Hippity Hoppity, Easter is on it’s way! I love spring, when I can open the widows and let the fresh air in, see the trees and plants coming into bloom, and feel that renewing sense of potential and excitement. It’s a time for new beginnings, spring cleaning, updating project lists, big sun hats, and fresh, local food.
We don’t actually celebrate Easter, but we do celebrate the spring equinox, which shares a lot of the same (or similar) symbolism with Easter. We celebrate the all that is wonderful about the season and how it makes us feel. Eggs, fresh grass, bunnies, and chicks are all part and parcel of the celebration, but it has become something other than what the original celebration was all about. Consumerism has taken over what should be a beautiful, simple season. It’s about fertility, growth, and a renewed sense of optimism (at least, for me it is).
Go to any store and you would think that it’s Christmas, part 2. Plastic Easter baskets filled with plastic grass, topped off with cheap toys and candy, all wrapped up in a plastic bag line the shelves. We’ve become so engrossed in the “what did you get” that we’ve forgotten about the “how do you feel”. I would like to suggest that we return to a simpler celebration that would include time with friends and family, time to revisit our goals, and simple appreciation for the gifts of the season.
Here are few things that we can do to lessen our impact on the planet, reconnect with simple traditions, and honor the season:
Choose real eggs over plastic. Go to the farmer’s market and pick up a couple dozen farm fresh eggs and dye them using natural dyes. You’ll learn how to use natural dyes, which can be used for other purposes, support the local economy, and have the most delicious eggs ever. You can even get really fancy and blow them out with an egg blower and save them for next year! I’ve had this one for years and love it. Another alternative is to use wooden eggs. You can paint them and save them, using them year after year. These could potentially become cherished items, passed on through the generations too.
Forgo the plastic grass. Choose something that can be reused or repurposed. Scarves, vintage doilies, or vintage hankies would look so pretty in a basket and can be useful after nestling the delicate eggs. You can also just use real grass. Just pull some up, stuff the basket, and then compost it later. The bonus with this is that it’s free!
Choose a real basket. You could either reuse this year after year, or, if you choose a more neutral one, you’ll be able to use it for all kinds of things. I have a basket that served as an Easter basket and traveled with us from San Diego, but now I use it to collect eggs from our chickens. I didn’t have to go out and get a specific basket for collecting eggs, it’s very useful, and it’s cute too.
Visit a farm instead of gifting bunnies or chicks. Not only would this be a really fun activity for the entire family, you’ll save yourself the headache of eventually having to rehome the bunny or chick, once it’s grown and the cuteness has worn off. Many farms loving giving tours, especially in the spring when there is new life everywhere. Some even have farm-to-table dinners, which would be the perfect end to a perfect day.
Choose locally-raised and grown food for your feast. If you’re in the city, your best bet is probably a visit to your farmer’s market. You’ll find all kinds of seasonal treats, like ramps, fiddleheads, lamb, flowers, etc. Talk the to the farmer and ask where they are located, making sure that he really is local. Some vendors at farmer’s markets just buy from where ever and sell it, letting the customer assume that it’s local. You might end up with a smaller meal, but really, this isn’t about the meal, it’s about the celebration of the season. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to find wild onions (chives) and mushrooms if you’re into foraging!
Create something beautiful. In celebration of the season, make a wreath of locally gathered items. I love a simple, moss-covered wreath with a big bow on it. Create decorations made of materials that can be composted, or better yet, make it so that you can use year after year, like the cute little bunny picks pictured here.
Avoid food waste. By having a smaller meal, we become more purposeful and, coincidentally, more grateful, for it. We savor every last bite, knowing that the season’s offerings are short-lived. And what to do with all of those eggs? If you blew them out, now you have the perfect makings for a delicious frittata. You can also use them to make custard, eat them as a snack, top off a spring salad with them, or even pickle them. They won’t go to waste!
There are a lot of different things that you can do to create a sustainable, simple, and beautiful Easter holiday, but it’s more important to start. Do just one thing and see how it makes you feel. I guarantee that you’ll get a little smile inside, like a light that says, “thank you for caring.” They’re such simple, easy changes, but that’s how we create bigger change, one Easter celebration at a time.
Photo credit: JESHOOTS on Pexels