When I was a kid, the Easter Bunny brought a chocolate bunny, jelly beans, Peeps, and a white chocolate cross. It was magical. I ate half of the jelly beans before church and I was happy. Now it feels like there is an Easter egg hunt each weekend leading up to the holiday, some days with two. They leave me completely unmotivated to shop for, fill, and hide eggs in my own yard. And is it me, or are the baskets overflowing? For the past few Easter Facebook has shown me pictures of iPads, soccer goals, and jewelry. I’m left to wonder, when did Easter turn into Christmas?
I remember when my daughters were younger, they were extremely fortunate to have aunts, uncles, and grandparents putting together Easter baskets full of gifts and goodies. You’d think I’d be elated, right? I was certainly appreciative and felt joy to see the delight on my girls’ faces, but there was a part of me that was down. The Easter Bunny, the holder of all magic on this holiday, could never compete.
For awhile I tried to keep up, which used to be easy to do. Sidewalk chalk and board books can take up quite a bit of room. But as they got a bit older, the expectations have gotten pretty high and there was just no way to avoid disappointment. Suddenly I felt like I was in competition with myself. I didn’t want to have start saving a few months in advance to afford a nice Easter, but it felt like that was becoming the norm. Then somewhere along the way, I just decided not to care.
Children don’t always fully understand the meaning behind a holiday, but how will they ever begin to comprehend if it’s overshadowed with more “stuff”? I don’t attempt to control what others give; instead I focus on family traditions. For some that means religious services, for others it’s a special breakfast and dying eggs. It doesn’t really matter as long as the focus is on a special time for you and your child. In ten years she’ll remember the chocolate chip pancakes you always made more than the iTunes gift card.
Thinking back to my own Easters as a child, even if that basket had been filled with presents galore, I would still remember eating half of my jelly beans before church and had been happy.
Photo credit: Flickr
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