Celebrate a Greener Easter


If you have been thinking about going green, now is as good a time as any. What could possibly be more fun and fulfilling than planning an eco-friendly Easter with your friends and family!

 Simple changes in your normal Easter routine will go a long way in conserving the earth. Remember to involve your kids in the process and discuss with them the importance of your efforts.

  1.  Recycle Easter baskets. Use previous years’ baskets. Or save up and use the baskets that you get fruit arrangements or bouquets in. Be creative. Remember the bath kit you received as a gift? Wouldn’t the container make a wonderful Easter basket? How about that straw hat you bought years ago? Invert it, add a fabric handle and you have an Easter basket that’s one of its kind! And if you do buy new Easter baskets this year, remember to save them for the following years! 
  2. Fill ‘em with eco-friendly goodies. Choose healthier Easter treats and preferably those wrapped in earth-friendly material. You could choose organic or fair trade chocolates or other options such as jelly beans, or even crunchy carrot bites or gummy beans. Eliminate the use of plastic wherever you can. Why buy plastic grass when you can make a far cooler and eco-friendlier variety with paper, scrap or cloth? Also pay attention to the packaging. Come up with fun projects you can do with your kids. For example, you could recycle their art work or other paper and make gift wraps out of them. They will be thrilled to see their art work put to creative use.
  3. Buy local.  Whenever possible, buy produce that is grown locally. When you go shopping for the Easter meal this year, why not stop by the farmer’s market? You may end up spending a little extra, but don’t you think it’s a price worth paying? Besides, you’ll probably meet friendlier faces and even feel healthier at the end of the day!

 This Easter, why not start or renew earth-friendly traditions that will breathe new life into our planet? Do you have tips for an eco-friendly Easter? Please share them with us.

And don’t forget to send free, eco-friendly Easter Ecards to your family and friends.

Easter in America


Easter is one of small handful of religious holidays—the other notable one being Christmas—that is celebrated by most Americans.  Though Easter itself is a specifically Christian celebration, religious and non-religious Americans celebrate the day in fairly equal numbers.

Long before Jesus Christ, according to the Christian Bible, died for mankind’s sins and then rose from the grave on the day we now know as Easter, most societies already had a holiday in place that fell at roughly the same time as Easter does today, and which rivals Easter in terms of popularity.  This is because along with being the purported time that Jesus rose from the grave, the period after the first new moon of the vernal equinox has long been associated as a period of new beginning. 

      After a long and rough winter period, people who based their livelihoods on the environment around them—whether they be farmers or more simple hunter / gatherers—looked forward to the beginning of Spring, as it symbolized the start of another fruitful season of harvest and warm, pleasant weather, for many months to come.

      For this reason Easter in America has turned into a multi-faceted celebration.  Most American Christians begin the day by attending a church service.  The Easter service, commemorating one of Christianity’s most joyous days, is understandably more festive than other services of the year.  There tends to be more singing, less sermonizing, and an overall feeling of good will and cheer in the atmosphere.

From there, revelers return to their homes and, owing to the more secular, spring-related aspects of the Easter celebration, a great meal is prepared and enjoyed by all.  This may seem like a fairly standard part of religious holidays, but with Easter, the roots of the feast part of the celebration have a much more practical, specific reason: years ago, non-Christians who were celebrating the spring season, were so confident in the fruitful harvests to come that they would prepare lavish meals, inviting all their neighbors and family members who could make the journey: the message seemed to be, “we’re soon going to have so many new resources, that we can afford to make such a great meal today.”

Another aspect of the American version of Easter celebrations is the leaving of Easter baskets.  Like Santa Claus and the gifts he leaves underneath the Christmas Tree, the Easter Bunny is said to travel to the homes of children around the world, leaving baskets of candy for them on the night before Easter.  And the gift giving does not always end as the children grow up.  Again, like Christmas, where children receive toys when they are younger, and more “useful” gifts as they grow older, children go from receiving candy baskets on Easter morning, to receiving baskets that are a mixture of snacks and various, but useful, small gifts.  Many American young people even receive Easter baskets after they leave their childhood homes, and travel away to college, receiving care packages of various essentials and knickknacks around the time of the Easter holiday. 

      It may seem strange that such a decisively-religious holiday would be so widely celebrated in America, and in such a wide variety of ways.  But the way Americans celebrate Easter is actually rather symbolic of the country and its history as a whole: America has long been known as a melting pot of different cultures and customs, and so it only makes sense that its marking of the Easter holiday is such a mash-up of different celebratory styles.

What do you spend on an Easter basket?


Do you keep track of how much you spend on Easter basket goodies, gifts and clothes?

Will you be making a conscious effort to cut back this year?

 According to one survey, parents said they spend $15 on average on each Easter basket. Some parents feel that the things they buy end up cluttering the child’s room and they would rather not contribute to it. However, since they don’t want to break tradition or disappoint their kids, they end up spending on the same or similar Easter goodies year after year. Some parents do say they fill the Easter baskets with useful, quality gifts, but these usually tend to cost more, taking the price tag of each basket to upwards of $ 30. If you have two or more kids of your own and nieces and nephews, well, this adds up to a figure you may not be prepared to shell out, especially when times aren’t rosy. Plus, add the cost of new clothes, meals and travel, and Easter could become an expensive affair, much like Christmas. According to one study, Americans spent $14 billion on Easter in 2008. There are indications that the figure may decline this yearAnticipating this, retailers are marking down prices and offering greater discounts. So this means you may find better spring and summer bargains than previous years. Will that encourage you to spend more this spring and summer? Or will you stick to your budget and buy only what you originally planned?

 How much do you plan to spend on Easter baskets? Do you have any money saving tips? Share them with us!

 (One sure-shot tip to save time and money, is of course, to send free Easter ecards, instead of splurging on expensive greeting cards. Have you checked out our cheerful collection of Easter bunnies, beautiful eggs and Spring themes?)