Why I Hate Easter Egg Hunts

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I was so excited for my daughter’s first Easter Egg Hunt. She was maybe 2, all dressed up in her Easter finest with an adorable little basket in the crook of her arm. They had divided them up into age groups, the fields of eggs all roped off, eggs dotting the green grass.

“On your mark!” The lady with the bullhorn announced, my daughter oblivious to what was about to happen was twirling in her pretty dress.

why i hate all easter egg hunts


“You need to get ready to get your eggs!” My husband coaxed her, pointing at the eggs.

She took off just as the bullhorn lady shouted, “Go!” we cheered, she made it three or four steps, almost to her first egg, when a little boy that had to be at least a year and a half older than her swooped in grabbed the first egg out from under her. Tears filled her eyes, my husband and I had been completely unprepared for this.

She stood there crying as all the eggs around her got disappeared into baskets.

“Do we help her?” I asked my husband. why i hate easter egg hunts

“I don’t know?” He was thinking the same thing I was–Was this one of those times when she was supposed to learn a lesson? She’s two, will the whole “law of meat, early bird gets the worm” even work on her or will she just be sad that she got all dressed up, got super excited about hunting for eggs, and then got them all taken away from her?

Well, helicopter mom kicked in for me, and I corralled a few eggs into a corner of the field that she could pick up on her own. She plopped down on the ground with her shiny treasure and all was good.

But that was when I knew… when I knew that I hated Easter Egg hunting with a deep passion. Easter egg hunting, any way you slice it is never going to turn out the way you want it to.

When she got older, and she was able to get the eggs out from under the other kids, it just made it harder– because she couldn’t bring herself to take them. She started running around the field and throwing eggs into baskets of the littles. Which, admittedly, I loved seeing, but I knew it wasn’t the Hunt she’d been planning.

And the thing is, that’s the way all the Easter Egg hunts end up. Tons of work and money spent stuffing dozens of eggs for about 45 seconds of fun. Is that really what Easter is all about?

We tried the whole “bring 12 eggs, take 12 eggs home” type hunts where everyone stopped after getting a certain amount of eggs. But, that never works, because now they have eggs that are bigger, cooler shaped, and shinier than all the other eggs, so if your kid brings 12 butterfly shaped eggs to the hunt and goes home with 12 plain eggs, disappointment is bound to happen.

We’ve done the whole “everyone only picks up their own color eggs” and that works okay, until someone’s colored egg is busted, or one of them was hidden a little too well. This is probably the most fair way to do an Easter Egg Hunt, but it is even more work for that sweet 19 seconds of hunting.

There’s just no way good way to slice it. Easter Egg hunts are terrible, and I wish they would go away. But they won’t. Tomorrow, we are going on a hunt where all the eggs fall out of a helicopter.

I don’t even know what to do with that.


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  1. Our favorite part is studying her Sunday School lessons and talking about all the treasures Spring brings, such as baby animals and green grass and flowers and veggies in the garden. Then we blow the yolk out of the eggs and color them so she can save her favorite every year and hide the rest with her cousins. We do about 200 of the cheap plastic ones with prizes and the pretty, real ones. My sister boils some, and they eat the food-coloring craziness. We don’t do the big hunts with strangers, but we have a big family.

  2. A… helicopter?? What? Last year was the first year I did a hunt with the kiddo. It was my first true year as “step-mom” and I was so determined we would hit All The Freaking Hunts! I swear, one Saturday we went to three hunts. One of them was…. a disaster. Two were okay. The other three–yes, you’re mathing right–were okay. All in all we went to six–count them–six egg hunts. And this year… we’re giving the kid a dang basket and will extend his video game time for an hour because the only person who had fun was probably me…

  3. My son’s first Easter Egg Hunt made me decide I hate them enough that maybe he doesn’t need to go on Easter Egg Hunts.
    He was one year old, he has a march birthday, and just barely able to walk. I don’t want him to collect the most eggs, I have no idea what I’d do with that awful candy because I’m pretty sure my one year old is a little young for a gummy hamburger.

    So I’m not excited about the easter egg hunt, but my family is, so I suggest to my young sister in law that she’d have fun guiding him around and showing him how it works. He’ll be excited to have two or three eggs and all the other kids who will appreciate the candy can have it.

    Well the hunt starts and he toodles on out to the field, picks up one, whoops! he missed the basket, Sister in law dutifully helps him. They’re having an adorable bonding moment.

    Mother in law realized her firstborn grandson was not “winning” so she runs out there, steals his easter basket, and starts fighting with the children. She’s competing with 5 year olds to get the most eggs. My son in the meantime is just standing there thinking wtf?
    So we gave away as much of it as we could, and brought home about a pound of candy to throw straight in the trash. But at least mother in law also won $5 in change.

  4. I’m in my fifties now, but one of my earliest memories is of an Easter egg hunt. I remember the bigger, older kids grabbing eggs right out from under my nose. And of being sad about having only a single broken egg to bring home.

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