When Stephen and I were first married I had an idea that, instead of individual Easter baskets, I wanted to do a family basket. When Kas came the next year I continued that, hoping it would turn into a tradition. Somewhere along the way I forgot. So, when the girls joined our family the idea for a family Easter basket was long forgotten. I tried never go too overboard, and loved watching them go through their goodies and treats, jelly beans, robins eggs, chocolate bunnies, peeps, and almost always a stuffed animal. I tried to remember to put in something spiritual, so as not to forget the real reason we celebrated with pastel candy and baby animals. Then they would each carry their baskets, hoping to fill them, as they hunted delightfully colored eggs. This year was different. This year something pushed that old idea back to the front of my brain. I don’t know if it was the frustration of picking up 1000000000000000000 stuffed animals from the girls room, or the incessant adds we were getting from build-a-bear. It could have been that Addie’s basket broke and so I gave away Kas’ and Zo’s. My little Zo was not very happy about this and I assured her that she had nothing to worry about.
I went to the store and saw a few different baskets, pails, and felt containers. I didn’t really want to buy any of them. Slowly the thought started to creep up to my head,”Whatever happened to the family Easter basket?” I pondered this for a while. I went shopping and picked out candy. I looked at stuffed animals, but just couldn’t actually buy them. Again the thought, “family Easter basket” came to my head. Finally I said it out loud. I mentioned it to my husband. He didn’t care either way. The idea took new hold, a more firm shape. This would be our first Easter on our own, no extended family around, and I wanted to bond closer together over it. After all, the holiday is about the Savior. Through him, we are able to stay together, as families, forever. We need to be closer. I mentioned this to my sister. She nodded and said,”Yeah, I like it”. Thoughts were now going from firm to concrete.
I have a giant basket we got for our wedding. It has been used for many different things. It’s held spare blankets, picnics, co-op dinners, I even have a picture of Kas sitting in it as a baby with all his Easter play things. A-ha! My family Easter basket! I went to the game store and found a few games that sounded fantastic. (Thank you Carmen for the idea) What better way to build family togetherness than to turn off the tv and video games and play real games. Imagine using our own imaginations! The idea was exhilarating. Add to that candy, pencils, cutesy Easter eggs and mad libs and I had it.
The night before Easter I told the kids that the Easter bunny was going to bring only one basket for the whole family, not individual ones. The older kids were kind of surprised, but were ok with it. Whether they trusted me or just didn’t want to shoot down my idea and hurt my feelings, I don’t know. Zo, on the other hand, was vocal about her disapproval. She was sure that meant she was getting the raw end of the deal. And…. this is why I wanted it in the first place. I was tired of my kids getting upset if they didn’t get something. Tired of hearing me, me, me. I know, all parents go through that. Most children outgrow it. I just wanted to make sure mine did. I’m hoping this will help.
I love the result! My kids played games all day, and have for this whole past week. The candy is gone, of course, but I didn’t hear a single,”hey that’s mine!”. This will definitely be a tradition worth keeping. I almost can’t wait for next year.