Easter means different things to different people. For some, it’s a sign of spring, which symbolizes renewal and fertility. For children, it’s a time to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, hunt for eggs, and eat copious amounts of chocolate. For Christians, it’s a day to remember Christ’s death and resurrection. Also, amongst those groups, a commonality is having a grand Easter dinner.
There are several things you can do to celebrate this holiday, and stay within budget. Whether your an adult, a child, religious or not, here are a few ideas to have fun this Easter.
As said, for the children like to hunt eggs for Easter. There are two ways to provide eggs for the hunt, and both are relatively inexpensive. Hard boiling eggs can be fun, because children get to have the fun of dying them. The only ingredients needed for dying are the eggs, a dying kit, some cups, and vinegar. Eggs and vinegar, of course, aren’t expensive at all. The cost of your dye kit is up to you. Basic dye kits with just the dye, can be as cheap as $1.00. Dye kits that run at higher prices, include things like special crayons, stickers, glitter, etc. Also, don’t underestimate the power of Easter clearance sales after the holiday. With fifty to seventy-five percent off, you can stock up on Easter egg dying kits for years to come.
On the note of children, if you have them, you (I mean the “Easter Bunny”) can leave them an Easter basket to wake up to on Easter morning. This doesn’t mean you have to buy gobs of expensive chocolate in their basket. Sure, a little chocolate is alright. However, you can also include a favorite movie of theirs, and small, inexpensive toys (what I like to call “trinkets.”) Avoid buying pre-packaged Easter baskets, because they are a horrible rip-off, and not very budget-friendly. You’re basically paying for packaging.
Instead of taking your children to the mall to get their photo taken with the Easter Bunny, scout out other places that are cheaper, if not free, to do so. I’m not sure if the staff does it at every location, but our local Wal-Mart gets an associate to dress as the Easter Bunny and take photos with the children, for free. Parents can pick up their child’s photo the next day. While you’re there picking up the photo, you can make yourself a couple copies on their photo machines, for basically pennies.
If you’re a Christian, and Easter holds religious or spiritual meaning for you, you know about attending the Easter service at your church. Most churches even have sunrise service for Easter. If you are looking for an extra spiritual experience for this holiday, scout out churches who put on “passion plays.” I had the amazing experience of attending one several years ago at a Pentecostal church, and I was amazed. It was very well done, and it made me feel like I was actually there with Jesus, his mother, Mary Magdelene, and the disciples. Chances are, there is at least one church nearby, that has one of these plays on or around Easter.
Also, if you want to heighten the experience of Easter, participate in the forty-some season of Lent, before Easter. Lent starts on Ash Wednesday, and symbolizes the forty days that Jesus was in the desert, and was tempted by Satan. Lent is a time of prayer and fasting. Most people don’t do a total full-blown fast for this season. Traditionally, people gave up dairy products (which is why eggs and milk are used to make pancakes on Fat Tuesday.) In today’s times, people give up a variety of things. This is my first time observing Lent, and I have given up sodas and chocolate. It’s a true lesson in temptation and sacrifice.
Lastly, an Easter feast is in order. In the South, tradtionally, ham is the meat that is served for Easter dinner. Depending on where you get your ham, it can be budget-friendly, or very pricey. My favorite place to get our ham, is at our local hometown grocery store. It’s fresh, and can even be cut however we like. Another place to find a bargain ham, is at Food Lion. Weeks before Easter, if you buy at least $40 a week in groceries, for six weeks, and save your tickets, you are entitled to a free ham. Once you have selected a ham, all that’s left is the sides! These can be as pricey or as bargain-priced as you choose. My favorites include deviled eggs, macaroni and cheese, green beans and new potatoes, carrots, and yams (because I can eat them year-round.) Just don’t forget the rolls!
I hope that your Easter will be as exciting and as meaningful as mine have been in the past. I also hope that you find these ideas useful, and will utilize them in your Easters to come.