Do you feel the pressure to do more and more as a parent?
A few years ago I was chatting with another mom right around Easter. She was feeling pretty stressed about making Easter baskets for her children and seemed downright discouraged by the whole task. I heard her frustration and shared that I didn’t even do Easter baskets for my children. She seemed surprised that basket-making wasn’t on my to-do list. Honestly, what I think I saw in her was the realization that perhaps as parents we have the freedom to not do what everyone else around us is doing.
I chose not to do Easter baskets then. I still choose not to do Easter baskets even when it seems like everyone around me is making that choice, including some of my favorite people in the online world. I love mommy blogs and YouTube channels, and right around this time of the year it seems like everyone is sharing what they are buying for their children’s baskets. The baskets are beautiful and fun, and I am sure children love to find them Easter morning.
Easter baskets are a sweet tradition for many families, but I feel confident in my choice to not make or buy baskets for my children. I make this choice because…
I want expressions of my love for them to be less gift-centered. There is a strong tendency for parents to give gifts to their children to show love. Gifts are certainly a special way to express how much you care for your children, but there are other ways that don’t involve “more stuff.” My children received gifts at Christmas (just a few months ago). They also came home with goodies at Valentine’s Day. I’m okay with not giving them something at Easter. They know I love them even if they don’t have a large basket waiting for them Easter morning.
My children don’t need a basket full of candy and small toys. It seems that every place we visit and each event we attend our children receive something. Go to the bank and your children can get a lollipop. Visit the doctor or dentist, and they receive a small toy for being brave. Buy a meal at a restaurant, and they get a little trinket. Attend a birthday party and at the end comes a bag of goodies. Do you see what I mean? Kids are constantly getting stuff. I try to avoid more stuff whenever I can. An Easter basket is really just a basket of “more,” so I am okay with avoiding that, too.
I want my children to focus on the story of Easter. In our Christian family, Easter, the day Jesus rose from the dead, is a very important day. It’s easy to take the focus off this event and quickly put it on a bunny and a colorful basket of goodies. For me, I want to avoid this distraction (much like I want to avoid Santa at Christmas). I want my children to be excited about this important and life-changing day instead of being excited about more candy and other treats.
I don’t want to run around like a crazy woman. The mom I mentioned at the start of this post was stressed. She was stressed because she still had more to do in order to complete the basket. She was stressed because she was on the hunt for the perfect item to put a smile on her child’s face. She was stressed because she had been running around like crazy and was going to have to do more of that to complete the basket. I don’t like running around like crazy, but it seems to be the trend at every holiday.
I don’t do Easter baskets. I don’t do the tooth fairy. We only buy our kids a few gifts at Christmas. They don’t have stockings. Many families do this, but we don’t.
I share all of this to let you know there is another way.
If you love making big, elaborate Easter baskets, keeping making them. If you find joy in buying your children lots of gifts at Christmas, then keep doing that. If you love big birthday parties please enjoy that which you love to do.
Please hear these words, though: If you don’t feel like that’s what you want to do or perhaps you have found other ways to show love and celebrate ordinary days or important holidays, then don’t be afraid to be a little different.
Don’t be afraid to be the mom who doesn’t make Easter baskets.