Monday, May 5, 2014

Simple Living: Simplifying Easter

When our kids were young, Easter was a big thing.  We had the plastic Eggs filled with candy, we dyed dozens of eggs, bought gifts, Easter baskets, etc.  We spent lots of money buying all of the Easter stuff the advertisers tell us we need to have the perfect Easter.  I cringe when I think of all the money we spent and the things we did over the past years, as our focus was distracted from the true meaning of the holiday.  This year we decided to simplify things.  Our family enjoyed Easter very much, even though we did less and spent less.

The first thing we did was to choose our favorite candy and only buy one package to share.  Reese's peanut butter eggs are the only thing we bought.  We didn't buy 4 packages like in the past, but only one.  We found that we appreciated the candy more when there was less of it to have.  Next year, to go a step further with our efforts to live green, we will make our own peanut butter cups.  It will be fun to do as a family activity and should taste good as well.  I can choose the quality of ingredients I use and will know exactly what is in our candy.

Second, we didn't dye Eggs this year.  I think this was the first time since we were married that we didn't do this.  I personally am not a fan of eggs, but my husband grew up dying Easter eggs to celebrate Easter in their house.  We grew up getting Easter baskets full of candy.  If we do dye eggs next year, we will buy only a dozen eggs, and we won't buy a special kit to color eggs.  We will figure out a way to make the dye ourselves or try some kind of natural way to dye eggs in our efforts to live more green and healthy.  When our kids were young, we used to buy a dozen eggs for each kid to dye, as well as some for the parents.  Imagine 6 dozen eggs being dyed.  It was a big event and they lasted for a while after Easter.  Since colored dyes aren't good for you anyway, we will figure out a better way to do this if we choose to do it again.

Third,  the meal.  I used to spend an easy 50-100 dollars on the meal, including lots of rich foods we don't have on a regular basis.  This year, because we had a lot going on that weekend, we just did a nice Easter breakfast with hash browns, breakfast burritos and several fresh fruits.  I spent 5 dollars on our ham to go into our breakfast burritos instead of buying a huge spiral ham.  We ate better portions than in the past.  It really doesn't matter what you have to eat on holidays.  The thing that matters is that you are with people you love.

By simplifying Easter, we were able to focus more on the real meaning of why we celebrate the holiday.  Christ was resurrected and by doing so we will all have the opportunity to live again after we die.  I spent so much less money and we enjoyed the holiday more as we focused on doing less than more.  We have a mistaken idea that more is better, but as Sabrina says in the movie of the same title, "More isn't better, it's just more."  It was hard to make the changes we did this year, worrying that doing less would make people have less enjoyment.  I was pleasantly surprised to see the opposite happen.  Having less Easter "clutter" and spending less money helped us to enjoy the holiday so much more together.  We savored each bit of our peanut butter egg, knowing that we didn't have several other packages waiting for us.  We focused on being together and doing things together, which was easier without so much Easter clutter around.

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