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

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

This post originally appeared on March 29, 2013.

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, and we welcome those gifts. 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 on Easter 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?

Faith and Composition

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7 thoughts on “Why We Won’t be Giving Our Kids an Easter Basket

  1. Kristin

    We haven’t really given our kids traditional Easter baskets either. They get a small gift from Mom and Dad (this year its a special train bridge for my son, and a new backpack for kindergarten in Sept for my daughter) and then we usually hide a few treats inside some eggs around the house, and that’s it. Leading up to Easter we continually read the story of the cross and what it meant at the time, and what it means to us now. I love the idea of hiding scripture in the eggs! and I’ll definitely be incorporating that into our egg hunt this year.

  2. Ashley

    I am so excited to do the resurrection eggs with our daughter this year! We won’t be doing a basket this year either, I was actually dreading doing it. My husband is currently deployed and will be during easter, and it was just one thing on the to do list that never seems to end, so I decided to focus on Christ 🙂

    I do however LOVE a good egg hunt and Walmart (which i usually HATE!) has bouncy balls & bubbles that fit inside normal sized easter eggs, so for our egg hunt on base, I filled eggs with those (and some left over for our friends and family hunt) instead of candy! I love the idea of scripture!

  3. katrinamadchen

    Amen! In the past few years I’ve been refusing to decorate my window this year with fluffy chicks, flowers, and eggs–it’s stupid and negates the true religious definition of Easter. I cannot even find one Christian themed window decoration in gift stores such as Hallmark. Children need to realize that Easter is about the Resurrection, not primarily candy. A few jelly beans and colored eggs are OK, but not as the centerpiece of Easter.

  4. Nyssa

    This has been on my heart, too, since I’ve had my first child (now three) and experienced our first Christmas and every holiday since! What a wonderful way you have of expressing everything we mom’s feel and can relate to! Great read once again 🙂

  5. onetuffmama

    We’re planning on going to an egg hunt in our community the week before. Then on Easter weekend we can focus on Jesus and the real meaning. It’s really hard not to get caught up in the whole easter basket thing. I put away my daughter’s (she’s 2) stuff from last year and plan to bring it out so she will have plastic eggs and a few toys to play with.

  6. Meredith Bernard

    I SO love this post. And I’m SO not doing an easter basket this year, either. I had already decided that. I struggle with all of the “stuff” that comes with every holiday these days. It is truly a source of dissension and grief in my house. I am glad to see another mother taking a stand against the “flow” in an effort to get back to what’s important. Remembering why we celebrate Easter and Christmas in the first place. Oh that my kids would actually know the meaning behind our celebration and learn to glorify God. Thank you for sharing!

  7. Carrie

    Decades ago when life wasn’t quite so “over the top”, the Easter Bunny came on Saturday morning and left a small amount of goodies and one small toy (usually a small Lego kit). Our children understood that our E. Bunny went to church on Sunday to celebrate Christ’s resurrection, which we’d been discussing in the weeks leading up to Easter. Our egg hunt was also small and held on Saturday as well. As a Grammie I send a card to each of my grands, but I allow their parents the option of doing the whole Easter basket thing.


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