What are Easter Baskets?

Easter Baskets have their origins in the United States among 18th Century German immigrants. They took with them a variety of customs and myths, and in the Pennsylvania Dutch area, these traditions took hold and spread. Back then, children would add straw to any suitable container the night before Easter (usually an upturned hat or bonnet), and if they were good, the Easter Bunny would lay colored eggs in these improvised nests!

In time, these became the Easter Baskets we know today. Children wake up on Easter morning, and find a basket full of Easter goodies: candies, toys, chocolate all sitting on a bed of straw. Like Christmas, traditions change from place to place. For example, many baskets are hidden by the Easter Bunny, and the children have to find them, while others simply put empty baskets in one place, and it is mysteriously filled during the night. Whatever way it’s done, the result is always the same: happy, smiling kids!

Besides the normal stuff (Easter Eggs, chocolate bunnies, jelly beans), there are lots of small gifts that can be added too. If you want to limit the amount of candy your child eats, make up for it with crayons, balloons, bubbles or a soft toy.

One great thing about Easter Baskets is that they can be themed towards a child’s age and interests. So maybe if they’re especially good this year, they might like a Dora The Explorer DVD, or a Barney coloring book. Many people like to remind their kids about the religious aspects of Easter, and might include a children’s Bible, or a shorter Easter story book. Whatever way you like to celebrate Easter, you can create a basket to suit!

Another great thing is that they can match practically any budget, so if you’re struggling to make ends meet, just go to a dollar store and make improvised baskets… just like in the old days! Flower pots, biscuit tins, hats and boxes all make great baskets. It’s not the money that counts, but the excitement and magic. And if you get your kids involved in making their own baskets, it can only add to the wonder of it all!


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