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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Easter Ideas

We've all probably struggled at times with celebrating Easter...do we stick to the Biblical stories only or do we also add in the Easter bunny?  Well, if you decide to go the bunny route, here are a few ideas that will help get your party "hoppin"! :)

First of all, decorations.  There are a few essential things I like to have in my decorating: a banner of some sort, a decorative buffet or table scape, music and themed food.  Initially you  need to choose your colors.  For Easter, you should either go with a light pastel pallet, bright pastels, or pick 3 colors to stick with.

So banners.  I love this cut out bunny banner which was also used as cupcake toppers....do you notice that they cut them out of the gift bags they used?!
I also really like this egg garland.  It's very festive!

Table scape.  The right table scape is about layers.  A cotton tablecloth can be used year after year and looks more expensive than it actually is.  Just buy some material at Walmart that you think looks "Eastery" and has your color choices.

I love the trees with hanging egg ornaments.  I think they are very festive and you can usually reuse the tree for other holidays by changing the ornaments.
Centerpieces.  You can go anywhere with this one.  With Easter, you're either doing one of these themes: Bunnies, Chickens, Eggs, Flowers, Candy or Spiritual.  You can mix them as long as you stick with the same color pallet.  I also love the idea of using fresh things.  For example, fresh flowers, fresh food or candies, fresh grass, ect.  If you just grab a few spring flowers and stick them in baskets or pails, that would be good enough.  But adding in some wood or ceramic painted eggs, a few ceramic bunnies or chicken and then scatter some jelly beans, that would make it more impactful.   I also think it's very cute to add a birds nest and fill it with colorful eggs.
Love that the centerpieces are multi-functional as snack containers!
Here they used a great color pallet and added jelly beans that match.
I also couldn't resist this paper lantern made into a bunny.  How adorable is that?!
Activities.  There are a lot of great ideas out there for kids.  An Easter Egg hunt is a must!  Hide plastic eggs (filled with toys or candy) around the house or yard.  You can even turn it into a scavenger hunt if you have the time.  
If you are decorating outside, go ahead and hang some from your trees.  You could also add some beautiful nylon butterflies or birds to your outdoor decor.
You can also do an Egg Relay race with hardboiled eggs.  But my favorite is to do a craft making Bunny Masks.  They look great doing the Easter Egg Hunt in these masks.
Dying and painting eggs is always a favorite, but with younger kids can get very messy.  I would suggest purchasing Styrofoam or wood eggs and have them either color them or stick on stickers/jewels.  www.orientaltrading.com has A LOT of craft ideas for Easter.
If you're feeling brave...dye away!


Food.  Hmmmm!  Traditional, lamb is served at Easter time because spring was the only time of the year that sheep were lambs.  However, in the USA with a shortage of lambs, ham became the staple.  If you're hosting a lunch, ham biscuits would be most convenient.  
Side dishes can be anything from macaroni and cheese, quiche, scalloped potatoes, sweet potatoes, spring vegetables, a spring salad, hot cross buns and fruit salad.  Don't forget the deviled eggs!  You mostly want to think about what is in season and what represents "spring" for your area.  For dessert, however, carrot cake is the norm...or some variety of it in cupcakes, muffins, cheesecake, ect.  However, some beautiful cupcakes would work as well, strawberry shortcake or your favorite fruit pie.

Oh, and don't forget a fun drink!  Perhaps a fruit smoothie, a pina colata (for the adults) or a chocolate drink.

Easter baskets!  The fun part! Well, I am not a big fan of the baskets.  My kids usually like to carry them around the whole day and end up sitting on them and breaking them.  I like the tin buckets or felt baskets from potterybarnkids.com best. Traditionally, I do not put that much candy in my kid's baskets.  They get so much on the hunts and events we go to, so I like to stick to more spring clothes or toys that they will be using.  A spring outfit, flip flops, bubbles, sun glasses, jewelry, a sun hat, plush bunny, books, crayons, movies, ect. are all fun gifts.

And I can't leave out favors.  Of course you just sent the kids home with eggs filled with candy or toys, but this would also be a special gift.  Icing piping bags filled with orange jelly beans look gorgeous as carrots!
If you can, set up a photo shoot for the parents to take of their children.  Hang a sheet from the clothes line, add in a big bunny and some eggs...and viola!  Unless you can convince one of your friends to come dressed as the Easter bunny, this is a good alternative.

Whatever you choose to do, have fun with it.  Do not stress...use your strengths to make it the best party for your guest and your children.  Taking shortcuts is necessary and helps make the party run smoother...so take them!  Happy Easter!

*most photos taken from www.marthastewart.com.
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