Saturday, April 7, 2012

Simplifying our Easter celebrations

Going Green Mama wishes you a Happy Easter!

The countdown until Easter has been daily noted by my first-grader. Talks of the reality of the Easter Bunny have been rampant. (I suspect this is her testing me to see if I believe it's "real.") And the excitement of egg hunts at day care have carried the kids through the week.

But at home, we've really worked to simplify our Easter celebration. It's not a condemnation of the secularization of the holiday or of the bright pink Peeps, as much as we're keeping our celebrations scaled to size.

Novel idea, I know. But rather than torture ourselves with bags of chocolates that will only result with tummy troubles and overly hyper children, we've downsized our Easter giving in recent years.

Yes, we do plastic eggs, but they were mostly bought second-hand, and they are stored year to year. I balance that with the fact we don't dye hard-boiled eggs that no one will eat. Rather than scores of candy, we slip inside Annie's bunny-shaped crackers and jelly beans.

We've eschewed stuffed bunnies and chicks that would otherwise be ignored, instead finding fun, niche items that they might enjoy. Last year's baskets have become our "harvest baskets" for the garden; this year the Easter Bunny is bringing watering cans packed with a flower ring (for my daughter) and a gardening tool set (for my son.)

Sure, we still enjoy treats. They'll get a scaled-down chocolate bunny (they do sell those!), jelly beans and a few small chocolates. And it will be packaged with "character" toothpaste - for them, a treat.

At the end of the day, the kids won't remember how much candy or treats they did or didn't get; they'll just remember their excitement of Easter morning and a day with mom and dad.

How do you mark your Easter celebrations? Have you simplified them in recent years?


Laura said...

I love this! We just did the Easter baskets with the kids not 15 minutes ago, too. I bought tin buckets for the kids to use... they will last for years and they are a decent size, (although I did have to swap out Sylvi's books for something that would actually fit). I'm thinking I may actually stop the Easter basket and move it to the first day of Spring. Easter is so chaotic with church and family, it seems simpler this way. I didn't do plastic eggs or grass or anything too commercialized... I want to make it fun, but not plastic-y. We did books this year, but next year it may be gardening supplies. I love the watercan idea!

Betsy (Eco-Novice) said...

My local moms' group does an egg hunt we participate in. Candy and small junky toys, but the kids love it. We use the same eggs year after year. I used leftover Halloween candy and some small toys I probably got from a party favor (I confiscate lots of stuff like this from my kids and they don't seem to notice -- they are only 4 and 2). Basically recycled junk but it still holds a thrill for the kids. My sister-in-law always sends a package (this year -- full of plastic grass -- sigh), so, really, I don't feel the need to do anything except try to teach my kids that Easter is really about rebirth, hope and Jesus (not jelly beans).

My mom hated the commercialization of Christian holidays. We never had Easter baskets as kids. Every year there would be one giant basket (hidden) brought by the "Spring Bunny" - who never came within a week of Easter, lest we think he had something to do with it.

I love your gardening gift ideas -- so appropriate for spring. I'm not sure I'll ever buy my kids Easter gifts-- they already get so much from other sources.

robbie said...

Love the spring bunny idea! Though I think my kids are old enough that it may be too late to introduce that idea.


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