We have never bought our kids Easter baskets for Easter. Never.
Now maybe this is the part where you expect me to excoriate Christians for falling prey to the Easter-season commercialism. Or maybe you thought I was going to point out the fact that so many of our Easter symbols, like eggs and bunnies and baby chicks, have pagan roots and so they should have no place in our Easter celebration.
But, no, I'm not going to say any of that stuff. Our reasons for shunning Easter baskets are actually far less complicated than that.
Now I do hate the way Easter is commercialized. But, then again, it's hard to find a holiday more commercialized than Christmas and yet I unabashedly decorate and shop and gift-give with the best of them every December, though I'm careful to keep in mind, and teach my children, of course, what Christmas is all about.
And as for the pagan roots thing...Sure, some of the symbols we connect with Easter are rooted in paganism, but the same is true of many of our common practices and customs, even in this country. In most cases, the pagan origins have been long forgotten, so trying to consistently tow a hard-line on that issue can become really tricky really fast.
Personally, our reasons for refusing Easter baskets are really far more boring and practical than they are controversial. I grew up with the tradition of waking every Easter morning to a pastel-colored basket of plastic eggs filled with candy and chocolate bunnies and packages of icky jelly beans, all resting on a bed of shredded plastic "grass". (That was sometimes pink. Because pink grass is such a common sight in Kentucky in the springtime, right?)
But then when my own kids got old enough for an Easter surprise of some sort I would go to the stores and look at all those ready-made Easter baskets lining the shelves and I would choke!
For one, they are ridiculously expensive. Even the boring, mostly empty, more-bright-packaging-than-anything-else baskets are $15-$20! Baskets of real substance start at $30 and go up from there. Per kid, you can run into some crazy money very, very quickly! Even putting together a basket, while somewhat more economical, can still be very expensive.
Not to mention the fact that Easter baskets are mostly just candy.
Now I am not one of those anti-sugar moms who confiscates all candy like it was a grenade in the hand of my children. I don't mind my kids having candy on occasion, but a lot of it is both unhealthy and unnecessary. If candy was something my children never got, maybe buying them some of it for Easter would make more sense, but it seems they're always getting candy from somewhere or somebody. And once they eat it, it's gone! If I'm going to spend money on a treat for my children, I would rather it be something that will last longer than the time it takes them to eat it!
So what do we do in our house for our kids for Easter? Anything?
Well, of course! Easter and the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the single most important holiday we can celebrate as Christians. Even more so than Christmas? Absolutely! While we celebrate his incarnation at Christmas, His coming and even His dying would have meant nothing had He not risen from the dead. As Paul the Apostle put it, "...if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain," (1 Corinthians 15:17,) so of course we do something special for Easter!
But in lieu of Easter baskets, we give our children Easter gifts.
It's the same thing, I suppose: a special treat to commemorate Easter, just in a different form. And, no, we don't give as many gifts as we do at Christmastime, but my children usually receive at least one gift, wrapped in bright spring paper and set next to their bed during the night so that they'll see it first thing when they wake up on Easter morning. They all go to bed excited, knowing they'll find a special surprise when they open their eyes. My teen included!
And we don't spend a lot of money. In Easters past we've tried very hard to make the gift meaningful: Just something special to remind them that it's a very special day. Others might even prefer to put the gift in a basket, or to fill a basket with odds and ends--small gifts their children might enjoy. We would just rather invest the money we might spend on an Easter basket of candy on a more lasting gift.
I realize gifts don't make the holiday. I do want my children to know, however, that Easter Sunday is a very special day. It's the day our Savior overcame death, hell, and the grave that we might be saved, and it's an event to be celebrated.
How do you commemorate Easter at your house? I'd love to hear how your make Resurrection Day a special event in your family...
If you enjoyed what you read here, follow me via email, Google Friend Connect, Facebook, or Twitter.
You'll find this post linked up with some of these wonderful blogs:
Making Your Home Sing Monday, Mama Moments Monday, The Modest Mom Link Up, Inspiration Monday, The Art of Homemaking, Monday Musings, Inspire Me Monday, Living Proverbs 31, Mom 2 Mom Link Up, Titus 2sdays, Growing Homemakers, Titus 2 Tuesday, Hip Homeschool Hop, Tutorial Tuesday, Inspire Me Tuesday, Anything Goes Link Up, Homemaking Link-Up, Wise Woman Linkup, The Mommy Club, Thriving Thursday, Thought-Provoking Thursday, Thursday Favorite Things, Hearts for Home, Think Tank Thursday, All Things Thursday Blog Hop, Proverbs 31 Thursdays, The Homemaking Party, Create-It Thursday, Faith-Filled Friday, Family Fun Friday, Weekly Wrap-Up, Show and Tell Friday, Friendship Friday, No Rules Weekend Blog Party, Inspiration Spotlight, Pretty Pintastic,