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It’s that time of year where everyone wants to know what’s in everyone else’s Easter basket. Moms wonder if they are giving enough, or too much, and what items are age appropriate. Some families celebrate with big gifts and some celebrate with just a few chocolate eggs. However you decide to celebrate is totally up to you!
When I was a little kid, my three siblings and I each received our own baskets. They were usually stocked with the same candies year after year. But that’s OK because we knew what to look forward to every year. We could count on each of us getting our own coveted Cadbury egg. By the time we were teenagers my mom focused on one family basket instead of four individual baskets. I think it was easier for her, but I also think she just wanted in on the candy haul without having to bargain with each of us for it. She filled one giant basket with all our favorite candies and no gifts. She also added in real eggs that had been dyed, and individual loaves of Italian Easter bread made from scratch. If you have not had Italian Easter bread Google it now and get to baking! Or find a bakery near you that makes them! So delicious!
For my kids, we have done something different every year. We usually include “gifts” in their baskets simply because kids never stop needing things. We use this as a great excuse to include whatever items they need at the moment, like a new pair of spring pajamas, swim gear, art supplies and rain gear. The kids think it’s the most amazing thing ever that the Easter Bunny knew they were running out of underwear. I didn’t say these were all extravagant gifts, but gifts none-the-less.
This year they have all the swim suits and underwear they need. So what’s next? Well, this Easter season has us smack dab in the middle of a new lifestyle challenge in our house. We are working hard to eliminate as much unnecessary plastic and packaging as we can. And let’s face it, every holiday comes prepackaged these days. I had to really think about this to find something new the girls will find exciting!
Here is what will be in our Easter baskets this year:
Rain boots- my kids are coincidentally in need of new rubber rain boots. These are something we need as we simply cannot pass up a good puddle to jump around in.
Chocolates- I know real original. But, we buy from a local store where we can get individual favorites packaged together in a recyclable paper box, and chocolate bunnies in a paper bag. Due to food allergies we can’t have Cadbury eggs in our house. But that means we get spoiled with some really good chocolate!
Gift Cards- This is my new favorite item to give for every holiday! So much less packaging and nothing left to clutter up my house! It’s also like prepaying for our fun! We are adding gift cards to the local ice cream shop, Target, museum passes, even our favorite salon. Yes, I said salon. Kids need hair cuts and it’s like a fun day out for us girls!
T-shirts- not just any t-shirts! We bought the T-shirts from their favorite bounce place which will give us $4 off every return trip. You bundle that with a gift card to the ice cream shop and you have a really fun day out!
Summer shoes- They have also outgrown their summer shoes. Even though it is practical and it’s something I would have bought them anyway, I am turning it into a gifting opportunity. Also, I got them on a really great clearance sale last year. Ha!
Other fun things we’ve included in the past:
- New umbrella decorated with their favorite character
- Art supplies
- Garden tools with matching apron and gloves
- Bubbles and sidewalk chalk
- Beach towels
- Bikes (only because we got them free with credit card points and they arrived two days before Easter)
- Bike helmets
- Beach toys
- Swim suit and goggles
- Summer pajamas
Now I know, most people eschew actual gift giving at Easter. However, I’ve never been one to really care what other people do with their money or holidays. I just try to stay in my own lane. So, whether throwing some candy in a basket and leaving on the kitchen table is more your thing, or hand stitching bunny costumes for every member of your family, no one here will be judging. Or nosing around your basket sneaking Cadbury eggs.
What’s in your Easter basket?
The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here. You can also find her musings and popular shares on Facebook and Twitter. Stay up to date with her creative ideas and outings on Pinterest.
Easter was never about over the top gifts and decorations when I was a kid. My mom always made it personal and special. From the individual loaves of Italian Easter Bread to the carefully assembled family Easter basket, we all knew she put some time and effort into our holiday. It was very different than the average $146 per person parents spend today!
For us, it is easy to dismiss the grand gifts and excessive candy stash. We do celebrate the religious aspect of the holiday, but we also like to celebrate the coming of spring. Our Easter baskets usually reflect the season and what my kids currently need like raincoats and boots. Little kids tend to grow out of things quickly, so Easter is a good time to buy the things my kids currently need and fill in their Easter baskets.
I saw this posted on Facebook several times in the last month and I am inspired to recreate this with things my kids can actually use! It happens to be perfect timing as my girls have been asking for their OWN umbrellas (at least 3 times a day each time it rains).
Here is what we are adding in our umbrella baskets this year:
Books: You can select any book your child will enjoy. In the past I’ve purchase books at the dollar store. My kids LOVE books on CD! I hosted a Barefoot Books party a few months ago and was able to snag some beautiful books with CD for a steal! Books my kids love at a price I live? Win-win!
Bathing Suits: With summer right around the corner it is the perfect time to buy new ones to have on hand the moment the pool is ready!
Flip Flops: My kids would go barefoot all day every day if I let them. But, they will compromise and wear flip flop sandals. I hit a lucky clearance sale and picked up a new pair for each of them at $2.00 a pair. I’m talking bedazzled and sparkly just the way they like them!
Sunscreen: I’m already going to shell out the money for this. Buying it now means I’m just ready to roll once the bathing suits come out!
Bunny Socks: Kids always need socks! I don’t know what the heck my kids do with their socks, but one day we have a stock pile the next day we have 2 and a half pairs left. Plus, you can find these in most dollar stores, or the Target dollar section.
Bubble Wands: What kid doesn’t love bubbles? They can use them any where at any time. No waiting for the sun to come out, or the weather to warm up! Just open and enjoy!
Leggings: A little something to add into the wardrobe is perfect! Seems like a gift, but it’s really something they are going to wear over and over and over again!
Candy: We really limit the amount of candy we put into our baskets. Not because we are super strict about dyes and sugar, but because we are lucky to have so many generous friends and family who give our kids treats. We also participate in a couple of egg hunts which means we come home with plenty of candy.
Stuffed Lovies: Beanie Boos to be exact. My kids have so many stuffed animals already we could have seriously opened our own stuffed lovey adoption agency. But, they can’t help falling in love with every Beanie Boo they make eye contact with.
Umbrellas: (Obviously) it’s a gift holding the gifts. I don’t even have to go into storage to find baskets!! Everything will be put away in its own place and I won’t have to worry about tons of little tiny plastic things scattered on the floor and ultimately end up in the garbage.
That’s it. That’s all they get this year. I’m not even including decorative grass because I don’t like the mess it makes! No jelly beans. No peanut butter cups. No excessive amounts of candy that I’ll end up eating or that they can beg me for a million times a day. For the record, our grand total this year is $88/$44 for each kid.That’s $100 less per child than the average per person cost!
I love the less is more approach to our Easter baskets. I feel like if we present things the kids already need like clothes and shoes, paired with a few wants like bubbles and chalk in a unique way, they feel like they got enough “stuff” to celebrate the holiday. And, I feel like I gave enough without compromising my wallet or my values.
What kind of fun things do you include in your child’s Easter basket?
The Whatever Mom is a full-time wife and twin mama living on coffee and wine. She enjoys the pure rush of cleaning the BIG potty between loads of laundry. It is her dream that moms everywhere accept and embrace the Whatever Mom philosophy which can be found here.