I’m sure some of you manage it in quite admirable ways. But the second reason we’re not giving our kids an Easter basket this year is because my kids already have so much stuff. I don’t want a holiday to be the catalyst for bringing more unnecessary things into our lives and into our home … things that will be played with for a few minutes and then discarded later only to end up being shuffled from toy bin to toy bin before eventually landing in the garage sale pile.

We live in an overly commercialized society that heralds the accumulation of things. But with this accumulation comes the need to manage and maintain it all. And frankly, I’m tired of managing it all. I want to spend my time loving my children, enjoying companionship with my husband and sharing adventures with them all. I want to be attached to people, not things. And I want the same for my children. So while my decision to not give my kids an Easter basket this year may seem silly to some, I think it’s a small step in the right direction.

So this Sunday, we’ll head off to church to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior. And when we return home, we’ll feast in the dining room with cloth napkins and talk through the message of the cross and the empty tomb once again with our little ones. Then we’ll head outside and do a small egg hunt, where the kids will find hard-boiled eggs that we dyed using natural dyes and plastic eggs filled with coins for their banks or small notes tucked inside. We’ll focus on Christ, His sacrifice for us, and on one another. And after the kids go to bed and my husband and I are starting to wind down, I’ll be thankful that I won’t have to find a place to store all those stuffed bunnies and Easter-themed trinkets.

Now it’s your turn. How do you keep the focus on the message at Easter? And how do you manage the accumulation of things that seem to accompany each American holiday?

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