Posted by Anne Pazier on 24th Mar 2016
The only holiday tradition I love more than filling Christmas stockings is making Easter baskets. Forget the big ticket items under the tree, sometimes the most popular gifts are small trinkets tucked into a stocking or nestled inside a plastic egg. Oh, the thrill of digging through Easter grass and discovering what treasures await! Add to the overall mystique, the element of the “hunt” and now I am practically delirious with excitement!
In January I celebrated my half-way-to-ninety birthday. You can do the math on that, but the point is, even at this stage in life I still look forward to receiving an Easter basket. And just because I am a mom myself, and even though I own a gift basket business, making thousands of baskets for other people throughout the year, my own mother still knows this about me. Last Easter was a full circle moment for me. In the pre-dawn hours of Easter Sunday, as I opened the door to my back patio, armed with the tools to stage an elaborate egg hunt and basket reveal for my children, I nearly stepped on a lovingly crafted and carefully placed Easter basket. For one brief moment the magical thought crept into my head, “Could this have been left by THE Bunny?” Then my eyes filled with tears as I realized my sweet mom must have driven over to my house in practically the middle of the night, to sneak in the back gate and leave this for me. It was customized, as they all have been for 40+ years, to my personal interests. It had all my favorite candy and snacks, a copy of People Magazine, and a gift certificate for a Mani-Pedi at my favorite salon. The image of my mom staying up late crafting this basket in her living room, while I did the same for my children the night before, was incredibly touching. It occurred to me in that moment, that one is never really too old to enjoy both the thrill of giving and the joy of receiving an Easter basket.
Make Your Own Easter Basket Class-
It's especially convenient this time of year to know someone who owns a gift basket business. Just ask any of my friends. A few days before Easter, these frantic moms are inevitably lined up outside our shop, arms full of various licensed character toys and games and candy, and with a look of panic in their eye. I usually pour them a glass of wine and let them sit and watch me dress up their treasures. This year, however, I decided to charge admission! For just $20 anyone can attend our Wine & Design classes, which include the basket, materials to wrap and style out your gift, two hours of entertaining instruction, and local Santa Barbara wine (wine is an essential element in my crafting tool box). We've done several of these classes for Valentines Day and other holidays, and will continue the series with Mother's Day and Father's Day coming up next. (click here for tickets & info) To fill their baskets, my guests can shop our shelves and also bring some personal items to add a very custom touch to their gift. For my craft-challenged friends, I still wrap it for them and just pour them a second glass.
The Hunt is Afoot!-
This year we will have a full house on Easter Sunday, with adults and children of various ages participating in the festivities. I have been scanning Pinterest religiously and am prepared with an arsenal of activities and treats. In order to create an even playing field for the kids, I am color coding each of their baskets. This way they only hunt for their own color and I can make the challenge age appropriate. I have also hidden puzzle pieces and Lego pieces in their individual eggs, so they have to find all of them to complete the picture or structure. For the adults I am making smaller baskets tailored to their interests. My husband and his brother will get “Hoppy Easter” buckets of local beer and pub treats. My sister-in-law will get a basket of Gluten-Free treats and her favorite fashion magazine.
Long Distance Bunny Deliveries-
Although we will enjoy our time with the family who are able to join us this year, we will sadly be missing the celebration with out-of-state family and friends. To make certain we have a presence at those holiday gatherings as well, I sent baskets that feature a variety of treats for everyone. Local coffee to be brewed in the morning before church and served with biscotti and granola. Our favorite wine and champagne to be served with the holiday supper. Snacks to munch on before the big meal, and of course traditional Easter chocolate for everyone to enjoy. I used to send flowers or some sort of table arrangement when I couldn’t be home with my family for holidays, but now I take so much more pleasure knowing that everyone is sharing the goodies in the baskets I send.
So, whether you order a basket from us to deliver locally here in Santa Barbara or ship nationwide, or you labor with love over the unique design of your own creation, have fun with it and have a Happy Easter!