10 Ideas for Less-Stuff Easter Baskets

Easter is just a couple weeks away, and if this fact has caught you off guard, you might be tempted to load up your cart with bags of candy and trinkets from the grocery’s seasonal aisle (that has featured bunnies and eggs since the day after Valentine’s) or even grab a whole new Easter basket already filled and wrapped in cellophane! We all know our kids get enough candy, and our homes definitely don’t need more stuffed animals and plastic junk all over the place—plus, getting gifts isn’t exactly the true meaning of the holiday anyway!

So if you’re looking to delight your young ones on Easter morning without taxing your wallet, your kids’ glucose levels, or the planet, consider this list of “less-stuff” Easter basket ideas.

1. Eggs filled with confetti—make traditional Mexican cascarones or just fill plastic eggs (that you kept from last year, I hope!) with paper bits. Kids love to make a little mess, and it emphasizes the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection!

2. Ingredients to make a treat together—a bag of cookie mix; a chocolate bar, marshmallows, and graham crackers for s’mores; cupcake liners and sprinkles, or maybe…

3. Resurrection Rolls—crescent roll dough, marshmallows, butter, and spices. Wrap the oiled-and-spiced marshmallow in the dough, then bake to discover an empty tomb!

4. Books—you can generally feel good about giving your kids more reading material, right? I had some credit at our local used bookstore, so the bulk of my kids’ baskets this year will be filled with three books each by their favorite author!

5. Character-branded necessities—if you’re like me, you may get frustrated with the marketers’ genius that compels kids to want any random thing they see if it has their favorite cartoon character on it. Since I usually say “no,” it’s a treat to get band-aids, fruit snacks, bubble bath, etc. featuring branded characters they like.

6. Fair-trade chocolate—I’m not a total killjoy, I promise! I love chocolate bunnies and eggs as much as the next person. But after learning how most cocoa is harvested with near-slave labor, I do try to make the effort to find fair-trade chocolate. (Clearly, I didn’t do so for the s’mores kits shown in the picture!)

7. Seeds—The opportunity to plant something and watch it grow is a perfect gift for celebrating new life!

8. Balloons—Kids love them, they bring a few hours of play and laughter, then they pop and go away, adding nothing to the sum total of stuff in your house.

9. Gift cards for a snack or activity—an ice cream date, bowling, manicures, whatever. A gift card is a tangible promise of a special time ahead!

10. Stuff you were going to buy anyway. The fact of the matter is, stuff is just part of life. “Living lighter” is about buying used, using less, and being creative in order to reduce the burden of stuff on our lives. But some stuff you just have to buy new, so if we’re going to buy new crayons, socks, and toothbrushes anyway—put them in the basket and let your kids see them for the gift they are!

[This post is reprinted from the Living Lighter facebook page, pre-blog: March 26, 2018]

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