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Some Parents Swapping Out Sweets For More Expensive Gifts This Easter

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Easter is quickly approaching and some parents are getting ready for some serious celebrations -- by creating huge baskets full of pricey gifts.

They're replacing the traditional -- and relatively cheaper -- chocolates with expensive toys and clothes.

Laura Rolston tells CBS2's Elise Finch that she's going all out this year. She's having her son Christopher's picture taken with the Easter Bunny at Roosevelt Field Mall and she bought gifts for the one-year-old's Easter basket.

"Stuffed animals and bath toys and stuff like that," the Patchogue resident said. "Little clothing for him. It's definitely a little more than when I was a kid. I'm a new parent and I'm excited and I don't mind spoiling my little boy a bit."

Rolston's gifts are tame compared to parents of older children who say they're also spoiling their kids this Easter. The new trend for some is to make Easter baskets that rival the best birthday and Christmas presents -- complete with clothing, toys, and even electronics. Examples can be found all over parenting websites.

The Berkey's have three children, and they say they're aware of the trend but refuse to follow it.

"My friends buy into it and I know a lot of my neighbors but we try to be very minimalistic and keep it real," Roxanne Berkey said.

"The only stuff I got as a young boy was chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate," Roxanne's husband Patrick said. "That's all I got."

Some parents say the extravagant and gift filled Easter basket came about as parents tried to steer their kids away from eating so much candy. Still, others say it's gone too far.

"People just don't want kids eating candy," Emilio Caponigro of College Point said. "It's no food for you, but hey, come on. You gotta cheat and once a year is not going to hurt anybody."

Gina Metzger of Merrick draws the line with kids receiving iPads and iPhones.

"I think it takes away from the meaning of the holiday if you make it about toys," Manhasset resident Jill Carvajal said. "It should really be more about the spirituality."

Store shelves are still lined with chocolate bunnies, a variety of candy eggs, and plenty of Peeps -- but you'll also find fancy baskets, big bunnies, and tons of items on sale that make it very easy to create your own Easter basket bonanza.

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