Holidays and minimalism are a tough battle. We are so ingrained with the gift giving traditions that surround each holiday that it seems like we are taking something away from our children, or ourselves, when we don’t indulge in these traditions.
Back in February, I discussed our first major gift-related event since our journey to minimalism started, my son’s birthday. We really changed up from a birthday extravaganza to a simple party with family and friends at a pizza place. We also requested “experience” gifts, such as movie or museum tickets, instead of toys.
I worried about wording the invitations correctly as to not offend anyone. I worried about if my son would feel ripped off because of how much we scaled back. I worried if people would think I was a bad mom.
The party was perfect. Many people just gave cash, and my son was thrilled. He saved over half of it, and he was still able to pick out a few things he’s had his sights on. All the worry was for nothing. The guests were fine with it, and I think some of them even appreciated what we are trying to accomplish.
Easter is our second holiday this year where gift giving has become part of the tradition. If you’ve been to Walmart lately, you have seen the massive amount of Easter Baskets, candy, decorations, and clothes that are stuffed in every possible corner of the store.
There are stuffed rabbits, shirts with rabbits, and of course chocolate rabbits. The excess is mesmerizing, and it is completely understandable how we all end up with things we don’t need in our cart. I even found this almost two pound chocolate bunny, which I had my daughter pose with for size reference. No, we did not buy it, because let’s be honest, NOBODY needs a bunny this big, chocolate or not.
When I first had my daughter, I really felt the need to overdo everything on every day, but especially holidays. Her first Easter basket just had to be perfect, so I spent $29 just on the basket! I don’t even know how much I spent on the contents. Although the basket still survives and serves as toy storage, I realize now that I missed the point.
My daughter didn’t care about her fancy basket with her name embroidered on it, and honestly after a couple of days, she didn’t really care about the contents. What she cared about, similar to my son’s birthday experience, was the surprise factor and spending the day with our family.
I’m really relieved that we are working on down-sizing our gift-giving because I don’t want to send the wrong message to my children. Easter is not about the Easter bunny or candy or egg hunting. I want them to understand the true meaning of why we celebrate.
If you’re interested in accumulating or buying less stuff for your Easter celebration, Tamara Mannelly offers 50 Junk Free Easter Basket Ideas on Oh Lardy. The list includes everything from non-chemically died Easter eggs to better candy alternatives. She also includes many links to a variety of other fun Easter Ideas.
I’d love to know what you think. How do you celebrate Easter while trying to maintain a minimalist lifestyle? Is this a change for your children? Did they react or not even notice? Leave me a comment below or find me on Twitter @ClutterMama.