It seriously astounds me every time I go shopping in the spring, after the Valentine's Day hype has concluded. I think I must be dreaming when I see 153 different Easter basket (or box or bag or suitcase) designs piled floor to ceiling in the most prominent aisle possible. The accompanying shelves lined with pastel-packaged toys, games, and trinkets are a sad and gaudy interpretation of a holiday that has absolutely nothing to do with bunnies, bonnets, and somewhat vinegar-scented dyed eggs.
And then there's the candy. I can't even talk about all the candy.
I get it. It's fun to give gifts to kids. Birthdays and Christmas don't come around often enough to give your kids the latest toy release that you know they will love. But Easter? It should NOT be an occasion steeped in commercialism and the greed of consumers. Why have we turned this day into a celebration of things?
Easter is about celebrating a risen Savior.
It's a day of remembrance.
What kid is going to be excited about listening to a story about someone who died on a cross if he is greeted at every turn with another chance to hunt for Easter eggs filled with candy? As an adult, I know which one is more important. But my three-year-old son is far more likely to develop expectations about Easter that lead him to care very little about Christ's compassion for the lost.
Some people may say I am overreacting. Perhaps I am, I don't know. I'm fairly new at this mom thing in the grand scheme. But my gut feeling is that Easter baskets mean nothing in the long run, while a relationship with the Savior means everything. Maybe I'll be the unpopular mom my whole life because I just don't find it necessary, helpful, or realistic to indulge my kids with piles of candy and toys on the anniversary of Jesus' death and resurrection each spring. I can invent another reason to give my kids toys in the spring, if I decide it's necessary. But I won't do it on Easter.
I would rather that my children grow up knowing the true significance of the day. And if that means they reach adulthood without a single photo posed on the lap of a giant, somewhat frightening bunny? I truly think they'll survive.