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How Expensive Is Easter For You (If You Celebrate Easter)?

April 22, 2011 · 28 comments

in Life, Personal Finance

I loved Easter as a kid.  I have great memories of Easter Egg Hunts sponsored by the park (except for the year they didn’t have enough of the prizes that were promised on the little slips of paper found in some of the eggs).  Our parents gave each of us kids an Easter basket that would be hidden somewhere in the house.  My grandmas always came over for the holiday, and one of my grandmas always gave us kids 6 half-dollars and a chocolate bunny for Easter.   I so looked forward to getting those coins!

Our Easter baskets were pretty basic when I was growing up, and so was everyone else’s that I knew.  The baskets generally just contained fake grass, chocolate, and jelly beans.  (Or at least that is how I remember it.)   Today, it seems more and more that toys are creeping into those Easter baskets.  Not just cheap toys either.  I can’t really complain about this though because I am guilty of probably overspending on Easter.  Actually, I put a graphing calculator in my oldest son’s Easter basket one year!

At first I thought I was doing good by providing toys and books as opposed to too much candy.  Then as my kids got older, I starting giving more candy and still giving toys.  I don’t spend nearly as much as I do on Christmas, but my kids probably get more for Easter than they should.  I guess I never really thought about it until I sat down to write this post.  I still haven’t done my Easter shopping, so maybe the kiddos will be getting a bit less this year.

I wonder, would Easter be more commercialized if an industry for ‘Easter music’ had ever been created?  What if an ‘Easter Bush’ became part of the tradition?   I wonder if some marketing genius will one day create a symbol for Easter (like a Christmas tree) that will find its way into every Christian household, along with a big price tag.

So, do you spend much on Easter each year?  Are the baskets you provide different from those you received as a child?  I will say, I have never purchased a Peep even once, and I am proud of that.  Those red ones are really scary to me.

Enjoy your Easter Weekend!

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole April 22, 2011 at 8:04 am

This year we are spending nothing on Easter. A couple of weeks ago a package came in the mail from DC’s great grandma. It was full of candy. More candy than a little kid needs. So we decided the Easter Bunny didn’t need to bring any candy, and would just supplement with a few small Spring toys.

Then this past week a huge package came from DH’s mom. It was full of Spring toys both small and large. The Easter bunny is debating the ethics of regifting the two large gifts (DC has different, not as nice, versions of both), and is certainly not going to hit up Target as she had planned.

The Easter bunny is feeling guilty because the Easter bunny believes the Easter bunny should bring *something* to keep Easter bunny traditioning alive. Santa was at least able to fill the stocking even if he was completely unable to bring any gifts. This is the first year the Easter bunny has had this quandry… and wonders how over-the-top future holidays are planning on being.

For us growing up: a small basket full of candy and a few small Spring toys (like a kite or a jump rope). Easter was a candy holiday like Halloween, not a present holiday like Christmas or our birthdays.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:36 pm

Nicole, I am sorry I didn’t get to this sooner- this weekend has been crazy and I have been neglecting my blog!

I can totally see just supplementing with toys instead of buying more candy. What did you decide to do? Did your child know some of the candy was from grandparents?


The Biz of Life April 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

We don’t spend much at my house. The youngest kid is 18 so not a lot of excitement regarding Easter or even Christmas anymore.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Biz- then I think you should go to nice Easter brunches then!


Dianna April 22, 2011 at 9:09 am

When we were kids, we had baskets filled with just candy (a lot of candy, if I remember) – which I thought was great! And on Easter, they would let us eat a ton of it…When the 1st child came along, I was adamant about not giving candy, just small toys and books, but the grandparents would give all kinds…now, there is both, toys and candy. I try to keep it on the simple side. I like things that they can use outside like bubbles, chalk, frisbees – or books. I usually go overboard though but then I save some things for their birthdays.

Have to say – I love Peeps – the original yellow ones are the best. I am upset that you can get them at every holiday now…takes away some of the ‘treat’ of just having them at Easter.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:33 pm

Dianna- we have created similar Easter baskets it sounds like. (Well, what my baskets used to look like when the kiddos were younger.)

I still think of you every time I see Peeps!


101 Centavos April 22, 2011 at 9:40 am

We don’t spend a whole lot, just a couple of traditional chocolate easter eggs (big ones, Italian style) and packaged cakes like Panforte. OK, so we do spend a bit… 🙂


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:32 pm

101- Where do you get the Italian eggs? There are so many things I am clueless about. I do know I would probably enjoy one!


First Gen American April 22, 2011 at 10:18 am

I went easter candy shopping with my 2 year old while the older one was with his dad. He kept putting things in the basket and I didn’t even realize that I missed a few items at checkout. Then when I was assembling the baskets, I was like “hey, I don’t remember buying thst”. The little scoundrel.

I’ll probably spend about $130 between candy, toys and the easter dinner itself. I think the ham will be the biggest ticket item, but it will feed us for several meals.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:31 pm

First Gen- Sounds like you have a pretty clever little one! That is really funny.

You probably would have only spent 100 dollars had the child stayed home. 🙂


Squirrelers April 22, 2011 at 11:47 am

A few candies, baskets, and that’s it. I don’t anticipate any more than maybe an incremental $20 more than would be spent on any other weekend – at the most. Christmas is the big spending holiday for me. Actually, these days Halloween can also be pricey for the kids with more elaborate costumes and such.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:30 pm

Halloween can be expensive. I couldn’t believe how much costumes cost when I first went shopping when my oldest was little. It is shocking they are costlier than an Easter dress.


Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager April 22, 2011 at 1:07 pm

I’m heading to my mom’s house this year for Easter brunch and am planning on spending some money on nice bouquet of flowers for her for Easter. I do remember one year I got Coolio’s Gangsta Paradise on tape from the Easter Bunny. Yup, I had cool parents.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Jenna, your parents are cool! (I would have liked a tape of Coolio too, although I would prefer Prince…)


krantcents April 22, 2011 at 1:54 pm

My children are grown! We are joining friends for an Easter brunch. Flowers are in orde, but that is it.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

Easter brunch sounds like a wonderful thing. I hope it was great!


Money Reasons April 22, 2011 at 6:39 pm

Shhh, don’t give those “marketing geniuses” any ideas!!!

My job at easter is to push my wife to spend a bit more (she’s more frugal than I am), and to videotape the kiddos running frantically for Easter eggs (plastic with money and sometimes candy inside). Still, they have fun 🙂

As for the cost per basket, I would guess that my wife spends over $40 per basket, but less than $80.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:26 pm

I think we are similar in our spending MR.

Even though my kiddos are older, we still do the Easter egg hunt in the backyard. This is the first year we didn’t videotape though.


TUJ April 23, 2011 at 10:48 am

We’re fortunate that my daughter is still a little too young to really understand what is in the Easter basket she gets from her grandma. So we’re skipping our basket to her this year, but next year will be a different story. We try to limit the candy so I’ll probably try to find some healthy alternatives… with little success I anticipate. Ha! We’re also minimalists in some ways, so I try not to buy a bunch of little things that end up getting lost in the shuffle anyways.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:22 pm

TUJ- books are always a good thing for Easter baskets. (I usually don’t feel bad spending money on books.) When kids are little, their toys are small and cute and are a good alternative to all the sweets.


retirebyforty April 23, 2011 at 12:52 pm

We didn’t celebrate Easter when I was growing up, but the Mrs’ family did. We don’t spend any money on Easter though. This year, she blew out three eggs and we are going to decorate it today. Then on Sunday, we’ll have an indoor Easter egg hunt since it’ll be raining tomorrow. Oh yeah, she’ll make an Easter brunch too, not sure what to make yet.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:20 pm

RB40- Easter Brunch sounds wonderful. I love a giant brunch.

We were able to have our egg hunt outside this year, but I thought we might have to be indoors too.

Happy first Easter to your little one!


Untemplater April 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm

My mom was really good at making Easter baskets when I was a kid. We used the same plastic eggs each year and I’d get one giant chocolate bunny and jelly beans inside the eggs. That was pretty much it besides dying a few Easter eggs and having a nice dinner at home with a ham or turkey. Now a days I might get a small box of Peeps for myself or a bag of chocolate eggs the day after if there are any left on sale, but that’s pretty much it. Once I have kids I’m sure I’ll spend more and make it into a fun family holiday for us but I don’t think I’ll do presents just Easter baskets with some candy, dyed eggs, and an Easter egg hunt. Those were so much fun as a kid! -Sydney


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:18 pm

Sounds like you have nice Easter traditions. The toys started with us because I didn’t want to give the kids much candy. Then it all snowballed!


Sandy H @ Journey To Our Home April 24, 2011 at 11:29 am

I think I spent about $12 total this year. A few bags of candy, a 2 dozen plastic eggs, and couple of reusable sub zero water bottles, and a couple of tattoo art. I really tried to hit the sales with coupons- however, it seemed I was mostly late to the game.

The kids still enjoyed their morning! But they also got a ton of stuff Saturday from their grandparents and aunts.


Kris April 24, 2011 at 10:16 pm

Wow, twelve dollars is amazing! I used coupons on the candy, but not on the toys. I did spend less this year than most, but still more than $12. Great job!


Crystal @ BFS April 26, 2011 at 5:03 pm

We spent $75 on food and games and $40 on gas for a weekend away with friends – totally worth it! 🙂


Kris April 27, 2011 at 12:41 am

BFS- that is fantastic! But did you get any chocolate?


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