30 March, 2013

Simple: Gifts from the Easter Hare.

We don't celebrate Easter, in the religious aspect in our home, but I did want to do something special for Spring for Mara and Porter. Originally when asked, Dan and I told family members we were not doing Easter baskets for the babes; with Mara's food allergies and Porter being so young, it just seemed like a waste to gift them a basket full of sugary things they couldn't have, and celebrating a holiday that we do not observe because well, we aren't Christian. Dan's mother and grandmother got Mara and Porter Easter baskets anyway, because well, sometimes people think you are parenting your child a little too batsh*t crazy and want to give your children a "real" experience. I say that in the most, unbitter way. It is, what it is!

So, rewind to last week, I was reading one of my Waldorf education books, and the season celebrations came up. I read a tidbit about the folklore of the Easter Hare, and with it being non-religious and just a story to delight a child's mind, I changed my stance on Easter baskets. Or Spring gifts, as I like to call them. I still don't believe that these gifts from the Easter Hare should be big and extravagant, the whole idea is about an invisible, magical bunny, so I don't think rushing out and buying new bicycles or spending a bunch of money on material items is the point...

I'm posting this a bit late since Easter is tomorrow, but I figured I would share what I did for Mara (Porter is too little this year, so I didn't make him personalized Easter Hare gifts) as gifts from the Easter Hare, and I didn't spend more then $6. Here is what I used: Dan's grandma's basement is full of forgotten things, and some of those forgotten things came in handy. Stashed away with some holiday stuff was a Wal-Mart bag from 1997 (no joke, really, 1997!) and inside it were two unopened brand new packs of plastic Easter eggs and another opened pack. One pack of miniature ones and a pack of regular sized ones. I grabbed these, along with a handful of Easter chocolate that Dan's mom bagged up for me that were left over from her candy dishes, and a box of Annie's Homegrown Organic Fruit Snacks, brought all of that home. Then when the babes went to sleep, I pulled out our jar of loose change, some glue, construction paper, and a box cutter..we just moved last week into our new house (more on that a different time) and I have no clue where the scissors are, so I used Dan's box cutter from work.

First I stuffed the eggs with the fruit snacks, chocolate, and added pennies to some of the eggs. I wasn't sure what to do with all the small ones, so I put them inside the larger ones (Dan's suggestion, I think it's a fun one!). Tomorrow morning while the babes are distracted, Dan is going to go hide them.

Next, I used the box cutter and construction paper to cut out leaves and flower petals from some spring colored construction paper. Think yellow, pink, green, light blue, light purple, pastels would be great. I thought it would be nice to make Mara a poster with a morning Waldorf verse on it. Something she can use year round, but always be reminded it was given to her in celebration of Spring because of the colors on it. Once all the pieces were cut out, I took a cream colored piece of paper (8x11) and wrote on the verse. Then I took the various pieces and encircled the verse with the leaves and created flowers with the cut out petals. 

After that, I created a small note explaining who the Easter Hare is. Cut out an egg from the spring colored paper, used a different color to create a pattern, glued it onto the note and let it dry. When it was dry, I placed it in a small envelope and addressed it to Mara and decorated the envelope with another spring egg made from construction paper. Then, I wrote Mara a letter from the Great Easter Hare. The letter gave Mara some affirmations on her spirit and as an introduction to another small gift, the Easter Hare left her a special morning verse to say at breakfast everyday to make her day extra magical. He also told her about the eggs he hid outside, but that she had to eat her breakfast first and learn her verse. I wrote the verse on a separate, smaller piece of yellow paper and folded it up to attach to the outside of the Easter Hare's envelope. The verse was in my Waldorf book, and it's encouraged to do a breakfast time verse to give a sense of ritual. I like that I was able to use Easter as a way to incorporate some new Waldorf things that I had been wanting to do, but just hadn't gotten a start on.

Here's the finished products:

I am looking forward to making these simple Easter Hare gifts a tradition, and I think these make great keepsakes for the holiday. What do you do for Easter/Spring Celebration? Do you go big or do you keep it simple as well? Next year, I may do more fruit in place of candy but we are in between grocery trips and I think these gifts are just right. Also, tomorrow (my due date for baby three inside my belly!), we are going to plant our wildflower seeds that came with our Spring Equinox convenience kit, in celebration of Spring. Maybe all the fun activities will convince our little baby inside me to join us!

Have a great rest of the weekend.

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