Emily Wyckoff

When did Easter become the new Christmas?

Note: I wrote this blog last Easter but it started an interesting conversation so I thought I would post it again, so here it is……..

I admit it, I have found myself falling into the trap of overdoing it at Easter. Let me backtrack by beginning with saying how I have always loved Easter. An admitted chocoholic, it has long been my favorite holiday as chocolate is the main event and better yet, you are sanctioned to eat it at 7 am – what could be better? Even as a young adult in my twenties, pre-children, my husband suffered through coloring Easter eggs with me and having a private Easter egg hunt, complete with baskets. Also, you need to know I come from a long line of Easter overdoers, as I can remember Easters with my grandmother where there would be nearly as many gifts wrapped and hidden as on Christmas morning. I may even recall a bike being hidden in the bushes one Easter, if my memory serves me correctly.

I started slowly with Easter once our kids arrived on the scene – we would color hard boiled eggs a few days before and hide them, and throw maybe a few jellybeans and a couple Hershey kisses in a small basket and call it a day. As our brood grew and our kids got older, I found myself packing the baskets to overflowing, getting each child a separate “big present” that would be hidden on the lawn – Polly Pockets, Little Pet Shop kits, Lego’s and the like. I find myself creeping toward bikes in the bushes. It has to stop. And stop it will this year.

I know I am not alone. The newspaper circulars for major stores indeed promote Easter as a huge gift-giving occasion. Since when did Barbies, princess costumes, and Nerf toys become typical Easter gifts? Isn’t Easter about spending time together as a family? I won’t even get into the fact that most children don’t even know the religious relevance of Easter and instead see the Easter bunny as the originator of the holiday (sadly, probably including my children – good dinner conversation for tonight).  

This Easter, I resolve to keep my Easter to a minimum, and focus on spending the day with  my family, choosing a fun activity we can do together – take a walk, go for a bike ride, even play a board game. I resolve to stick to coloring eggs and one modest basket per child. I will not break down. Wish me luck!

How does your family celebrate Easter?


53 Responses to “When did Easter become the new Christmas?”

  1. Callie (mom of 4) says:

    Hi,
    Let me start by saying I’m Catholic, which explains alot about my family’s Easter. We color eggs the day before Easter. After all the kids are in bed I set up their Easter baskets so they will be ready when the kids wake up. Their basket always has a bunch of candy, a chocolate bunny, a stuffed bunny, and a small toy like jumping jacks or bubbles. They have a little bit of candy before going to mass. Someone goes to the house ahead of us after church to hide the eggs. Once we get home the kids start hunting Easter eggs while I start making Easter dinner. Dinner usually includes ham, deviled eggs, loaded twice baked potatoes, green bean casserole, salad, rolls, and 2 or 3 desserts. After dinner we usually go to the park. We live in the South so sometimes it’s warm enough already to go out to the river and go swimming. Yes, Easter is definitely overdone in my home, but the main focus always stays on the meaning of Easter and time together as a family.

  2. Cindy says:

    We observe Lent as a six-week preparation for Easter. Now we try to make Lent a time for “doing for others” rather than “giving up”. It saddens me to read about so many families drifting away from the true meaning of Easter. Easter is the most important day of the Christian faith. There are neat little things you can do to help teach your kids the meaning of Easter. The Jelly Bean prayer is the first thing to come to mind. That can be found online. Also, I know of a recipe for a meringue-type cookie that teaches the story of Christ’s Passion and Resurrection. We still have the baskets, eggs and candy. They are dependent upon the true meaning of Easter. Easter is not dependent upon these things.

  3. Linda says:

    Hi, Like all holidays its what you make it for your family .Traditions are so very important these days with all our busy schedules they slowly disappearing and as a result shopping at the local discount store has taken its place .Growing up in Brooklyn NY in an Italian and Irish family we always got dressed up for Mass then went to visit our grandparents and all the cousins,traditions well family was the tradition and everything else like coloring eggs ,baking was all part of it .

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