No, I don’t expect you to put a single M&M in a basket. Contrary to popular belief, minimalism isn’t about owning the least amount of items imaginable. It is about owning only what you use or what you love and nothing else. So, if you are considering this type of lifestyle or if you are already a practicing minimalist, what does that look like on the practical level. For example, what would a minimalist fill their child’s Easter basket with? Easter has become like a second Christmas for a lot of families in terms of gifts. It can easily get out of hand. So, how do you reign it in?
1. First, think “useful.”
Who says useful can’t be fun? My kids both got new crocs style shoes in their basket last year. My kids live in those plastic shoes. I found pink tye dye knock offs for my daughter and a fun minions style for my son. They were thrilled. They wore them until they were literally falling apart. My daughter also got a new dress. This was not a frilly ruffled number that she could wear once to an Easter church service and then hang in her closet to collect dust. It was a simple cotton dress with pockets. Dresses with pockets are her absolute favorite thing to wear. She was super excited. Is your child starting baseball or tennis this spring? Why not gift a needed piece of sporting equipment. Did they sit on their sunglasses and break them? Pick up some new shades. Think about something they need. Likely, it’s something they also want.
2. Go easy on the candy. Does your child really need an entire basket of sugar? Two pounds of chocolate is good for no one but your dentist. What is your child’s favorite candy? Pick up that and one package of peeps-done. If they participate in an egg hunt they will have more than enough candy anyway.
3. Don’t fall for the clearance rack/dollar store “fillers”. Tiny rabbit figurines and egg erasers are not going to be used. Plastic trinkets designed to fill empty space in your baskets are a waste of money and ultimately just clutter. Buy one or two items that your child will cherish instead of ten that your kid will feel ehh about.
4. Get something they will LOVE. We are probably getting my daughter a new bike. We don’t generally spend that much on Easter. But, she has outgrown her current bike and the weather is finally getting warmer. So, we were planning on getting one soon anyway. We’ll get it Easter weekend and kill two birds with one stone. I’ll put a chocolate bunny in the bike basket and call it a day. She will be estatic.
5. Go classic. My kids don’t own a soccer ball because they’ve never signed up for a soccer team. They also don’t have a good jump rope. I know that these are classic toys that would get a lot of use if I bought them. So, they might show up this Easter. What is a classic item that your child doesn’t have that she would likely use again and again? A paint set? A sleeping bag? They are classic for a reason.
6. Think outside the basket. I remember one year as a kid, my mom made me a beautiful quilt with ballerinas on it for my bed. She put it in a laundry basket with some candy. I loved it. I still have it. I didn’t care what kind of container it came in. My kids don’t have “Easter baskets” per se. They have whatever basket is currently empty. I have 4 or 5 baskets in this house that are used for everything from gathering vegetables in the garden to returning library books. Fill a new sunhat or a sandbucket or a gift bag. Trust me, your kid will not care about the container. Having a “special” basket that is used exactly once per year is silly and unnecessary.
7. Consider an experience. A play card to Chuck-E-Cheese or a gift card to Dairy Queen is fun. You’ll share a fun day together and you won’t need to find room in the toy box. Dantdm, a YouTube star that my son loves, is touring live this spring. So, we bought tickets. He will get a show ticket and a chocolate bunny. I think experiences always hold more value than things. Maybe, start an Easter tradition this year. Go fishing after Easter dinner for example. When I was little, my mom took us to a local state park every spring break for a hike and a picnic lunch. Sometimes, we invited a cousin to tag along. It was so simple. But, I looked forward to that every year. Your kids are going to remember the quality time you spend with them more than the stuff you bought them. Hope you have a great holiday.