Is Easter the New Christmas?

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I was woken up this morning around 6 am by an energetic 15-month-old who would not go back to sleep. After a failed attempts to get him to go back to sleep, I was joined by my almost 3-year-old and decided to just get up a little before 6:30 (beating my alarm up!)

I greeted my oldest son, telling him it was Easter Sunday, a wonderful day celebrating Jesus’ resurrection. Of course, there’s not much that he understands since he is so young. While preparing breakfast, I started humming, then singing the hymn “Because He Lives.”

“Because he lives, I can face tomorrow. Because he lives, all fear is gone. Because I know he holds the future. And life is worth the living just because he lives.”

Beautiful words, a beautiful song and an even more beautiful truth.

While scrambling eggs, I was reflecting on the significance of the day and the loving sacrifice Christ made, making life “worth the living.”

Then I made the mistake of picking up my phone. Scrolling through social media left me thinking, is Easter the new Christmas?

I saw pictures of Easter ‘baskets’ from the Easter bunny containing more stuff than my children receive for Christmas.

And I couldn’t help but think, why are the most holy of Christian holidays (Christmas and Easter) celebrated with such consumerism, focusing the hearts and minds of children on stuff and myths but not on Christ?

While our family chooses not to celebrate Christmas with a material focus, preferring to keep our gift giving very simply, I understand Christians celebrating with gifts and festivities. After all, we’re celebrating Christ’s birth and most birthdays are celebrated with gifts.

But Easter?

We’re celebrating Christ’s death. A horrible, horrific, gruesome, painful, ugly death. A death to show how much he loves sinners. A redeeming death.

Yet Christians want to bring fancy new clothes, the Easter bunny, chocolates, baskets full of stuff (that most children don’t even need) into the equation to celebrate Easter.

I can’t help but wonder how Jesus must feel knowing that a day marking his sacrifice is now looked forward to for the stuff that will be received and consumed.

If you want to go crazy at Christmas, go ahead, celebrate Christ’s birth with gusto.

But His death and resurrection – why can’t Christians leave it as a holy day of reflection and thankfulness?

(These are just my thoughts regarding the religious aspect of this holiday and lack of holiness. Regardless of whether you’re a Christian or not, Easter still  can quickly become wasteful and consumeristic. Easter baskets contain cheap toys that will soon break, candies full of sugar and food dyes and tons of packaging waste.)

responses to “Is Easter the New Christmas?” 12

  1. We grew up doing secular Easter and did it when our kids were little because basically everyone else was doing it. It's hard to think your kids will do without. I think that's probably why so many buy all the candy, etc. Presently our youngest is 15 and for a few years we have only had a family meal. This year we nixed the candy too and had a normal weekend kind of meal. In other words we didn't celebrate at all. Since we never celebrated for religious reasons it seemed a bit hypocritical of us to do so. If we continue with the consumer Easter it was what have come to see as unnecessary purchases. I was really bummed that the gym was closed. Kind of seems unfair to those of us who don't celebrate.

    1. You're so right, it is hard to think your kids will do without. Sometimes I am a bit afraid they'll grow up to resent us for not being typical Americans, celebrating everything with consumption. But, I know children prefer quality time over stuff. And, this is a very interesting perspective since you are now neutral regarding Easter.

  2. I agree. And my married daughter who has a 3 and 4 yr old is on the same page as you. Her kids do not expect it nor miss it. "Because He Lives" is one of my favorite hymns!

  3. I also wonder what Jesus thinks about the candy, eggs and Easter bunny seeing they come from pagan things anyway. I applaud your thinking about all of this. Your beautiful children will be better off without all that stuff.

  4. After much thought my husband and I do not do 'Santa' or the 'Easter Bunny' – neither do we celebrate Halloween. None of these things allow us to focus on Godly Things like he asks us – there are many other ways to celebrate Easter with Jesus – like Reserection Eggs, making a healtier (if possible) cake showing the tomb. At a Christian Parenting conferance once I heard that a 3 year old will know Micky Mouse but not a picture of Moses or Jesus… so sad! I want our children to know Jesus – not Cinderella or Santa. Blessings.

    1. You're so right, there are definitely ways to celebrate Easter and make it kid friendly. I have a recipe for resurrection cookies that I hope to make in the coming years, when my boys are a bit older and we can actually talk about their significance. And it is a sad truth about littles knowing cartoon characters better than religious figures. My 15-month-old already knows about Thomas the Train since his big brother loves Thomas, and he definitely would not recognize Jesus. Thanks for sharing this convicting fact with me.

  5. Yes! Yes! Yes! I love this post and fully agree with you! I grew up with no easter baskets or bunnies, although we usually had a new (or new to me) dress to wear because it was springtime and we always had a big family dinner with my dad's side of the family. I appreciate that my parents taught us the true meaning and celebration of Resurrection Sunday and that is what we want to teach our children. Last year we had a "spring egg hunt" with eggs found on clearance after easter, and the kids loved it.

    Thank you for your boldness on this issue!

    1. It sounds like you grew up with wonderful, resurrection centered Easter traditions.

      I definitely think it is possible to incorporate some of the festivities and secular traditions and don't think it's awful if parents choose to do those things. I am not opposed to new clothes but so many times, finding the perfect dress and being dressed to the nines on Easter Sunday is the focus. Last year, we had lunch with family and Paxton hunted eggs with cousins. In fact, he loved it so much, we ended up hiding eggs 2 or 3 more times for him to find again. It was just a game to him! I do love that you did a 'spring egg hunt', separating it from the celebration of the resurrection and just making it a fun spring activity.

  6. Such true words! As I've mentioned, I work in retail and I experience the consumerism first hand – all year round 🙁 Easter is the fourth largest sales "event" of the year in retail and when I learned that this year I really was at a loss for words. So many people today are just focused on stuff, especially around the holidays, and it really frustrates me! I watch each holiday come and go, from a retail perspective, and I am astonished at how our store being out of something can "ruin" the holiday for a family/child. (Yes, I've been told that – usually over a toy!)

    Thank you for sharing your perspective on this so honestly!

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