Is It Easter Already? Do I HAVE to buy my kids a truck load of chocolate?

off-the-mark-comic-painting-the-wall-eggshell

Actually, Easter is over a month away, but the store shelves are full of baskets adorned with ribbon accompanied by spider webbed strands of hot glue, buckets painted with SpongeBob and Tinker Bell, plastic eggs pre-filled with a cocktail of chemicals that’s been labeled as candy, and cheaply made stuffed animals that are already falling apart at the seams.

Gosh – my rant on consumerism wasn’t too harsh, was it?

Truth be told, I enjoy making Easter baskets for my girls.  Opening my own baskets as a kid is something I fondly remember.  The translucent yet colorful plastic wrapping, the shiny pieces of grass that you were still finding months later, and, you know, lots of candy.

But my kids have so much stuff.  There’s stuff everywhere.  Stuff in every drawer, on every shelf, in boxes under the beds, and packed into dresser drawers.

We don’t need more stuff in our house.  Or more candy.

But I really, really, really want to make Easter baskets for my kids.  And have an Easter egg hunt.

Gotta find that balance.

And I was close last year.  For example, instead of filling dozens of plastic eggs with tiny toys and piles of candy, we filled them with coins.  This made them a bit musical, so my then-one-year-old had a blast shaking them, and they were then able to fill their piggy banks with the coins, which is exciting for kids.

That’s one problem solved.

Next would be the baskets.  Last year I got a little overexcited and filled their baskets with a bunch of small toys and books.  This wouldn’t have been so bad, except that a few other close family members also filled baskets to the brim with toys and snacks – and the baskets just so happened to be as big as my kids were.

And I get that the love language of gift giving runs in my family, but it was a wee bit too much.  More than a wee.  A wollap, really.

So this year, my suggestion for my close family is that we all go in together on one basket.  They each get a chocolate bunny, a book, and a toy or two – but TWO, not two dozen.

For example, a couple of my favorite things from last year’s basket include the touch-and-feel board book Thumper’s Fluffy Tail, which we still read pretty regularly, and some outdoor toys, like this magnifying glass and flying disc:

My kids still play with both of those Melissa & Doug toys, and I like them because the toys get them outside to play and explore.

So, even though I don’t yet know exactly what they’ll be getting this year, I know I’d like it to be along those lines.

Also, in my search for the perfect Easter gift over the next month, I would love to gather some inspiration from your suggestions!

What are your kids going to get for Easter?  Or do you not give presents at all?  Maybe you have a different family tradition?  I’d love to hear about it!

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