I’ve become the Ebenezer Scrooge of Easter. Try as I may, I simply cannot wrap my mind around gifting baskets filled with sugar and trinkets that will end up in the trash or, worse, pierced into the bottom of my foot. My babies are as spoiled as first world kids come. So why, on a holiday that truly is not based on bunnies and baskets, do I have to shrink wrap my money away?
Because it’s tradition!
Ultimately, Easter baskets are fun. They make kids feel special. And when they’re used to encourage parenting values and traditions, I feel less scroogy about them.
If you’re feeling less than excited about the time honored Easter basket tradition, too, here are four ideas that might help you see them differently…
1. The Theme Easter Basket: My 4-year-old is wildly into art and animals, so I feel better about filling her basket with supplies and educational books that I know she’ll enjoy. Think of your child’s Easter basket as purposed learning (love of animals, literature, art, music, mastering small motor skills or imaginary play) and fill it with gifts you believe will provide opportunity for growth.
2. The Family (or Sibling) Basket: Why does the Easter bunny have to bring individual baskets? To reinforce family or sibling bonds, why not do family baskets instead? Family baskets can be filled with board games or videos, cookbooks, framed picture of the family and even small items for individual kids. By doing a family basket, the focus is on a united experience. And the practice can also be done with siblings. They learn to share their goodies or enjoy them together! Either way, positive family values are practiced.
3. The Donation Basket: To remind our kids that they are the fortunate ones, why not make and donate an Easter basket to a family in need? Fill with nonperishable food goods, gift cards and children’s book on the meaning of Easter. Include a pretty frame to be filled by the family and a handwritten note from your children.
4. The Gratitude Basket: You can find miniature baskets at most craft stores for a reasonable price. Add colorful filling and a gift card with enough for a fancy cup of coffee, then hand them out to your favorite librarian, postal worker or teacher. I feel better spoiling my babies with gifts when we’ve practiced a bit of generosity beforehand.
Photo Credit: Vanessa Bell