By Nancy Twigg
The Easter celebration can be expensive, but it doesn't have to be. Here are some ideas to help you simplify and replace the commercial aspects of the holiday with activities that are more in keeping with the spirit of the season. Do some research on how Easter is celebrated in other cultures. Turn your celebration into a learning experience by enjoying traditional Easter foods and activities from another country.
Instead of buying greeting cards, make your own. Use your computer's desktop publishing program or crayons, markers and construction paper to make personalized Easter cards for friends and relatives.
If you buy gifts for the children's Easter baskets, use moderation. Select one item each child will truly enjoy and supplement with inexpensive filler items. If you usually buy a new Easter basket or bucket each year, choose a smaller one this year that will require fewer items to fill.
Instead of buying decorations, choose a few craft projects to do together as a family. Do an Internet search or check out books from the library for ideas. Use your completed projects to decorate your home for your family celebration.
If you use flowers as part of your celebration, keep arrangements simple. A modest corsage or arrangement of flowers from your own garden is much more meaningful than an expensive purchase from the floral shop.
Instead of spending a great deal of money on chocolate and prepackaged candy, make homemade cookies and other sweets to be enjoyed as part of your celebration. Your kids will enjoy making and decorating these goodies together as a family.
If receiving new clothes is part of your family tradition, consider sewing them by hand to save money. If making an outfit is too big of an undertaking, consider making one special accessory like a hair bow, tie, sash or piece of simple jewelry to adorn an outfit you already have.
Rather than serving an elaborate meal with all the trimmings, consider serving a modest meal and donating the extra money you would have spent to an organization that feeds the hungry.
Adapted from Nancy Twigg's book, Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful Holidays and Special Occasions (www.celebratesimply.com)
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