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Spending more than ever on Easter with gifts and chocolate galore

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BRANFORD--It's time for Easter Sunday, but with the recent snow and unusually high levels of spending, it's looking a lot like Christmas.

The website recently suggested that Easter has gotten so big--Americans are going to spend $17.3 billion for the holiday this year--that it's the new Christmas. And people agree.

FOX 61 viewer Denise R. says her mother DOES think Easter is the new Christmas!

FOX 61 viewer Denise R. says her mother DOES think Easter is the new Christmas!

"Yep. I would agree," said Susie Carroll, of Madison. "Kids do want candy and egg hunts and they want all those traditional things, but I think there's this sort of social pressure not to do a lot of that, and to do more clever things."

And while flowers and bunnies are popular gifts, it's chocolate that's the name of the game. According to the National Federation of Retailers, of that $17.3 billion we'll spend for Easter, $2.3 billion will be on chocolate alone. And the rest of the spending?

"They're looking for alternatives to candies stuff like that," Sal Esposito, of Branford Book and Card, said about customers. "So they're buying gifts and rabbits--a lot of bunnies--and outfits for the kids."

So while it may be changing the holiday, retailers are rejoicing. Lee-Ellen Magna, of Myers Flower Shop, said it means "more people buying more--and shopping local."

Esposito, meanwhile, said, "We welcome any type of business, so we look forward to the holidays and we prepare for them."

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