Easter Sunday (March 31st) 2013 Visit: http://alternativegiftideas.co.uk/Why we celebrate EasterOur modern version of Easter is a Christian holiday which celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Easter marks the endof Lent and ushers in a fifty day span known as Eastertide. Easter is similar to the Jewish Passover holiday, which sharesmany of its symbols. Passover is also celebrated in the spring.Springtime holidays with traditions similar to Easter can be traced for several thousand years. The name Easter is thoughtto have its roots in an obscure Anglo Saxon myth featuring the goddess Eostre, note the similarity to Easter. The Saxons innorthern Europe celebrated the coming of spring with festivals honoring Eostre. She represented spring and rebirth. Eostrewas often represented in the company of a rabbit. Hence the modern Easter bunny.One version of the Eostre story is that she once changed a pet bird into a rabbit as entertainment for some children. Therabbit was still able to lay eggs and proceeded to lay colored eggs. This explains the tradition of an Easter bunny who hidescolored eggs for children.Whatever your reason for celebrating Easter, we can all agree that it is a fun way to welcome spring for children and adultsalike.Gifts Normally Exchanged At Easter:Here is a brief run-down of traditional Easter gifts along with some craft ideas for those of you who like to DIY.Large Chocolate EggsNo Easter celebration is complete without deluxe chocolate eggs. They are perfect for hiding or topping off Easter baskets.You can buy several different pre-made chocolate eggs, or you can make them yourself. Creating your own chocolate eggsis easy. All you need is a chocolate egg mould and some chocolate drops. If you want to add a little extra flair you can addpre-made icing decorations to your finished eggs.To make the eggs, start by melting the chocolate drops using a double boiler. When the chocolate has melted, take thebrush and coat the inside of the mould. Stick the mould into the refrigerator for a minute or two to set it, then brush onanother layer. Keep adding layers, cooling in the fridge between coats, until the egg has a nice, thick shell. Carefullyremove the two halves of the chocolate egg. Next, brush the edges of each half of the eggs and press the two halvestogether. Finish by decorating with icing and candy decorations.Chocolate HampersIf you or someone you know is a complete choc-o-holic, a chocolate easter hamper makes the perfect easter gift. There areseveral gourmet options available.If you really want to impress someone, and a simple chocolate easter egg wont do, you can make your own Easter hamper.For this project, youll need 340 grams of candy coating or tempered chocolate. If you want to decorate your chocolatehamper, you will also want candy decorations and royal icing.First melt the chocolate using a double boiler or microwave, stirring until the chocolate is smooth and has no lumps. Line abaking sheet with parchment paper and pour the melted chocolate on it. Take a spatula and smooth the candy coating orchocolate until it has formed an even layer. While the chocolate is still warm, tap the baking sheet gently against thecounter to even it out and release any air bubbles. Place the baking sheet in the refrigerator for four or five minutes to coola little.At this point, the candy should still be somewhat workable. Take a ruler and a knife and mark out your box shapes. Youllwant to mark out a five inch square box for the base. Then mark out four five by three and one half inch boxes to make up
the sides. Next, return the baking sheet to the refrigerator so the chocolate can harden completely. Gently break apart thechocolate squares along the scored lines. Melt the leftover scraps in the microwave. Assemble your hamper by brushing themelted chocolate along the bottom and one side piece. Hold in place until the chocolate sets up enough to hold up on itsown. Repeat for the other three sides. Finally, decorate with candy and icing, then fill with gifts and treats.Thanks to About.com for tips and instructions.http://candy.about.com/od/chocolate/r/chocboxes.htmPersonalized Easter EggsA personalized Easter egg adds a nice touch to an Easter hamper. Here is and easy and fun way to personalize easter eggs.Use your home computer to print out your favorite easter graphics along with the persons name in a decorative font. Cutout the name and decorations. Its ok to leave edges with this project since the excess paper will blend in with the white eggshell. Use Modge Podge to adhere the name and decorations. If you want to add an extra festive touch, add some glitterand acrylic paint.Easter cardsSending an Easter card is a thoughtful gesture and a nice way to include friends and family that dont live nearby. It is anice way to brighten the day for someone. This is especially true for older folks who may not get out very often. Thinkabout the people in your life that might like to get an Easter greeting from you.Easter Basket Ideas for EveryoneIf you dont like the idea of filling Easter baskets with candy, never fear, there are many fun, innovative, gifts that you cangive. Following are gift ideas for toddlers, boys, girls, teens and grown-ups.Toddler Easter Basket IdeasHere are some Easter basket gift ideas for small children and toddlers. Thanks to themomcreative for these greatsuggestions!http://www.themomcreative.com/2012/03/101-kids-easter-basket-ideas.htmlBooks, puzzles and games all make great gifts for young kids. Age appropriate art supplies are also lots of fun. Thinkcrayons, washable markers, play-doh and stickers. Some other terrific gift ideas are personalized t-shirts, stuffed animalsand bubble stuff.Easter Basket Gifts for BoysThese are some great ideas for Easter gifts that boys will love. Slinkys are always fun. So are; action figures, bug houses,flashlights, toy cars, books, Legos and baseball cards. Thanks to the momcreative for these suggestions.http://www.themomcreative.com/2012/03/101-kids-easter-basket-ideas.htmlEaster Basket Gifts for GirlsMany girls like craft items and age-appropriate beauty accessories. Here are some creative Easter gift ideas for girls.Thanks to idealHomeGarden for these terrific recommendations.http://www.idealhomegarden.com/holidays-crafts/easter-basket-ideas-for-girls/Girly girls will love the following Easter gifts; bath beads, hair ornaments, perfume, nail polish, lip glosses and jewelry.Crafty girls like gifts that spark creativity like; colored pencils, dolls, puppets, jewelry kits, decorative stamps and prettypapers.Easter Basket Gifts for Teen GirlsTeens can present quite a challenge when it comes to gift giving. Gifts have to be age-appropriate and cool. These ideas areso good even teenagers will love them. Here are some suggestions for girls. An Amazon gift card is a no-brainer, add tothat some lip glosses, jewelry and a magic eight ball. Thanks to the Examiner for these ideas.http://www.examiner.com/article/top-easter-basket-ideas-for-teens
Easter Basket Gifts for Teen BoysInstead of the usual candy, get these gifts for teenage boys; iTunes gift cards, cell phone covers, movie tickets and t-shirts.Thanks to the practicalmommy for these ideas.http://thepracticalmommy.hubpages.com/hub/EasterBasketsforTeenagersEaster Gift Ideas for MenEaster is a good excuse to get a few gifts for the man in your life. Here are some Easter gift ideas for men. Buy him a nicetie or set of cuff links to go with his Easter suit. Men also appreciate gifts of food, such as, meat, cheese and crackerselections. For a final touch consider adding a bottle of his favorite beer, wine or brandy.Easter Gift Ideas for WomenLet the woman in your life know that you care with an Easter basket of goodies. Get her a gift card from her favoritedepartment store. Jewelry is also a perennial favorite gift for women. Make dinner reservations and buy tickets to anupcoming show or movie. For some extra little touches, you could add some boxes of her favorite teas with some fruit andbiscuits. Thanks to everythingandanythingblog for these tips.http://everythingandanythingblog.com/2012/03/15/show-her-shes-special-easter-basket-gift-ideas-for-women/Activities For Kids And Adults At Easter:Easter is an especially kid-friendly holiday. From egg hunts to Easter baskets, there are a lot of opportunities for crafts andactivities that kids and adults can share. Here are some fun Easter activity ideas for all ages.How to Make an Easter HamperA simple, yet adorable, idea for an Easter hamper is to make one from a simple box embellished with decorative papers,colored craft foam and ribbons. For this project, you will also need scissors and glue. Find a sturdy box with a squareshape and tall sides.Line the inside of the box with decorative paper and glue in place. Take a bit of additional light cardboard, the type thatcereal boxes are made of. Cut a long, narrow strip and attach to the sides of the box to serve as a handle. Cover withdecorative paper. Cover the outside of the box with decorative paper. Cut the colored craft foam into different shapes, suchas, flowers, bunnies, chicks and eggs. Glue your craft foam embellishments to the sides of your Easter hamper. Fill withcandy and gifts!Making Easter CardsMake Easter a little more special by creating your own Easter cards. All youll need is some construction paper inspringtime colors, decorative papers, Easter themed stamps, markers, Easter stencils, pastel-colored markers and glue.First cut your construction paper into various shapes. If your stencils are large enough, you can make bunny or egg shapedcards. Now, use your stamps to decorate the fronts of your cards. Then finish your designs by gluing on some decorativepaper accents. Write a nice Easter greeting inside with your markers and you are done!Handmade Easter BasketsMaking Easter baskets by hand can be a rewarding project to do with a child. Here is a simple method for making a prettyEaster basket. You will need the following items: strawberry basket with handle, pastel-colored construction paper,scissors, tape and some ribbon.Cut the construction paper into strips that are as wide as the holes in the basket. Next, weave the paper in and out of theholes. Secure each new piece to the one before it. You can use a little glue for this purpose. Finally, add a bow to the top ofthe handle. Now you can fill your Easter basket with goodies! Thank you to sheknows.com for this easy Easter basketproject.http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/808411/make-your-own-easter-basket
Easter Craft Ideas Here are a few more creative Easter crafts for kids. Glitter Easter Eggs Glitter Easter eggs are easy, and fun to do. Simply adhere double sided round glue stickers to your eggs and roll in glitter. Egg Cup Planters Take some painted wooden egg cups and plant small flowers in them such as, violets, pansies or forget-me-nots. These would make beautiful place settings for Easter dinner! Easter Finger Puppets These finger puppets are very cute and easy to make! All youll need for this craft are pipe cleaners in several colors, a variety of mini pom poms, some googly eyes, a hot glue gun and wire cutters. For the puppets body, simply take a pipe cleaner and wrap it around your finger. The top of the puppet body should be a tight, closed circle. Next use some hot glue to adhere a mini pom pom to the top of your puppet body. Glue on the googly eyes and then used bits of pipe cleaner to fashion noses, beaks and ears for your creatures! Thank you to craftjr for this craft idea. http://www.craftjr.com/easy-easter-crafts-easter-finger-puppets/ Alternative Easter Gifts Ideas And Activities: If you are getting tired of the same old Easter activities and gifts, here are some silly, fun and unusual gift and activity ideas. Host a Glow-in-the-Dark Easter Egg Hunt Place glow sticks in plastic eggs and have an after-dark Easter egg hunt. It will take some real ingenuity to hide these well! This idea came from mommysavers.com. http://www.mommysavers.com/c/t/201161/glow-in-the-dark-easter-egg-hunt-fun-for-older-tweens-teens Give a Garden Themed Easter Basket Take a wooden orange crate, paint it an attractive color and fill with garden themed gifts. You could add a few potted garden plants, some small garden tools and seed packets. A stuffed rabbit and a personalized card will add some finishing touches. Create an Easter Tree Find some blooming branches, forsythia branches are festive. Place the branches in a decorative pail or very large vase. Decorate the branches with Easter themed decorations. Easter Basket Clue Hunt Hide childrens Easter baskets and create a series of clues for each one. Hide all the clues except the first one. Give each child their clue and let the treasure hunt begin.There you have it. Plenty of fun, unusual and creative gift, craft and activity ideas for the Easter holiday season.