I've always loved any and all holidays (even more since I became a mom, even though they're now 10 times the work), but Easter has never been at the top of my list. It's probably because my family's not that religious and I never bothered teaching my kids that the Easter Bunny was a real thing. The extent of our family's celebration typically involves an egg hunt at a local farm followed by a brunch with the grandparents, who always present my kids with more bunny- and egg-shaped candy than any 4- or 6-year-old should consume in a year.
I'll admit to getting annoyed by the grandparent Easter excess — I mean, how many pairs of plush bunny ears does a kid really need?! But it does make me feel less guilty about the fact that the only baskets I give my kids on Easter are the empty ones I saved from last year, which they load up with that farm's plastic eggs.
My aversion to passing out Easter gifts is only partly because of my apathy about the holiday in general. It's also largely due to the fact that, by the time Easter rolls around, I feel like my kids have been swimming in a pool of presents for the previous three months.
Don't call my empty Easter baskets lazy or sad or mean. Call them a rebellion. A mom can only give so much.
First, there's Christmas, which, despite my efforts to limit, always seems out of control. Then, less than a month later, we celebrate my son's birthday, which somehow always seems to include gifts for my daughter, too, not to mention a plethora of gift-bag junk that I'll continue to find in my house for months. A few weeks later, Valentine's Day rolls around, and guess what? My kids get gifts from both sets of grandparents along with bags of candy and tiny toys from their classmates, yet they still expect me to cough up some sweet goods to celebrate my love for them. Of course, I oblige.
Less than six weeks after that, usually well before Easter, is my daughter's birthday, and that lady doesn't play around, starting her extensive wish list and elaborate party plans months in advance. By the time Easter does roll around, the thought of buying my kids more gifts to fill an Easter basket doesn't just feel exhausting; it feels downright gross. (Also gross: the number of Cadbury Mini Eggs I will consume if they're present in my house.)
At what point did we all decide that every holiday needed to be celebrated by presenting our children with not just a single gift, but a basket of them? I get that grandparents can't help themselves, but really, should I feel pressure to follow suit, making sure I have something for them to unwrap at Halloween, Thanksgiving, Valentine's Day, and Easter?! Isn't it enough to just be together as family, or tell them how much I love them, or, I don't know, buy them cool costumes and take them door to door to collect free candy?
I might not be able to radically change the gift-giving culture that seems so pervasive in our world and so expected by my children and pretty much every other child I know, but I'm also not going to totally buy into it. So don't call my empty Easter baskets lazy or sad or mean. Call them a rebellion. A mom can only give so much.