I have never been too big on the the Easter candy thing. Not for my kids at least. Of course before I had kids, it was a different story. I was all about the Easter candy…Robin’s eggs, Starburst jelly beans, Peeps…I loved when they hit the stores each season. But for my kids, I’d rather they do without. And I finally started to realize, even long before now (mostly out of calorie guilt) that I could probably do without it as well. Our kids have never even found much of a desire for candy, except for chocolate of course. And as much as I don’t care for them to have too much of it, somehow we always seem to get overloaded with candy every holiday between parades, parties, school, friends, and family. Therefore, immediately following each holiday, the candy gets stashed out of the children’s sight or reach. Quite frankly, once it is out of sight, it is out of mind for them. It is mom and dad that race to grab (or hide in my case) the chocolates before the other spouse gets to them all.
So if it’s not Peeps and jellybeans, what will Easter bring for our kids?
It starts the evening before Easter, the kids take a predetermined number of carrots/pieces of carrots (usually about 12) out to the front yard. They hide them in the flower beds and around the porch. Then Easter morning, they awake to find plastic eggs in every location that they hid the carrots. What’s in the eggs?
In our home, it’s Matchbox cars of course. It started when our son was about two. I bought some eggs with cars in them, he loved them. So that year, I saved the large plastic eggs. The following year I bought a couple five packs of Matchbox cars and refilled them. He still loves his Matchbox cars, he still collects them, he still actually plays with them. So, until that stops, he will continue to find cars on Easter morning. In the past, I filled the same eggs with Little People for our daughter, but now that she’s grown a bit and wants everything that her brother has…guess what?. This years, she’s getting Matchbox cars in her eggs too.
In our living room they will find baskets. They will contain a few edibles. I’ve always leaned towards the things I would buy anyway. Heck, I’ve even been known to take stuff right out of our pantry to fill them. Thankfully the kids have not caught on to my practicality in this regard just yet 😉 I’m talking portable snacks like crackers, fruit snacks and such. So this year we’ve traded in the goldfish for Annie’s bunnies, and traded the store brand fruit snacks for Annie’s organic fruit snacks. I am even throwing in some Annie’s bunny shaped Mac and Cheese just to keep the bunny theme going. I also give into one item of candy. This year it’s Unreal candy coated chocolates. They are similar to M&Ms but without the artificial stuff, no corn syrup, and no GMOs!
Then it gets even more practical. I love this one…reusable snack bags. We pack snacks everywhere we go. Now more than ever. I have never cared much for using plain plastic zip baggies. I’m too cheap for that. I shouldn’t admit this, but I have often caught myself spending too much time analyzing the cost of the bag vs the cost of what is put inside the bag. I believe that many times we pay more for the one time use bag than the value of what was placed in it. (Sorry, it’s the engineer in me coming out). I prefer a one time, upfront investment for something I can use indefinitely. Then add on the fact that disposable baggies are just plain boring. My kids love the personality of our reusable snack bags, it makes their snack special. I was so excited to run across these bags just recently from Lil’ Alice. They are handmade, in Michigan, in my neighboring town. I love supporting mom run small businesses, especially locally. My kids are going to LOVE them!
And still more practical yet…This year our kids will be getting PJs, T-shirts and a couple clearance games and trinkets I found awhile back and stashed away. In years past, they’ve gotten bubbles, puzzles, play doh, kites and chalk.
It may not sound too exciting, but basically it’s a lot of practical things to fill a basket. But guess what? Our kids love it. It’s not what was in the basket that they will remember. They will simply remember finding a basket each Easter morning. They will remember hunting for eggs in our front yard. They will remember the actions and traditions that we created and shared as a family. Easter will bring them love and quality time with family. I never want our Easter to become a day of high dollar wish lists, big ticket presents or a basket full of sugar. Easter has a meaning much bigger than baskets, let us never forget that.