Any good helicopter parent knows that Easter means taste testing chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and marshmallow peeps to ensure that they are not poisonous. It’s a pretty fundamental skill to have in your parenting repertoire, not for the faint of heart. It separates the really good moms from the bad moms. Just sayin’…are you willing to eat the head off a Cadbury Bunny for your kid? I thought so! Welcome to the Mom’s Club! It is a small sacrifice to pay when we love someone more than ourselves.
For me, Easter really means that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice for our sins and I have been gifted salvation through faith. Therefore, I celebrate Easter! Though our beliefs and traditions may vary, the traditions that surround any holiday bring family together, give you something to look forward to and help identify who we are.
Often times, my family and I decorate and dye eggs on Good Friday. Then Sunday, the kids wake up to an Easter basket of goodies. Sometimes, the bunny leaves a trail of powdery white footprints. Sometimes, not, because bunnies need sleep too. After church, we get together with family for lunch and an Easter egg hunt. There is always one golden egg, which means there will be one winner and everyone else will not be the winner. That’s how we teach life lessons around here. But all the grandkids do enjoy opening plastic eggs to find candy, stickers, and gold coins.
I enjoy creating thoughtful, one of a kind gifts, especially Easter baskets! Gift baskets have always been fun to assemble and to personalize the contents. Choose items that are meaningful to the recipient, and represent their favorite character, color, sport or past time. Here are some things to consider when putting an Easter basket together, but these tips transcend to almost any type of gift basket.
Think outside the box. There are lots of super cute traditional Easter baskets available, because Target does exist. However, there are many options when picking what to use as a basket. What about toys that double as containers like dump trucks, sand buckets or a tackle box for your little fisherman, zippered cosmetic style bags for girls, drawstring backpacks for boys, wooden caddies or metal crates that can later double as room décor? Be creative!
Get personal. Kids love to see their name in print, so personalize their basket or a few goodies inside with the child’s name. Water bottles, bags, and stationary are great items to monogram, because they often travel with kids to school, daycare, or summer camp. There are many monogram and embroidery shops in Waco. Or you can do it yourself with a vinyl cutter, sharpie paint pens or alphabet stickers from the craft store.
Be practical. Include something that the kids use daily like festive socks, battery operated toothbrushes, or character band-aids. Nothing feels better than brand new pajamas and I am a sucker for matching holiday pjs! Think of items that are fun but useful – swim goggles and flip flops for the pool, an umbrella and rain boots, extra baseballs for hitting practice. This ensures that the items will not end up in the big Semi Annual Closet Cleanup!
Think healthy. It is the only way that you can avoid eating all the candy you swore not to. Include a few healthy snacks like trail mix, beef jerky, fruit snacks, Goldfish, or Gerber puffs for the little ones, etc…Of course, you have to include a chocolate bunny and your kid’s favorite sweat treats! Because it is a holiday and calories do NOT count on the day of a holiday.
Focus on adventure. Choose items that encourage outdoor play, active learning or fun experiences. This may mean tickets to the museum, movies or zoo. It can include a kite to fly at the park, flower seeds to plant, or water balloons to throw at your older brother. Science, art and garden kits always spark the imagination and curiosity. Create an Easter egg scavenger hunt that the family can enjoy together.
I have listed some of my favorite items to fill your child’s Easter basket by age and included some examples of baskets for inspiration.
Basket Assembly Tips:
- For deeper containers, crumple newspaper in the bottom first to add height so items protrude out of the basket. Cover newspaper with Easter grass or just use grass in smaller containers.
- Start with taller items in the back of the basket. Books work great to add support to smaller objects placed in the front.
- Use clear tape if needed to hold items in place.
- Make it festive by poking decorative picks like these Easter bunny signs into the grass.
- For candy baskets, tape the back of candy onto paper straws or wood skewers to penetrate grass and stand in place.
Candy baskets are easy and inexpensive to make, but are a great way to tell some bunny you care! Look for candy that comes on lollipop sticks, or is tall and narrow to slide into the grass. For smaller candies, just tape a paper straw to the back to hold candy in place.
To make a large number of treats or baskets for classroom parties, coworkers or lots of grandkids, these are quick and easy to assemble. These two ideas would be great on your Easter Sunday table at each place setting, just personalize the tag for a place card. Guests would love to take home one of these chocolate bunnies. Pastel crates and bunny clothespins can be found in 8 packs at Hobby Lobby, a.k.a., the store that takes all my money. Just add a small gift card in the crate and you have a pretty gift for teachers. The mason jar treats are made with edible easter grass, chocolate eggs and bunny. Tie with string and tags from Target.
Holidays are about the traditions that we create and not the gifts that we give or receive. Just like life is about the experiences that we gain and not the possessions that we have. It is up to us as parents to teach our children what is important. Then, pray a lot, because they probably weren’t listening the first three times.
Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God.