Easter is one of those holidays that always sneaks up on me a bit. I know it’s coming, and look forward to a few extra days hanging with the family – but I tend to forget about the whole big rabbit and chocolate giving thing until it’s almost upon us.
I used to rush to the supermarket and panic buy some massively overpackaged and overpriced Easter eggs. It was a never a particularly fun experience, and it felt kinda empty dishing out (and receiving) a stash of poorly thought-through last-minute gifts. And then, I started getting into this whole living lightly gig and I became hyper-aware of the amount of waste and impact that was being created.
I wanted to make better choices, but I didn’t want to cancel all the fun. I also didn’t want to spend hours over a hot stove swearing at my failed homemade chocolate making experiments. I wanted Easter for our family to be all about time together and being grateful.
Here are a few of the different things we’ve done to lighten the way we get into Easter.
- Simplify: When it comes to treats – we roll with a ‘less is more’ approach. The kids will get one treat and then we’ll focus more on doing things together. Maybe it’s locally made chocolate or a re-used jar filled with a selection of treats from the local bulk store or the supermarket pick’n’mix section. Keeping it simple also saves on the massive sugar hangover!
- The thrill of the hunt: We switch the balance of an egg hunt to be more about the hunt than the treats. We leave clues or decorated rocks (I just draw rabbits on rocks with a marker pen) around the house with a chocolate reward at the end.
- A bit fancy: Our local bakery makes incredible hot cross buns – I stock up (and throw some in the freezer) and we sometimes do a fancy morning tea with op-shop china. Homemade hot cross buns are also pretty special if you really want to get in the spirit.
- Traditions: I love the idea of an Easter tree. Grab a potted plant or choose a tree in the garden to decorate with painted eggshells or other suitably Easter-y décor.
- Get crafty: Last Easter we discovered how to make ‘ice eggs’. It involves filling up an empty eggshell with foraged flowers and leaves, topping it up with water, and freezing. Once frozen you remove the shell and you are left with a really awesome frozen piece of art. I got the inspiration from A Little Wild.
- Head over to Mainstream Green for the instructions on how to make them!
- Conversations: Events like Easter aren’t a solo act – we’ve got extended family, friends, and random acquaintances in the mix. I’ve now learned to have conversations upfront so that people don’t feel there’s an expectation to turn up with an array of Easter offerings. We’ve simplified things a lot by just freeing people from expectation of needing to give. We’ve also come up with some really nice alternatives like my mother now buying my children winter pyjamas every Easter. She loves gift-giving, the kids really look forward to it, and I’m stoked they’re getting something useful.
Celebrations are one of the best things about being human. Living lightly isn’t about going without, it’s about making conscious choices and reconnecting with the stuff that really matters.