Easter—the warm, vibrant counterpart to Christmas. Families gather ’round, traditions are upheld with fervor and a lovable creature breaks into homes in the dead of night, leaving gifts and candy to children’s delight.
All the while, parents watch their wallets grow thinner and thinner with the collection of each treasured Easter egg and the consumption of a hearty Easter ham. Fortunately, there are ways around forfeiting your hard-earned money to the floppy-eared con artist.
As an adult, I have found that one of the greatest joys is watching the youngsters become master egg hunters, searching high and low in the race to find all 100 colorful plastic eggs.
Of course, with that joy comes the realization that the price of 100 eggs—some of which are filled with coins—and a few bags of candy can add up quickly. Thankfully, communities have come together to host massive Easter egg hunts.
With these, the kids will claim their victory in the form of chocolate while you get to claim yours by saving a few bucks.
Now that the hunt is taken care of, it is time to address the basket. These woven wonderlands are not just for kids any more. Friends, roommates and colleagues also find themselves pressured into another round of gift exchanges.
However, whether your recipients are children or adults, it is possible to come out on top monetarily.
For kids, there are a number of pre-packaged toy baskets available at stores such as Wal-Mart and Target. These themed ensembles start at $10 and can be a good option. If you prefer to create your own, head over to your local dollar store and assemble a unique masterpiece.
If the adults in your life need a little love, you can take the same route as with kids, or you can turn to the holy grail of gifts—food. Nothing says “I care” better than a homemade loaf of bread or a hot meal.
Putting aside the commercialized portion of Easter, it is possible to avoid spending altogether. Whether you observe the holiday as a religious practice or simply as a way to welcome in spring, celebration can be found through taking a moment to appreciate the new life budding all around.
Hug a baby, smell a flower or climb a mountain. Easter festivities can bring exuberance, but gratitude is free.