Sunday, April 8

Easter Thoughts

I'm not going to get into "what Easter means" today.  But I am going to talk about what Easter doesn't mean.
(Note: I am not telling anyone how to raise their children.  Merely expressing my opinion.)
When I was young, on Easter we received a small-to-mediumish basket which contained:
1 decent level (say, Hershey brand) hollow chocolate bunny.
An assortment of small chocolates, a small assortment of jelly beans or other non-chocolate candy.
Possibly 1 (small) stuffed animal or, in my brother's case, a couple of matchbox cars.
Perhaps a medium item like a Cadbury caramel egg.
That's it.  And though my parents provided a basket for us until about age 12 or so, somehow, every year it came as a surprise that we received one.

Still in our footie pajamas, we would have to search for the location of our basket (because for some reason the Easter bunny hid it?) and then we could have a few pieces of candy from it.  Later, we would go to my grandma's house for Easter dinner and family time.  It was a nice time.  We would read children's books telling the story of Christ's resurrection (which, when I was a kid, I didn't entirely understand...I didn't completely "get" how the day of Christ's crucifixion could be called "Good Friday."  It seemed counter-intuitive to my young mind.  {In fact, I remember quite vividly trying to reason this out during an Easter meal.  Okay, if He's perfect and stuff, why would anyone want to kill Him?  And who would be dumb enough to mess with God's son?  Because that's going to make God mad.  Didn't they know that?  People tell me to rejoice and be grateful 'cuz he died on the cross, but it seems really sad.  It doesn't really seem like something to celebrate.  Such were the thoughts of my brilliant nine-year-old mind trying to wrap itself around the events of Easter weekend.})
Of course, as an adult, I have a much more thorough understanding.
But as a child, my take away was that Easter was a time to celebrate, a time to be happy, a time to be glad that someone was looking out for us even if we didn't see Him, and a time to celebrate a fresh new year.  (For my mother, who hated winter with a passion, Spring was all about new life and the year didn't REALLY begin until the robins came and smell of fresh earth was in the air.)

The point is, when I was young, my family went to church almost never, but we still believed in God even when we didn't understand, and we believed in family and in love for one another and in courtesy, respect, compassion.  We believed in being grateful for the things that were Good.

At no point during this time did I unwrap a gift.  At no point were electronic devices, games, or clothes part of the equation.

Many years later, I make my living as a cashier and here's what I've observed in the past couple weeks:
The typical items for Easter baskets are: DVD's; CD's; clothes (jeans, tank tops, bikinis, flip-flops, hoodies, sunglasses); sports equipment (soccer balls, basketballs, cleats, baseball gloves & bats, knee pads, bike helmets); bikes; make-up; jewelry; video games and accessories . . .the list goes on.

I had a customer come through my line and ask my opinion of which stuffed Hop bunny I liked better because her son had asked for one on his Easter basket list.
Really? . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . Really?
Another customer, when I asked how his day was going, he commented that it was terrible and busy and he still had to go over to [a store] to get X, Y, and Z items because all his son put on his Easter list was sports equipment.
I had customers getting hundred dollar bills broken down into twenties or tens "for the kids' Easter cards."
I had teenage girls who were with their mothers, picking out three pairs of spring heels that they "can't have 'till the Easter bunny drops 'em off."

I am not anti-Easter-bunny.  I am down with hunting for eggs for some mysterious reason and I'm all about chocolate bunnies and delicious meals with family.
But Easter is not a Springtime version of the worst version of Christmas.  It is not giftapalooza. There should  NEVER, EVER, EVER be such a thing as an Easter basket list.  When expectation replaces gratitude, that's when God is like "fuck it, I think I'll destroy this batch and start fresh."
Can you blame Him?


  1. Couldn't have said it better myself! Our kids get a small basket with a chocolate bunny, an assortment of small candies (jelly beans, robin's eggs, etc...) and usually a couple very small, inexpensive items such as Easter decorated pencils, stickers, erasers, etc... and one stuffed bunny or other gift-type item. And sometimes I think even that is too much.

  2. Completely agree!!! I just said to Pete the other night that Easter has become too much like a second Christmas. I think the most I got in my Easter basket as a kid (other than candy and regular stuff) was a new swimsuit for kids? They haven't had Easter baskets 'til this year, and this year their "basket" was a new bucket and shovel for the beach, and inside was some dum-dum suckers (their faves), teeny bubbles container, a loofah (for bathing of course), and a small toy (foam football for T and a fairy doll for A---from the dollar store)...anyway, I thought Christmas was bad, but sheesh, some people just go WAY overboard these days with ANY reason to spoil the crap out of their kids. It's sorta sad, and I agree with your last statement, it cannot make God happy at all that this is now what Christmas AND Easter are all about.

  3. Thanks, guys! It's nice knowing other people feel the same way!


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