What are your favorite Easter memories from your childhood? Looking for Easter eggs? Nibbling on marshmallow peeps? Biting the ears of your Easter bunnies?
Or maybe the most magical part was the preparation – painting those eggs and anticipating the treats you’d get. The Easter basket, with green grass and chocolate bunnies … maybe a stuffed chick or even a real duckling!
I am sure you would like to recreate some of those good memories for your family and especially for your children. So here are some tips to help you make that happen.
For many families, Easter is about their faith, but that won’t stop anyone from enjoying the Easter egg hunt and Easter candy as a secular celebration. Easter is a day of joy, and the colorful eggs and accessories of traditional Easter serve to enhance that sense of joy in the essence of spring and rebirth.
For children, of course, part of the appeal of Easter lies in the fact that it is another holiday where they expect to get lots of chocolates, sweets, and other delicacies. And for the purposes of this report, we’ll focus on the fun aspects of Easter, along with its joy. You can have a happy Easter, celebrating spring and its beauty and freedom, without focusing entirely on sugary things.
Easter is a family affair
Families vary in how they like to celebrate Easter. So you can choose how you would like to celebrate. But despite individual differences, there are also many common themes. These are some of the standard ingredients:
Easter is (for many people) about treats … and the key among delicacies is Easter eggs. It is not Easter unless there are a lot of eggs in the basket, along with a variety of other treats. And about those eggs … there are so many different types, from filled and unfilled chocolate eggs, caramel eggs, marshmallow eggs, and yes, even hard-boiled eggs that have been decorated in bright colors to add to the playfulness.
Peeps, preferably in various shapes and colors, are also a must, as are jelly beans, which really do look like miniature eggs.
Some families even have their own special baked goods for Easter, which can range from specialty breads to fancy cookies and cakes with colorful Easter decorations. My mother used to bake each of us a cake in the shape of Easter bunnies or Easter lambs! Some years, he let us choose which one we wanted.
If there is an Easter parade in town or even nearby, be sure to bring the kids and take lots of photos. If you go, you should make sure you get (or create) some special Easter hats for everyone, as there are often competitions for the best Easter hat at these events.
For example, Richmond, Virginia has a special Easter parade, appropriately named “Easter on Parade,” which turns Monument Avenue, a beautiful tree-lined avenue with beautiful old houses and monuments, into a temporary playground for the citizens of Richmond, who they roam up and down, showing off their hats and decorated dogs. There are contests for the best hats, both for humans and their canine friends.
Meanwhile, there is music along the avenue, and many elegant crafts and delicious treats are sold. There are also games for children. Parades like this can create very special memories.
Kids always love Egg Hunts, which many cities, towns, or institutions will host on Easter weekend, so if you get the chance to take the kids to an Egg Hunt near where you live, they’ll have a blast. Otherwise, you can always hide eggs and candy tucked into colored plastic eggs around the house or outside in the garden, weather permitting.
Preparing for Easter: Painting Easter Eggs
One of the most appreciated Easter traditions, besides getting and eating the sweets, painting Easter eggs.
You have two options: you can paint hard-boiled eggs and then eat them, or you can remove the contents of the eggs and paint the shells to use as decoration.
In fact, you may want to do both. You can always make a brunch frittata from the contents of the hollowed eggs and then use them to create pretty centerpieces once you’ve painted them.
To create these centerpieces, you can simply get Easter baskets and place the eggs beautifully in the “grass.” Or you can get some branches, with or without leaves, and decorate them with their colorfully painted eggshells. Of course, there are many additional possibilities, from creating a mobile and hanging it from the ceiling, to decorating a wreath with eggs and displaying it on the front door or in the hallway.
Painted hard-boiled eggs, on the other hand, will be part of Easter baskets intended for consumption, and can also be hidden for Easter egg hunts. Just make sure the kids find them all, or else you’ll have some very nasty smells coming from their hiding places within a few weeks.
So how can you color your eggs? Once you have your “canvas” ready, the process is easy.
First, you must decide if you want to give your eggs a solid color base. If so, you can color them in a food coloring bath.
Next, you get some special tools for decorating Easter eggs and paint. It is entirely up to you whether you want to create designer artwork, geometric shapes, or little bunny pictures. You can also incorporate special Easter egg stickers and “tattoos”. If you are coloring eggs with your children, encourage their creativity and most of all, have fun!
Getting Ready for Easter: Buying Candy
It seems that every year there are more options. It’s hard enough to decide what to buy.
A few decades ago, the options were pretty clear. There were chocolate Easter bunnies, chocolate eggs, caramel eggs, basic yellow marshmallow peeps, jelly beans, and those Cadbury cream eggs.
Now the selection has grown in all directions.
Where there were only yellow peeps, peeps now come in a range of colors, including pink, blue, and purple. There are also bunnies in various electric colors. And yes, you can even buy sugar-free peeps for those of us who must avoid eating sugar.
You can then select from a wide range of other candies in all kinds of shapes and sizes, from egg-shaped candies to creamy strawberry, raspberry and coconut flavored fillings, just to get started.
And then you can get Easter bunnies and related creatures in all sizes, from pocket size to bunnies big enough to dwarf your little one.
Some of the smaller chocolate bunnies also come with fillings, from marshmallow to peanut butter and more.
How do you select the ones your kids will enjoy the most? You can ask them, take them shopping with you, get one of each and take notes for the coming year, or buy a really large Easter basket so you can fit in a variety of options.
Speaking of baskets, the choice will also depend on whether you are composing the baskets yourself or giving the kids baskets full of fake grass that they will fill as they hunt for their treats all over the house. – or garden.
Be sure to save a few items in case the hunt results too uneven, so that you can slip a few extra eggs into the “loser” basket to avoid tears.
It’s not ALL about food! What else can you put in an Easter basket?
Some parents may shudder at the thought of the Halloween-like candy overload that could result from Easter baskets limited to edible treats. So what else could you include?
Almost anything you like, as long as the kids enjoy it.
From CDs to games and books, to cute notebooks, pens and erasers, it really could include anything that can be used to fill socks. It’s just that for Easter, it will go inside a basket.
It could even include small garments or accessories, from socks to hair ornaments, jewelry, and more.
And don’t forget gifts for parents and friends. Here, you definitely don’t have to restrict yourself to bunnies and treats, though feel free to include them, along with a select gem, a brand new watch or a flawless new electronic device, and even new headphones in Easter egg colors. .
And of course, no one has decreed that all bunnies have to be edible. Some children will enjoy bunnies that will be their friends for months and even years. In fact, some people take “friends” literally and give live bunnies and even chicks. That is not always a good idea, especially for other people’s children. Be sure to check with parents, they may not appreciate the extra work. If you like baby bunnies, remember that they grow into big rabbits, and even more bunnies, if you’re not careful!
Preparing an Easter party
There are no real rules about what to serve for an Easter party. Unlike Thanksgiving, Easter doesn’t usually call Turkey. Instead, many families prepare a large ham, a rack of lamb, or perhaps a rib roast. But it’s really up to you what you and your family enjoy – a vegetarian brunch might be better for you.
Rather than include a recipe here, I’d like to encourage you to make your family’s favorites. There is something very comforting in gathering every year around the traditional festival.
However, when it comes to desserts, feel free to get creative and include a few new items or decorations. Unless you have a favorite dessert that is an absolute must.
What to do with all those hard-boiled eggs after Easter?
It’s actually kind of funny that there are basically three types of eggs that make up the Easter directory: chocolate eggs, caramel eggs, and hard-boiled eggs.
And, of course, we won’t have to worry about what to do with the first two categories; they would keep for weeks, if necessary. But they are not likely to survive that long.
Instead, it’s hard-boiled eggs. Once the novelty of the decorations has worn off, there will likely be leftovers in the baskets around the house.
So pick them up and add them to your meals.
Here are some ideas on what to do with all those eggs:
a) Stuffed eggs
Cut them in half, mix the yolks with your favorite combination of mustard, mayo, seasoning, and your favorite spices, and fill them in the egg white halves again. Serve cold.
b) Sliced eggs as a topping for sandwiches
Just cut the eggs and use them to cover the sandwiches.
c) Egg salad
Chop the eggs, toss them with mayonnaise, mustard, and onions, or whatever else you want to include, and serve as a dip or on sandwiches.
d) Other salads
You can also serve them chopped in chef’s salads and potato salads. You can combine egg slices with spinach and make a hot dressing. Just be creative!
There is no limit to what you can do. Take the ideas I suggested and build on them. Consider your family’s preferences and be sure to get everyone’s favorites, but also add some potential new favorites to the mix.
Above all, have fun and have a very happy Easter!