My son was 6 months old on his first Easter. When I expressed my desire to create a basket for him that was not filled with sugar and chocolate many people thought I was crazy. I heard comments like: “It’s Easter, you have to put candy in his basket!” The boy was 6 months old, he did not need a basket full of candy; he couldn’t even eat candy (I found myself saying the same thing on his first few Halloweens)!
Everyone has their own traditions and boy, do they like to share their opinions if your ideas vary greatly from theirs (much like me in this post)! When I was growing up my mom did not like us to have a lot of sugar. She was not a health nut by any means, but she was afraid that my sisters and I would become diabetics if we had too much sugar. She would fill our baskets with fruit, snack-sized bags of chips, peanut butter-filled crackers, little coloring books, etc. We would also have jelly beans in the bottom of the basket and a family member would bring us each a chocolate bunny.
I loved Easter and have fond memories of the smells of fresh fruit mingling with the scent of Easter grass and jelly beans. The smell of oranges and bananas can still spark a memory of Easter morning. However, fresh fruit is not a novelty to my son like is was to four daughters of a single mom (fresh fruit can be expensive in mass quantities). So, I needed ideas that were different from my memories. I also have issues with buying little useless toys that are cheap but more of a choking hazard (and a break your ankle on it hazard) then entertainment for anyone. So, at 6 months old, the little guy’s first Easter basket was not a basket at all but a big stuffed bunny holding a book (or 2) and a DVD. The following year was probably something similar, I can’t really remember.
Last year was exciting, because he was 2 and a half and he could understand more what was happening. We dyed eggs for the first time, went on many egg hunts with friends, and his basket was over-flowing with coolness! Every year he gets a stuffed animal of some kind and a movie, last year he also got gardening tools, seeds, plant kits, a game, and some bubbles. The movie that he got was one that we had borrowed from the library several times, but is was all scratched up so we were never able to see the whole thing. His face lit up at the sight of it! I love that he can get so excited without having to be loaded-up with sugar and me being loaded with guilt for supplying it! That’s not to say he doesn’t have candy and other treats – he does. I just like to limit him from ingesting mass quantities all at once. I did give him a few jelly beans last year (not in his basket, just one day) and he was insane, almost literally bouncing off the walls! So we will still be avoiding the jelly beans. This year the bunny will be bringing craft supplies!
So, I am curious, what are your Easter traditions? What do you put in your child’s or your own basket that says “Easter” to you? Do you do candy or toys or something else all together?