An Easter Basket That’s Not Full of Junk

An Easter Basket That’s Not Full of Junk

Here comes Peter Cottontail, hopping down the bunny trail…

Hippity, hoppity, junk is on the way.

Easter baskets have come a long way since their creation thousands of years ago.  In ancient times, farmers celebrated the first seedlings of their new crops in the spring by bringing these seedlings to the temple in a basket.  They’d pray that the gods would continue to bless their crops for the rest of the year.

Easter baskets today as we know them developed from more modern Christian history.  During Lent, which lasts for 40 days before Easter, many Christians abstain from certain foods or treats until Easter comes.  Then, there’s a huge feast to symbolize the end of Lenten fasting.  Starting back in the 12th century (year 1050ish), this Easter feast was brought in large baskets to church to be blessed by priests, kind of like the ancient practice with the seedlings.      

And then…here we are today.  

Where Easter baskets are as stressful (and expensive) as Christmas stockings (which also started out with humble roots, by the way) and usually result in an ashamedly expensive raid of the Dollar Spot at Target, all to end up in the trash or toy purgatory days later.  The ancient gods would be ashamed.  I guess we’re the saints who bless the baskets now?

I learned over the past couple of years that Easter doesn’t need to be so complicated and filled with stuff.  Here’s how:

Ditch the traditional basket.  You can stuff almost anything else instead.  Rain boots.  Makeup bag.  Beach bag.  Popcorn bucket.  Tackle box.  Dump truck. Toy wagon.  A new hat or umbrella turned upside down.  Get creative and find something that will actually be used.  Baskets end up either smashed in a closet or trampled on in the garage until next year.  Save yourself the money and get a dollar bucket for the hunt and anything other than a basket for the finale. 

Think summer.  The time of year we all so desperately wait for is just around the corner, so use this to your advantage and stock up on supplies for summer fun.  Bug jar.  Sidewalk chalk. Bubbles.  Flip flops.  Water bottle.  Beach towel. Swimsuit.  Hat.  Sunglasses.  Sunscreen.  Your littles don’t need to know you’d spend the money on these summer necessities anyways.  They’ll be none the wiser.

Stock up on art supplies.  Crayons.  Finger paint.  Watercolors.  Play dough.  Stamps.  Paper.  Coloring books.  Scissors.  GLUE STICKS.  Take this chance to stock up on the things that are easily lost/destroyed/quickly used throughout the year.  You know there’s no such thing as too many stickers.      

Upgrade the necessities.  Take the bedtime routine up a notch by adding in a light up toothbrush or one that plays music.  If your child is older, try a new phone case or journal.  Treat your littler ones to character band-aids or underwear instead of the value brand (no judgment there).  It’s amazing how much thrill comes from Disney characters that you can bleed on…or worse…

Splurge for fancy snacks.  Juice boxes.  Snack packs. Goldfish crackers or veggie straws that come individually packaged.  Give your littles the experience of eating or drinking out of something other than a cup or ziploc baggie.  Yes, I call this fancy.

Don’t you dare by Easter grass.  It’s worthless, absolutely worthless.  I don’t care if it’s a dollar, it’s stressful and annoying and ends up in right in the trash because it’s not even worth the space to store it until next year.  Use napkins.  Use felt.  Use construction paper.  Heck, even use real grass.  Just don’t bring the plastic stuff into your house.  Plastic kills animals too.  Don’t be an animal killer!

Focus on the experience.  Don’t feel like you have to go all out for Easter, or any other holiday for that matter.  Keep it inexpensive and low key. If you really want to do something special, set up a scavenger hunt in the yard or inside the house and focus on having fun instead of things.  Holidays can be special even when you’re not doing anything special at all.