These days, it's almost like a little Christmas. Easter baskets, back in the 40s, consisted of fake "grass" which hid the jelly beans scattered throughout it. It also contained one big chocolate covered coconut cream egg, and quite a few dyed eggs. Get the theme? Eggs. Jelly beans are shaped like eggs. Everythng was egg-related, now that I look back. Eggs are a symbol of a new start which is what Easter morning is all about. We did NOT get toys in our baskets.
About ten years ago, I began noticing that the already-filled baskets for sale in the stores contained major toys. Electronics. Sports equipment. Definitely nothing to hint that we were celebrating that Christ had died three days before and arose that morning thousands of years ago.
I cannot change the current way our American culture treats Easter. But if I could, I'd toss out the toys in those baskets and replace them with jelly beans and anything hinting at a renewal. I'd toss in angels and crosses and smiling-sun-faces.
Dearest Jesus, please forgive us for what we do! Please forgive those of us who say we are Christian but who completely disregard all the suffering you endured for us. Help me to not judge others but to instead turn my own heart, thoughts and soul to you this coming Lenten season.