Happy Easter, everybunny! Remember last year, when I wrote about how Easter has morphed into Christmas 2.0 (minus the maintenance of dealing with a tree or the chore of gift-wrapping)? Easter celebrations have grown increasingly eggcessive in recent years, and this year is certainly no eggception. You might think I'm referencing all of the Easter egg hunts that have been canceled or ruined due to crazed parents approaching the hunts with Hunger Games-style fervor, but I'm not. Just because some parents inspire headlines like 'Yo, parents! Back away from the Easter eggs! (Or the hunt's off),' 'Helicopter parents ruin massive Easter egg hunt; chaos unfolds, kids sob,' and 'Easter egg hunt canceled after parents got violent'—with articles that open, for example, with the line, "An over-zealous mother had to be evicted from a charity Easter egg hunt on Saturday after filling extra bags with chocolate and abusing young volunteers."— doesn't mean THAT is what's made Easter so eggcessively awful.
No, those parents are just the few rotten eggs that spoiled their respective hunts. What's really made Easter a nightmare of supersized proportions is the progression from the humble Easter basket to the massive Easter pool. Here's what Easter baskets used to look like (and thankfully still do, sometimes, for now):
A few eggs, some Peeps, a little extra candy, and maybe some Easter "grass" for padding. An afternoon's worth of snacks on Resurrection Sunday, resembling decades of casual, sugarcoated traditions.
Here's what an Easter "basket" in 2016 looks like:
What's funny (or terrifying, depending on your outlook) about this image is that when I first saw it, I thought it was a joke. No one ACTUALLY uses a kiddie pool and a hula hoop to make an oversized, overstuffed Easter basket!?! I genuinely thought this was something that a mom with a sense of humor posted online to make a snarky comment on American consumerism. Hahaha, was I ever wrong. I used to be in awe of pictures of "gift walls" that parents post on Facebook after all the presents are unwrapped on Christmas, but even a floor to ceiling wall of presents cannot trump the gaudiness of Easter pools. For a while, I wasn't even sure if I believed the eggcess was real myself.
It's not just the pools that have gotten my attention, though it should be noted that the definition of a "basket" has never been stretched further than it has since Easter pools hit the scene. I've never seen so many bins, tubs, and wagons passing as "baskets." And while I sort of understand why people dress up 4-day-old newborns in giant, ill-fitting Halloween costumes, or purchase their 6-month-old a heap of Christmas presents, I'm baffled by the number of people who go over-the-top for their babies on Easter.
On the one hand, Ashley said "little." On the other, we're talking about a baby who's still learning how to lift her head. Can an Easter basket really be appreciated by someone who's only 60 days old? Who knows. Is it anyone's place to judge? I mean, it's not like Ashley is asking for advice about which Apple product to buy her baby for Easter. Now that would be absurd.
According to the submitter, she and Stephanie are both members of a moms' page on Facebook. I was told the comments on this post were pretty vicious and Stephanie wound up regretting it, so I guess we'll never know which apps were recommended for her friend's 8-month-old. 🙁 But what's certain is that parents have fully embraced Eggcessive Easter in the same manner that they've embraced spoiling their kids on Christmas.
What used to be considered gauche is now frequently accepted as the norm. It's even become customary for parents to complain to retailers for being late with their kids' gifts, just like they do around Christmas. Truly, these holidays are merging as one.
Nice one, Walmart! While the airport and subway were being attacked by terrorists in Brussels, Heather was forced to point out that YOU assholes weren't doing your jobs. You had ONE chance to not ruin Heather's kid's Easter this week, and you screwed it up. What is she supposed to tell her kid(s) now? "Jesus died for your sins, so here's a cheap basket of eggs and candy?" Talk about basic. The whole point of Easter in 2016 is to celebrate like you really mean it, like today could be your last day on earth to show off to friends on social media and spoil your children on a Jesus-loving holiday. How else will people know how much you love your kids if you don't buy them an inflatable pool's worth of crap and sheepishly brag about going "overboard" on Facebook and Instagram? How will your children grow up to honor the holiest of holidays -- Easter -- if they don't have annual pictures of themselves sitting beside an XXL laundry basket filled with toys and chocolate?
Thankfully, the children in today's column will never have to ask themselves those hard questions. They can be 100% assured that their parents have always loved them, because they've received more shit for Easter than anyone born before 2005 could ever imagine. So crack open a Cadbury Creme Egg or two (go on, you deserve it) and check out this year's contenders for Most Eggcessive Parents. (And be sure to stop by STFU, Parents over the weekend for a dozen more eggstreme eeggzamples!)
1. Giant "Baskets"
It's not a basket if it's made out of plastic and has thick rope handles. Sorry, "Nick-and-Becky," but those are "tubs" of gifts. I'm trying to imagine roughly how much stuff is crammed inside each of these tubs. You don't think Becky hid a litter of puppies in one of them, do you? Because they would definitely fit underneath that top layer of toys and candy. Otherwise, I guess just like, a shit-ton more toys and candy?
2. Hudson Isn't One Year Old Yet
I've been unnecessarily annoyed for years about the way parents refer to their kids' "stash" on certain holidays. They're always pointing out their "loot" and marveling at their "take." Gross. It's especially odd terminology when applied to a child who isn't yet one-year-old, as if to say, "He's not even one, but he's already racking up wagonloads of Easter spoils!! Check out that pile!" The first example I ever saw of this involved a kid named "Easton," so I'm not surprised that we've arrived at a "Hudson."
3. Slide Into Easter
Again, that's not a pink "basket," it's a BIN. And it probably shouldn't be brimming with gifts on Easter if the kid also has a slide and a bunch of other stuff coming from Grandma. I know, I know...parents like to fall back on the ol' grandparents excuse, but it's also easy to coordinate with Grandma Ga and say, "Are you giving her a slide and a bunch of toys? Because if so, we'll hold onto the plastic toy bin until her birthday, or until she says she wants a bin full of toys. Whichever comes first." Yes, #grandparentsareforspoiling, but it's Easter. Since when did Easter equate to #beingspoiled? I don't mean to be dramatic, but all this plastic garbage is making me yearn for a good DIY egg-dyeing session.
4. Does Daddy Work At Walgreens?
I don't want to begrudge any child a fantasy meal of marshmallows, Kit Kats, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, and jelly beans, but what kind of egg hunt produces this bounty? This is nearly the amount of candy I'd purchase to feed a whole neighborhood of kids on Halloween, except I don't just hand out bags of mini marshmallows. Seriously, does daddy work at CVS? Maybe a 7-11? Has that bag of Bunny Mallows been in the office pantry since 2011, or does someone in daddy's office just purchase bags in bulk?
5. Just Celebrating Jesus
Nothing to see here, folks! Just a couple of good old-fashioned traditional Easter baskets for two wholesome, Christian children! This mom doesn't like promoting anything or participating in the depraved commercialization of Easter as it is celebrated by most pseudo-"Christian" families. She knows what that's all about: chocolate, eggs, basically a bunch of sinful things that don't amount to "promoting Jesus being born again." That's why her kids' baskets are loaded up with dolls, monster trucks, books, and other born again paraphernalia from the Dollar Tree. Where Would Jesus Shop? I think we all know the answer to that.
6. Easter Pools
Aaaaannnnd there it is: the famous Easter pool “in the wild” (aka in a suburban American bathroom). As the submitter pointed out, there is a smaller, normal-sized Easter basket within the pool. It's funny in a sad, deluded way that Jamie still says, "The Easter bunny has arrived!", like the Easter bunny is hopping all over the world with enough toys to fill a baby pool for each child. Still, her pool doesn't even compare to this weird picture someone sent me that has no source. I *think* it was posted on Facebook, but I'm not sure. All I know is that it looks like a bunch of drowning toys (apparently for two children) and contains more Easter presents than most siblings collect over an entire childhood. Some kids don't get "Easter presents" at all! And yet, others have parents who buy out toy aisles and create toy landfills/craters/sinkholes in their own living room.
Yikes! When does a big, scaly monster arm reach up out of that thing and destroy us all?? There's something about the way everything in this pool looks both ornately organized and haphazardly tossed in—it's almost impossible to distinguish one toy (or series of toys) from another. It's a cluttered cornucopia of cheaply made, imported toys that no one needs. And the whole shebang is charmingly punctuated with pairs of bunny ears, which are mere suggestions to this person's two kids before they dive headfirst into an Easter pool of wonders. This ain't yo granddaddy's Easter basket, that's for damn sure. This is the Easter pool that families of today have been waiting for! If Jesus can rise from the dead, Easter baskets can expand to the size of small pools. That's just how a modern spin on an old tradition works. If there can be megachurches, there can be mega-baskets. It's all starting to make sense to me now. Hallelujah! Amen.
Happy Easter! (And to my fellow Jews, Happy Purim!)