Easter is one of my favorite times. It is a time of new beginnings, fresh starts and hope. No matter how old I get I love giving and receiving Easter baskets. I enjoy going and finding fun and personal Easter gifts big and small to fill my loved one’s baskets. Yet as I get older, the days of candy filled and candy only filled baskets have waned. Don’t get me wrong, I always include something sweet in my baskets but you can do so much more. Here are some ideas of Easter Basket fillers I have done or have plans to do. Since I have filled from young to less young (the really needs to be a better word than old), there should be plenty to draw on regardless of your loved one’s age. I hope these help you this Easter.
Candy: The Good Old Standby
So while I don’t always want to give candy, candy is kind of a given when it comes to filling Easter baskets. It’s one of those things that is traditional and synonymous with modern Easter. When I was a kid, my parents would fill Easter eggs with loose candy. That was a very time consuming project and lends itself to egg hunts better than filled baskets. Now, I would never trade the fun experiences we had with those filled eggs, but as time changed so did what went in my basket.
These days there are some wonderful and amazing spins on the traditional Easter candy. You have the large Wonka eggs that are filled with Nerds, Runts and other Wonka candies. There are egg shaped Reese’s cups, pre-filled eggs that are not always egg shaped but come in animal and even Noah shaped “eggs”, jelly beans that taste like your favorite candies and Whoppers turn into Robin’s Eggs. One of my personal favorites is bubblegum that comes in little egg cartons.
The Chocolate Bunny: Hopping Your Way in a More Diverse Form
I know the Chocolate Easter Bunny is candy but it deserves a separate heading. He’s not your solid milk chocolate bunny these days. He has broken the mold. Seeing as how I am not a chocolate fan (I know that’s almost sacrilege being a woman and all), I, for one, am glad he’s strutting to a different song these days. He’s sporting dark chocolate, white chocolate, cookies and cream and even filled. And everyone has joined the band wagon on the bunny from Russel Stover’s to Hersey to Godiva. And you can’t forget about your favorite candy bar…Snicker’s bunnies, York bunnies, Butterfinger and Reese’s all in a hippity hoppity yummy goodness.
And for a different twist on the Chocolate Bunny, try one with cotton stuffing instead. One of the best thing that I found last year was an actually stuffed animal Easter bunny who smelled like chocolate. Since he was a “dark” chocolate bunny, he was the perfect addition to my husband’s basket.
Character Anyone: Movie Favorite Characters
Another really cool thing for Easter baskets is characters from someone’s favorite movie. This works really well with little kids, especially with little girls who may be Disney princess crazy. I recently saw adorable kid versions of Merida, Elsa and Anna, Disney’s latest princesses, who would not only look cute in a basket but would be adored out.
This also works for adults. I will be the first to admit that I have a little kid in me and I know I’m not alone. So this Easter, Olaf will be waiting for my in my Easter basket. My husband is a major Superman fan so one day the flying man of steel may make a landing in his basket or Gumby in my cousin’s who happens to be 50.
Don’t Forget the Practical
No one ever said that practical can’t be fin as well. Kids grow like weeds. Adding a new swimsuit to their basket each year kills two birds with one stone. This works for shorts, shirts, and so much more. I personally craft a lot and go through supplies fast. Stuffing my basket with crafting basics like washi tape, glitters, glue sticks, floral wire and more is practical but exciting for me. I even got a pair of to die for teal heels.
This can also be done with something they have expressed they want or need for their house. My husband needed some basic home improvement items so they just might end up in his basket.
Something Yummy But Not Sweet: Snacks
Most parents don’t want their kids hopped up on a major sugar high and Easter, Halloween and Christmas are three tough holidays. Instead of stuffing a basket with candy consider snacks. Whether they are young or not so young, Nabisco cookie and cracker packs, CornNuts, dried fruit bags, Chex mix and even beef jerky are perfect for the basket. If you can’t find snack size bags, consider making your own using cute Easter bags with fun ties.
Adult Appropriate and Only
No I am not talking anything R rated or higher. But, adult beverages are always adult only. Consider tossing in a bottle of beer, some beernuts and pork rinds or small wine, hard cheese, cured meat and crackers for a definite hit with adults. You can do the same with a complete bar set and some mini liquors or for a non-alcoholic beverage basket, consider coffee or tea with honey sticks, flavor spoons and more.
Books, Books and More Books
Books are always a great option! Finding books that are age appropriate and that fit your loved one’s interest helps foster good reading skills and creates good readers. Its the perfect opportunity to slip in the Tails of Peter Cottontail or Brier Rabbit. For your older kids consider the Charlie Bones or Harry Potter Series. For your teens, Pretty Little Liars or Percy Jackson Series are great options. And for your adults, look at what they enjoy watching on TV and mimic that in a book selection such as the Bones books or Castle books.
Consider sticking in a library card too. Its a perfect way to introduce the library and share the wonders it has.
Speaking of books, don’t discount the coloring book and activity books. Add these and some crayons and/or markers and you will have a hit on your hand with little and pre-teens.
Most people are upgrading technology with smartphones and tablets. Consider giving iTunes gift cards, earbuds, décor sleeves or even extra power cords. Hard core movie fans can also use an upgrade on their old VHS and replace classic movies like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and Fast Times at Ridgemont High or one of my favs Lord of the Rings with DVD counter parts. Most are extremely inexpensive and yet are pretty readily available.
For little kids, you can’t go wrong with $5 Easter movies. To this day one of my all time favorite holiday movies is the classic, “The First Easter Rabbit“.
A fun filler for the young and the young at heart are the fun flavored lip balms. They are perfect for little girls who want “makeup” but aren’t quite ready and for teenagers who just want to grab and go. Plus, for the adult, they can bring back nostalgic memories. You can get fun lip balms in Twinkie, Junior Mint, Cotton Candy and other fun flavors.
Another fun option is true mini makeups in pint sizes. Sallie’s Beauty Supply has mini lip glosses, eye shadows, nail polishes and the like for $1-$2 each. Nail polish is also any awesome and cost effective filler. Pure Ice, Wet-n-Wild and LA Colors are pretty cost effective brands and you can get a rainbow of colors to put into the basket.
Toys Are Not Just for Tots
Since its spring, consider water, pool and beach toys. Just make sure if you get a water gun that you get one for yourself too. Target, Dollartree, 99 Cent Store and Wal-mart all offer fun and inexpensive Easter specific toys like Bunny Bowling, Tic Tac Toe, and bunny bubbles. But things like slinkies, yo-yos, and card games are appropriate for teenagers as is noise putty…be prepared for your teenage boy to make a lot of fart sounds and be happy they don’t come with a smell.
Most companies make Easter or holiday versions and smaller versions of their standard lines. Don’t be surprised to see pint sized and Easter-ized Barbie or and Angry Bird with bunny ears. These look cute in baskets and give kids a fun toy that doesn’t break the bank.
Piecing the Puzzle Together
Puzzles are awesome and they come in all ages appropriate boxes. For the little ones in your life or the adult, a puzzle can be fun. If you want to get really creative, make a puzzle out of a photo of you and your loved one.
Peep, Peep, Peep
Okay, so I know marshmallow goodness covered in colorful sugar is candy but, the Peep is a category all its own. The Peep has definitely transformed from the traditional row of 5 flat marshmallow bunnies covered in yellow or pink sugar. You can get a solo peep, or chicken peeps. You can get every color imagined and now almost every flavor from vanilla, to birthday cake, to milk chocolate, dark chocolate, and even orange cream. They come as yellow peep chickens inside of hallow chocolate eggs or dipped in chocolate. I’ve even seen oversized bunnies. Who knows? They may even be for more than just you Easter Basket…have to wait and see.
I hope you have found some ideas to help make your baskets a little different this year. And I would love to hear what you do as well.