I Didn’t Get My Kids an Easter Basket, and I’m Not a Horrible Mother For It.

Three simple reasons:

First, we are not Christian in any capacity, so that gives me an easy out. However, I do realize that holidays are commercialized beyond the point of spiritual recognition for most Americans and that celebrating Easter means nothing more that Honey-glazed Ham and fat stacks of sugar filled eggs. In regards to tradition, my family gathers on Easter Sunday for food, beer and yard games. My children participated in festivities very successfully without a visit from the Easter bunny, and I don’t think they even noticed.
[SPOILER ALLERT: DON’T LET YOUR KIDS READ THE FOLLOWING]

Second, the Easter bunny is bullshit. Santa Clause makes sense. He has a well developed back story, we know where he lives and how he gets around. We even know his wife, his favorite snack and his employees. Even the Tooth Fairy seems somewhat legitimate. But the Easter bunny?! Where does he come from, where does he get all of his candy and why is he giving it to kids? We know virtually nothing about this imaginary rabbit. We don’t even know what he looks like. Is he a giant man-rabbit or an actual bunny? Either way, it’s creepy and I wouldn’t want him (or her?) in my house.  Thought I have successfully convinced my children they are part frog, I will never falsely confirm the existence of an Easter bunny. If I choose to give them a basket full of treats, it will come from me.

Third, kids get too much stuff. Between birthdays and all of the holidays that are randomly appropriate to give children piles of candy and stacks of gifts, I’m going broke. Kids don’t need that much. I firmly believe that if we are to expect our children to appreciate gifts, we need to give them sparingly. Furthermore, if we expect children to appreciate holidays for either their traditional meaning or for valued time spent in celebration with loved ones, we need not to center the day around gift giving. For Christmas, my children receive three gifts; one from me, one from Santa, and one to give to charity. It gives them humility and appreciation for where things come from. On Christmas morning, my kids are every bit as happy as kids who open dozens of gifts. I don’t need to give my kids Easter baskets because we do an egg hunt. A basket on top of that is over-kill.

My advice: consider what your children need (really need). Provide them with it. If you want to show your love or reward them or give them something to stimulate their growth, do it sparingly. Kids do surprisingly well with surprisingly little, and they cannot appreciate everything you give them if you give them everything.

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