When did Easter become a ‘thing’?

Looking at Twitter and Instagram yesterday morning, at piles and piles of chocolate eggs, decorations and presents, I found myself wondering when did Easter become such a ‘thing’? Seriously, a lot of those displays would rival Christmas morning. When did a single chocolate egg stop being an acceptable way to celebrate? When did we suddenly have to start adding presents into the equation?

Every year, I buy my kids a single Easter egg. A Cadbury’s one. From Sainsbury’s. Costing in the region of 2 or 3 quid. In addition, on Easter morning, they may or may not get an Easter egg from my sister-in-law. My mother-in-law has never sent eggs (but will usually send a little bit of money). Later, we go round to my mum’s house, where they will get an egg from my mum and one from my sister. They may or may not get one from my brother. So that’s between three and five eggs each every year.

The only decoration I have is a bunch of daffodils. This year I failed a bit, as I bought them too late, so they were still buds on Easter morning.

Easter morning, Easter eggs, Easter

Funnily enough, growing up, Easter was always more of a ‘thing’ in our family than other families. Yet, as with many things, the rest of the world has overtaken us and run away with it, leaving us behind. Looking a bit stingy and like we don’t really care.

My family aren’t churchgoers or practising Christians, but I think there was something in the religious aspect of Easter, which always made them celebrate and make a bit of a fuss. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, at a time when one or two eggs was the norm, my parents and grandparents went the extra mile.

My mum has always done a big family lunch, second only to Christmas. Even as small children and, right until she died, my Granny always gave us all an Easter card, as did my mum. When I met my husband, I gave him a card and he thought I was mad. Before long, the cards dried up.

My Granny also gave us a present every year – an item of clothing. She didn’t want to over-indulge us, but clothes made a nice gesture, which my mum would appreciate as much we would. My mum has carried on this tradition with her grandchildren. A Tshirt or a pair of shorts might not be the most exciting thing in the world for the kids, but I certainly appreciate it, and it’s nice to treat them without spoiling them.

Ever since we’ve had the kids, my mum has also done a small Easter egg hunt in the garden, using miniature eggs. At the end of it, each child will have one or two Creme Eggs, a miniature Lindt gold bunny and a few tiny eggs. These days, the kids do it so fast that it’s hard to keep up. Blink and you’ll miss it.

Easter egg hunt, Easter

The haul from the Easter egg hunt

But they enjoy it. This is their Easter.

It’s a big enough ‘thing’ for us. They don’t need any more. Kids get enough all year round (dance lessons don’t grow on trees!), they don’t need extra gifts or even more chocolate.

We celebrate, we have a nice time, but we’re not going to have an extra Christmas.

Author: Sarah Mummy

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33 Comments

  1. It’s gone properly bonkers hasn’t it? And I think it’s only in the last couple of years it’s done it. It’s definitely become more about celebrating “spring” than what Easter means to Christians I think. We dobt do eggs at all until today 🙂 when they’re half price. No one eats choc in out house so I’ll still only get one (most likely just for the mug!)

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    • It definitely is only the last couple of years. No doubt linked to the continued rise of social media making everyone more competitive! Like your style re the half price eggs, but hard to believe that nobody in your family eats chocolate! We’re all chocaholics in our house.

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  2. I was just thinking that myself! When I were a lass int black n white days we got an Easter egg from ma n pa n the grandparents. We went to church. Came back ate our eggs.
    None of this Easter Bunny nonsense and bloody Easter Egg hunts. Just clever marketing from those who want to make money out of parents!

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    • Definitely! And it seems there are plenty of parents willing to lap up the clever marketing.
      Good old black and white days!

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  3. Thank you!! We didn’t get the kiddos an egg this yr as they had a huge one each from Grandma and Grandad plus choc from Easter bingo at school – we did take them to National Trust trail though to get out yesterday. I had to have a talk with my girl about expectations and being grateful for what she has. As a child Easter was all church for me and never chocolate – I never got an egg. And the OH never had anything either, although it is his parents now that give the kiddos the eggs, and ten pounds each and then popped in yesterday with another little terracotta pot of mini eggs! *sigh* !! Consumerism has a lot to answer for and I feel tight sometimes but my kiddos have to learn they can’t have everything 🙂

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    • Absolutely! My kids have a lot, but it’s not all material ‘stuff’. They do have to know they can’t have everything all the time. It’s tempting not to get the kids an Easter egg myself because I know they get them elsewhere, but I know I would feel a bit mean. Funny how grandparents change when they become grandparents!

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  4. Well you do far more that we do! Mine got one egg from us this year and one from my mum. We didn’t even do an Easter egg hunt….or get daffodils. We did go to church though which is, after all, what it’s about. Same with Christmas though I guess, people use it as an excuse to have a party. Glad you had a good day. X

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    • Thanks very much! Church is definitely a proper Easter. My mum makes quite an effort, and always has done, but somehow the rest of the world has gone mad over the last couple of years!

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  5. Oh I make a HUGE fuss! But then again I make a HUGE fuss over everything from Eurovision to Valentines! I have decorations for everything. I’m super crap at most mummy things (as you know) but I ruddy love going OTT when it comes to celebrations. They probably only have about the same amount of chocolate but I ruddy love a good bit of spring bunting and an oversized bunny. Takes all sorts eh? Hope you’re having a brilliant few weeks off with the kids xxx

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    • Definitely does take all sorts! I must say we had decorations up for the World Cup and the Olympics, so we’re not totally bah humbug about everything, but Easter seems to have spiralled out of control.

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  6. I couldn’t agree more with this post! Our Easter sounds very similar to yours and I really don’t feel the need to make it any different. I can’t understand all the decorations, wreaths (they are a thing too) and even trees and cakes. Christmas was three months ago and I’m not going to be ready for it again until next year!

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    • Too right! Easter is fine as it is/ was. Even once a year for Christmas seems a bit much to me!

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  7. I said exactly the same to my husband last night!! He came home from his mum’s house with a couple of sacks worth of chocolate and gifts. It’s ridiculous. My kiddos are 2 and 4 and I think that a small buttons egg and £1 is bar far enough for Easter. I only got them a bunny rabbit lolly from M&S and a few mini eggs to hide round the house. My husband’s aunt sent them £10, a huge egg and a massive bar of chocolate each!! I just don’t get it.

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    • Oh my goodness, it’s quite extreme! And, actually, do people stop and think that 2 and 4 year olds need very little chocolate for a treat? Too much chocolate at that age isn’t good (needless to say my boys can polish theirs off quickly and it will be burnt up in seconds, but big boys are very different from tiny ones!).

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  8. Some people have gone way over the top about Easter….I saw someone on about Easter trees? Lol Since when was that a thing….
    We had a little Easter egg hunt and that’s it….My girls and I have been eating Easter eggs since about January so we’re rather sick of them now. lol
    Easter for us is just about having a long lazy weekend x

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    • The long weekend is definitely the best bit! I haven’t encountered an Easter tree yet, one tree a year is more than enough! x

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  9. As a child of the 60’s we always got 1 Egg and a new outfit & shoes for Easter Sunday.
    But those were the days when you only got new clothes at Christmas, Easter & September uniform & shoes, other than that it was when you absolutely needed something.

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    • How lovely. That’s like the old ‘Sunday best’. I guess that’s where my Granny was coming from with always buying us clothing at Easter.

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  10. Oh hon I’ve been thinking the same thing! The trees, millions of pressies, hunts… And only three months after the Xmas madness. It’s gone bonkers and is even worse for my non dairy, no refined sugar eating family 🙁

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    • I could have written this (with far less tact) so thank you as its saved me the bother. Easter Sunday I logged onto facebook to be confronted with an Easter Bunny that had left calling cards saying (shaped as an egg) “cold” “getting closer” of course this had all be photographed. Cue next picture of mountains of chocolate. One person commented that their child had been up since 4am! – you have got to be kidding me as they couldn’t wait to see the bounty that the Easter Bunny had left. There is NO frigging Easter Bunny. My kids got an egg from us and one from my parents. There was no hunt and we went to the seaside to enjoy the sunshine and had ‘roast’ fish n chips on the seafront. x

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      • You’re very welcome! I’ve seen some sights on social media, but it sounds like what you’ve seen is even worse! I would not have been happy if my kids had woken up excited at that time! To be honest, I had to wake the boys at 10.45 so that we could get to my mum’s on time for lunch!
        Your ‘Sunday roast’ sounds fab!

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    • It must be a nightmare for your family! It’s definitely over the top. I don’t need another Christmas until Christmas (in fact I’m not sure I even need one then!).

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  11. you sound like you do alot to me! I wrote a similar post last week and couldn’t agree more!

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    • Thanks! It seems there are a lot of us that agree, but also a lot of people who want to turn it into a mini Christmas!

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  12. Yes, we are pretty similar to you – they had 2 each from us, 1 each from my folks and the two boys had one each from my auntie (Betsy most disappointed to discover my Auntie thinks 18 is the cut off point for eggs, bless her!) We also had an egg hunt using a bag of small colourful eggs that I got for a quid! We had a roast dinner, but we do most Sundays so nowt new in that!!

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    • Ha ha, poor Betsy! I was pondering whether we stop buying presents for husband’s god-daughter when she hits 18. There has to be a cut-off at some point, I guess, but it does seem sad.
      Sounds like you had a lovely day.

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  13. I agree, my lot did have too many eggs this year as they came back from a trip to Wales with a ridiculous amount. I buy them a couple of eggs each and do a hunt with little eggs, so they have enough that is for sure. I don’t do presents as I think that takes away from birthday and Christmas. I do like to do a bit of baking and put up a bit of Easter bunting because I love the holiday and the fact that it is Spring but I will never have an Easter tree as I think they are a bit daft.

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    • I hadn’t even heard of Easter trees before, they sound crazy! Like you, I’m very happy that it’s spring!

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  14. Wahhhh, I love my Easter tree, I really love to decorate the house and made decorations with my boys to go on the tree, it’s a great way to display their artwork and it looks lovely. The trees definately aren’t a new thing though I remember them from when I was small.

    I have noticed Easter becoming a bigger thing, I try not to buy lots of chocolate(they get more than enough from others which then sits in the cupboard) so they get a basic £1 egg and I buy them a new book each year too which I guess is my equivalent to a new item of clothing, they go into a basket with some chicks and plastic eggs (from the year before). I have seen people with big piles of wrapped up gifts which I find a bit odd.

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  15. We don’t bother buying anything for H. He gets eggs elsewhere and there is usually an easter egg hunt to go to. I try to avoid buying sweets and chocolate and yet we always have some in the house from somewhere.

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  16. Crazy isn’t it? We have hot cross buns for breakfast, do an egg hunt and make our own Easter cake for after our roast & biscuits for visitors but that’s it… They get a couple of eggs from us & some from family, certainly no presents, don’t understand that at all personally. The only proper answers to ‘what did you get for Easter?’ should be “eggs” or “sick” haha x

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  17. As a child who was born in the 70’s , I had an egg from each grandparent and my parnets and maybe an auntie with a couple of pounds thrown in. I don’t think we ever did an Easter egg hunt or were told that there was an Easter Bunny (but I cannot remember that really).
    I think my two get too much , its because we have family who are too generous. So basically they get a small egg from my Mum and my nanny (my other nanny sends money), then on my OH’s side they get one from each uncle (=3) and their Great Gran and from his parents!! Then I buy them a small one and a few mini eggs for an easter hunt. Too much isn’t it? Plus OH’s great gran gets us one as does his parents! oh and the OH’s parents do an Easter egg hunt so that was 6 small eggs each extra too. Now of course as a child I would have loved all that chocolate, but it is a lot for a (just) 6 year old and a 7 year old. Plus they have been having the same amount since they were toddlers (only mummy and daddy ate most of it then!). I feel a bit embarrassed by how much they get, but I know that each relative likes to make a gesture and we reciprocate for the cousins too.
    However, I don’t get into all the Easter decorations and other stuff I saw this Easter – thats just commercialism gone wrong. BUT despite all the chocolate, we do all get together with our families and enjoy spending time over the easter weekend, and for me thats whats so nice about it (plus mini eggs, I am a sucker for mini eggs lol)
    sorry for the waffle there xx

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    • Feel free to waffle away! I love hearing about people’s different experiences! This year my kids got a total of four eggs – one each from us, my parents, my sister and my brother. Nothing from the other side of the family because they don’t live nearby! It sounds like your kids are very lucky! But I agree it’s a lot of chocolate for small kids. My big boys wolf it down and it does them no harm as they’re growing, but it’s an awful lot for small children. I buy my niece and nephew small eggs not because I’m mean, but because they’re small and shouldn’t be eating too much chocolate!

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