When I was a kid.....or as my kid's would phrase it, "when dinosaurs roamed the Earth", Easter was a simpler affair. Ok, not the religious part of it(if you are religious), but the 'Easter Bunny' part of it.
Back then there were 3 'kid holidays'....Easter, Halloween and Christmas. The 1st two of those holidays were all about the C-A-N-D-Y & the last was all about the Presents. Since we didn't get candy all year round(like kids seem to get today), getting that Easter basket of chocolates or that Halloween bag of candy was sure special to us and thus, it was something that you appreciated, no matter how little you actually got.
Our Easter baskets looked something like this....but not quite this full.
There was a basket, some fake grass and an assortment of chocolate, jelly beans and marshmallow 'peeps' or other non-chocolate candies. Most everything was presented in special Easter wrapping or foil and sometimes in special shapes(rabbits, eggs, etc.). Most kids in my neighborhood got 1 big chocolate item like a large hollow Rabbit or a big filled Egg and then other much smaller chocolates and candies were sprinkled over the fake grass to fill up the basket. And if your mom was one of those creative types, like mine, your basket got decorated or accessorized with ribbon, bows and pastel cellophane wrapping.
The basket pictured above would have been one of your 'high end' Easter Baskets back then.
When I became a mom back in the early '90's, I modeled my kid's baskets on what I remembered from my childhood. There was 1 big item and then smaller candies/chocolates filling out the basket. I also started putting small toy items in my kid's baskets since all the experts at the time were telling us NOT to focus so much on candy as it was BAD for you. Mostly what I bought was inexpensive stuff...crayons, coloring book, silly putty, super ball, cap gun, small stuffed bunny or chick, etc. I probably spent $10-$15 on each kid.
When they got older(12 & up), they still got some small candies/chocolates and the 1 big item became something they wanted(like a not-too-expensive gift they wanted for Christmas but didn't get), like a gameboy game, Pokemon or Magic cards, a music cd, a World of Warcraft time card, etc. I spent more on the baskets/gifts at this age, about $25-$30 for each kid.
No matter their age, when it came to Easter Baskets, the items they received had to fit in the baskets.
They would never have gotten the basket pictures below.....
And there is no cheating and buying a bigger basket when there is too much stuff to fit in the basket you already have.lol
Let me just say it has been hard for me to hold to my Easter basket guidelines over the years.
Because I have seen and I have heard from my kids about the goodies their friends receive from their parents over the years. Just talking Easter here(Christmas was much MUCH worse!), their friends' baskets have been all about expensive presents with a tiny bit of chocolate thrown in. They got things that you couldn't actually fit in an Easter basket.....x-box of playstation game systems, bikes, skateboards, new wardrobes, tvs for their own rooms and on and on.
It's no wonder most of my kids' friends' parents have no money and massive credit card debt.
What's my point?
Gee, I don't know.....
Maybe not every holiday needs to be all about spending money and buying too much, be it candy or stuff.
Maybe we should cut down the amount we are spending on this holiday too like we need to cut down on all the money spent on Christmas?
The daughter doesn't want any candy/chocolate this year. I'll still decorate a basket for her as well as #2 son since it is tradition. I'll get them both a gift card this year to put in the basket(along with some chocolate for #2 son).
I've spent $80 total, between the 3 kids and hubby for Easter. Since we reuse the baskets, decorations, etc. there is no expense for that...it's just the gift cards and the candy/chocolate. I've already gotten most of the chocolate/candy thanks to all my Rite-Aid deals over the last month so that's almost Zero OOP for the food components.
How much do you spend on your kid's Easter basket? Do you have a budget for that? Do you even do Easter baskets?
What do you do to be frugal at Easter time?