Friday, March 20, 2009

Since When Did Easter Get So D*%&* Complicated???

So, I had to go to Target today to buy a baby shower gift and a few other odds and ends. While I was there, I passed the Easter aisle, and thought I would just go ahead and pick up the stuff I “needed” while I was there. I’m not planning on doing an Easter Basket for Henry, but I thought he might be old enough to get a kick out of dying some hard boiled eggs and hiding plastic eggs in the backyard.

On my list: a basket/bucket, a package of plastic eggs, some jelly beans or gummy bears (to put inside the eggs), and a dye kit.

Simple enough. Or so I thought.

But what I found was aisle after aisle of STUFF. “Eggs” shaped like soccer balls, Easter baskets with Spider Man (and a 9.99 price tag!), and elaborately wrapped candy. There were Easter basket stuffers that frankly, I thought would make great BIRTHDAY gifts! Toy cars, dolls, you name it. It was all there…and all at prices ranging from 4.99 to 14.99. EACH.

I had to actually *search* high and low for a basket cheaper than 5.99…and finally found a 0.99 plastic bucket. It’s kinda goofy looking, but it’ll hold his plastic eggs just fine…then to find some simple, cheap candy (that will only be in a few of the eggs…he’s a bit young for that much sugar)…and finally found a bag of jelly beans, but it was on the bottom rack and practically hidden. Then I was off to look for Easter egg dye. Transformers, Spider Man, glitter, tie-dye…for Pete’s Sake! All I want is those stupid little tablets that I dissolve in water and vinegar in my kitchen! I don’t need stickers and Disney characters and special little cups. JUST DYE PEOPLE! JUST DYE. I finally found a box for 1.49. Sheesh.

I left with my $5 worth of treasures and made my way to the cashier.

And I was sad. Sad that kids are being taught that not only should they expect a day of gifts on Easter (which, isn’t what its about anyway), but that they should expect EXTRAVAGANT gifts. Big things, toys, tractors, and all with licensed characters. There was even Easter grass that was printed with High School Musical images. Really? Why?

Whatever happened to getting one of those chocolate bunnies that you eat ears first, a Cadbury crème egg, and some jelly beans in the same basket you’ve had for the last 6 years???

Why does everything we do or buy for our children now have to be some kind of proof of how much we love them? I feel a sense of guilt in refusing to buy this junk…like I’m a total cheapskate for not loving my son enough to spend $50+ on a basket for him. But it’s not that. It’s that I love him enough that I don’t want him to grow up feeling entitled. Growing up feeling that it’s all about HIM. Believing that gifts are only gifts if they are big and expensive and elaborate. I want my children to appreciate silly little things like a hollow imitation chocolate bunny with a disgusting little sugar button for an eyeball. I’m not opposed to the more “secular” side of Easter (I do, after all, dress up for Halloween and we do have a Christmas tree)…but I just don’t understand why we continue to shower our kids with crap…instead of simplicity and love?

I won’t even get started on the point that all of this so GROSSLY overlooks the purpose of Easter…um, in case we all forgot, the Resurrection of CHRIST. But, I’ll leave that for another day and another post.

For now, I’m sickened and saddened by the consumer culture we continue to shove down our children’s’ throats. You would think that with the latest issues facing our economy, we would be learning from our mistakes and trying to save our children from a similar fate…but I guess after years of believing that the bigger the price tag, the more you love…it’s a hard habit to break.


Mike and Rachel said...

We use the same basket each year and I got them on clearance after Eater! Anyway, a healthy alternative to the craziness in putting dried fruit in the eggs. That's what we do with a lot of the eggs. This year may be more candy oriented, because my kids KNOW about candy now. But it was nice while it lasted.

Jeannett Gibson said...

Ohhh, that is brilliant! And he actually LIKES dried fruit! Oh, and Quaker makes these little bite sized granola "balls" that I think of it, those will be in the eggs too!

Leah said...

My youngest is now 7. I understand your frustration trying to find the "normal" Easter items. The Easter Bunny still hides eggs in the back and leaves their easter baskets but with only a small amount of candy. My oldest is 17 and I still make her a basket. I have installed in my girls that Easter is about Jesus not candy. It is sad the commercialism.

Brianna Heldt said...

Yeah I'm with ya. The same types of people who buy all this stuff are the very people who think we're nuts for having so many kids, or who love to say "raising kids is expensive." Well I'm here to say it doesn't have to cost as much as they think! :)

I found a set of four SMALL baskets at a second-hand store last week and I'm going to fill them with a small amount of candy and maybe a special, small toy (dollar section at Target!) It'll actually be the first time doing them with the kids, as my parents always had us over or came over and did really cool easter baskets for them.

I also hope to dye some eggs with the kiddies.

Jen said...

Oooohh this post really hits home with me. I absolutely agree with you! I used to enjoy browsing around in stores like Target, but honestly, a lot of the fun is gone b/c i feel sad at what our society is teaching kids these days. I also hate the fact that our little girls are looking up to celebs who are marketed towards children, but who are hardly role models...but that's another rant all together.

I happened to be at the dollar store the other day, and they actually had some decent Easter stuff. I got my daughter a 6 pack of egg shaped sidewalk chalk, in different pastel colors. Very cute for $1! I like to encourage non-food gifts as much as possible :)

Jen said...

PS - I grew up always getting the same Easter basket each year, as well. My parents told me that, "the Easter bunny likes to recycle since it's better for the earth when we don't waste things." Well, that explanation worked for me, ha ha! And that's what we tell our children now too. But usually they are way too busy looking at what's INside the basket to care :)

Serenity Now said...

AMEN SISTER!!!! how funny that you mentioned this as hubs and I just had a big discussion on this very subject. It seems that we have this whole generation of kids that are growing up feeling entitled to everything. Entitled to the expensive stuff at Christmas and Birthdays - entitled to a new car when they turn 16 - entitled to extravagance and gifts for ANY occasion. I honestly think children with parents like you grow up to be more appreciative for what they have. Some of my favorite memories as a kid were when we didn't have alot of money and my parents would get creative and MAKE stuff as gifts. I don't have any of the plastic toys and crap that I was given...but the homemade items that they put thought into were all saved and cherished. It's the simple things that count, you know?
(and GREAT idea with the dried fruit and granola balls)

Mama Mote said...

I'm trying to picture you bending down to get the stuff on the LOWER shelf. :-)

Karrie Fabricio said...

You do not need to but Easter colors. I make my own with food coloring, hot water and white vinegar. For an added marbling effect I had a little cooking oil and the Easter eggs come out like pictures. Also, my kids(9 and 16) have had the same Easter basket since birth and I always put non-food items in along with the candy.
Of course, it helps having them go to private Catholic school, because they know that this is about Jesus first and foremost.

Diana Fabricio said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Diana Fabricio said...

ya we didn't have all that remember when we lived in Artesia on Corby we got some cheap little basket a few candies and looked for a few eggs with grandpa and grandma! that's it... lol in are matching red and black pj's! hehe...ya Easter is out of control i went to walmart and i was like are you serious! but its not just Easter its every holiday there's no more true meaning!

cade said...

amen, sista! why is it so hard to find the paas easter egg dye? i'm with you and just want the plain old tablets. and i hate the themed plastic easter egg. does everything have to be plastered with a cartoon character?

Brianna Heldt said...

Yes, I'm leaving ANOTHER comment.

Because I was in Target today.

And I could NOT believe it.

You weren't lying. Took me 5 whole minutes just to find a basic easter egg dying kit. And longer than that to select some basic candy. AISLE AFTER AISLE of candy, toys, empty easter baskets that cost $10....OH MY GOODNESS.

(I did treat myself to a few of the candies on the drive home however. I decided I earned it!)

Joanie said...

So true, so true.

Janelle said...

I agree with your post! My oldest (Andy's age) is still using the same old basket, and wouldn't want any other one. One thing no one has mentioned, you need to carefully watch the ingredients and country of origin on the special "holiday" candies. You will find many of them are from China and have ingredients you do NOT want your little ones eating. Give them good old cane sugar and chocolate, leave the chemicals out!

Mama Mote said...

Just looking through some of your old blogs and saw this Easter one from last year. I just had to laugh at the eating the ears off the chocolate bunnies. Love those things.