One of many things that have been made ten times better since becoming a mom- HOLIDAYS!
Anybody who knows me knows that I am all about the holidays. I LIVE for them. From crafts, to clothing, to food, to upholding family traditions, I try to make every year the best that it can be.
My friends like to say I’m ‘Extra’ and I gladly accept that title.
Easter is one of my favs because it marks the beginning of spring, and includes lots of cute frilly outfits for my kids, all of the chocolate and jelly beans we could want, and an extravagant Easter dinner that is topped only by Thanksgiving. Every year I feel like I pick up tips and tricks to make the holiday even better than the one before (I am really rocking the solo parent thing).Let’s start with planning outfits.
There are a few holidays that my kids get new themed pajamas for and Easter is one of them. All of my fellow millennial moms know how important it is that the children are dressed cute on Easter morning so that their pictures seeing their baskets for the first time are that much more darling (Oh is it just me… I told you I was Extra. We do it for the ‘Gram you guys).
I usually size up on pajamas that way they can wear them two years in a row if I am lucky. I have a lot of luck finding cute pajamas on Amazon, but Target and Walmart normally have these in stock as well.
If there is one thing that can bring me more joy than the holidays, it is putting my kids in matching holiday outfits. My favorite places to shop for the little ones outfits are Amazon and online kids boutiques such as Sparkle In Pink.
For family options (mom, dad, brother, sister, cousins) I have a lot of luck at Target and Old Navy. They provide coordinating colors for everyone so it’s easy to match.
GIRL OUTFITS I LOVE:
BOY OUTFITS I LOVE:
As a single mom, preparing for the big day as early as is acceptable (I’ve had their Easter outfits picked out for two weeks already) really helps ease some of my anxiety. This is a rundown of what my day looks like:
We believe in the Easter Bunny in my house, and it’s my job to make sure he delivers each year. To make sure the morning goes smoothly, the night before I double check that their Easter baskets are put together and that all of my eggs are stuffed and prepped to be hidden in the morning.
Now let’s talk about the basket.
I have gotten many Easter baskets for my girls over the years, ranging in price from $.99 to $25.00. I generally opt for the cheap woven baskets from Target, but there were a few times I decided to get the expensive woven ones thinking that we could use them for other things throughout the year. Well, the baskets got destroyed and the one that made it I could not reuse on Easter because my daughter had piled toys and crafts in it, and I was afraid that if I took it she would wonder why the Easter bunny snuck into her room, dumped her stuff into a box instead of just bringing a new one.
Now I am committed to just buying a new basket for them each year. The cheaper the better because it will be used only for a few days. You can find those here.
If you do want to go the more durable route, I recommend these customizable baskets from Amazon, because if your kids are like mine they will love anything with their names on it. They also have ‘nicer’ wicker baskets at Target and Walmart.
What do I put in the baskets?
I do not like to stuff my kid’s baskets with little junk toys that they will play with for a day or two and then I will sneak into the trash when they are not looking. I am extravagant but I am frugal.
My baskets usually include a few staples each year: A chocolate bunny, a small stuffed toy, a plastic egg with sunglasses inside (they always need a new pair at the beginning of the year no matter how hard we try to keep track of the pair from the year before)
Other than that I switch it up every year depending on what they need/ want. A few of my favs include cheap jump ropes, finger paints, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, or sandals.
Now to stuff the eggs:
This is where I am careful not to overdo it, because an egg hunt can quickly turn into an abundance of candy and sweets that stick around my house for weeks. I usually get one new package of large plastic eggs (the ones that pull apart) and reuse the ones that I salvaged from the year before.
My staple candies include jelly beans (nerds or jolly rancher) and whatever egg shaped chocolate candy I am in the mood for. It can be tempting to fill each little plastic egg to the brim, but keep in mind how quickly the eggs, therefore the candy accumulates. I’ve learned that 2-3 jelly beans per egg is enough.
Other egg stuffer ideas include individual paint, stickers, small toy cars, coins, new socks, whatever you can roll up and shove in an egg, the kids will be ecstatic to receive.
I usually do 2-4 golden eggs, in which I put a dollar bill. My kids go crazy for this.
After the eggs are stuffed, I put them all in a bag so they will be easy to grab and hide in the morning.
Baskets have been arranged, outfits have been coordinated and laid out, and eggs have been stuffed… you finally made it.
This is where my friends and family will call me one of three things- Devoted Mother, ‘Extra’, Psychopath.
I am probably all three.
I haul my ass out of bed around 5 am to move the baskets from their hiding place to the living room, and hide the eggs around the back yard. A few times I have gotten lucky and it was raining so the Easter bunny had to hide them inside. I do this quickly so that I can get back in bed for an hour or two before my kids are up for the day.
DO NOT HIDE THEM THE NIGHT BEFORE IF YOU ARE HIDING ANY EGGS WITH CANDY INSIDE. I did this once and raccoons/ squirrels/ opossums (I didn’t actually see the creature that did it) and opened up and stole our eggs with goods in them.
If I wasn’t 6 years deep into my traditions, I would start only hiding eggs that we had painted the week before or something (another tradition that I will talk about in the future).
Advice for new parents: Plan your day wisely… One gung ho year of waking up early to hide eggs outside before the kids wake up can quickly turn in to having to sneak outside every Easter to tip toe around your own yard with a flashlight.
When the girls wake up and see their baskets and are so excited about the eggs to find in the yard it honestly makes all of the planning worth it.
Easter breakfast usually is something quick and easy to give myself a break. Something like scrambled eggs, cinnamon rolls shaped like a rabbit, a chocolate bunny from their Easter basket… You know, something nutritious.
After the egg hunt and breakfast rush, we take our time getting dressed and preparing ‘lunch’. I am lucky enough to have family nearby, so we collaborate for our meal.
I love to cook, but I am not the best at it. I like to stick to easy to create recipes that are easy ish to put together. My contributions usually include a Kentucky Legends Ham (a little pricey, but you can’t beat the flavor), green bean casserole, brussels sprouts with chopped onion and bacon glazed in honey mustard, and some kind of themed dessert. I have added some variations of these to my Pinterest page, but I am new to learning how to navigate Pinterest and have not had time to post my specific recipes. I will post later to my blog, or you can find my inspiration here.
After lunch, it is smooooth sailing from here. We head to our family’s house and enjoy an afternoon of re hiding and hunting eggs again with cousins, enjoying delicious food, and usually a few rounds of competitive UNO or Pictionary.
What do you do to prepare and celebrate the holiday? I love to hear about traditions that other families share that are different from ours!
Coming soon: Easter Crafts with Kids
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