Thinking outside of the basket

Much like any holiday, along with Easter comes a vast array of chocolates, candies, and toys.

There are also books, plastic eggs and elaborate baskets.

OK, so the eggs and baskets are fairly specific to this holiday.

There are so many things marketed just for this holiday that one could argue as being over the top or straying from the point of Easter.

I’m not going down that road though. I could, but I’m not.

Like most holidays in this country, most stores have a special little section filled with seasonal decor.

Things you definitely don’t need — but they’re cute, and thus people purchase them.

With all of these basket fillers that are specifically crafted for this holiday, it can be easy to go overboard with a ton of tiny trinkets that eventually end up in the trash or at the bottom of a toy box.

We personally try not to buy these kind of toys. I don’t know about you, but I actually don’t like throwing my money in the garbage.

It’s not that we don’t buy our kids fun stuff, but with three kids, disposable toys add up fast.

I prefer to buy things that are not from the Easter basket stuffing section, but things that our kids have been asking for.

Now there are some very cute things in the Easter section, and some actually did find their way into the baskets in our house.

All I’m saying is that sometimes parents are more creative than they give themselves credit for.

Think about the things that your child (or whoever you’re buying for!) is genuinely interested in and go from there.

Think of things they need. New spring boots? Sunglasses? Sneakers to play in now that the temperatures are on the rise again?

These all make for great, yet practical gifts.

It’s also a great way to instill gratefulness in your kids.

Present the things that they actually need as gifts. Not just things that are constantly handed to them.

This helps build a bit of genuine thankfulness for having things, rather than seeing them as just another thing that they happen to have.

There are plenty of other articles and newsletters out there for ideas on Easter gifts and things to put in Easter baskets.

The thing is that some of them are very biased. I have deleted at least five from my email just today.

All of which are products that the sender of the email, profits from the sales of.

Don’t fall into the marketing trap, friends.

Stores that send out emails have a specific purpose in mind and that is to generate sales. They’re just doing their job.

This doesn’t mean it’s wrong for them to do their job either, just make sure you’re buying things and inviting more stuff into your house because you say so, not because your inbox said you should buy it while it’s on sale.

Everyday we are bombarded with things we “should” buy, when the reality is that it’s our decision and ours alone.

So this year ask yourself: what do your kids enjoy? What toys can you buy that you won’t regret in one month? What have they been asking for when you go to the store?

Personally, I have been sneaking things in the cart and asking the cashier to “hide” them for the past month.

Whenever our kids find something that they show significant interest in, I make note of it and either buy it then, or wait until they bring it up again.

Construction paper, Play Doh, sunglasses and things that we actually utilize and enjoy.

If you’re still stumped, or you just need a head start — here are some more not-so run of the mill ideas: Chalk, jump ropes, bubbles, Nerf guns, markers, crayons, paint, puzzles, colored pencils, sketchbooks, fun scissors, stickers, glitter glue, coloring books, bouncy balls, action figures.

Dolls, doll accessories, bubble bath, stuffed animals, sunglasses, hats, hair accessories, sandals, nail polish, chapstick, water shoes, yo-yo’s. Frisbees, squirt guns, flip flops, fun socks, water bottles, rain boots, Legos, books and last, but not least, candy!

As always, thanks for reading and happy Easter basket stuffing! Wishing you a wonderful holiday weekend from hbk!

Katy Wise is a Fredonia resident.