My Non-Consumer Easter

by Katy on March 31, 2010 · 34 comments

As long time readers know, I’m not one to shy away from a strong opinion now and then. And as much as I abhor the hate mail that this will invariably bring me, I’m going to go out on a limb and commit myself to another inflexible statement.

I hate plastic Easter grass!

I hate the way it feels on my fingertips, I hate the way it wraps itself around the inside of the vacuum cleaner and I’m certainly not a fan of its plastitude. (Wow. I’ve said it, and I feel so unburdened. Such catharsis!)

I know some people grow their own wheat grass from seed as a beautiful homage to nature, but that would require foresight and planning ahead. Two things that are not exactly in my repertoire.

I have a alternative Easter basket filler that I find to work out really well, which is whole peanuts. Not only do the peanuts look great in the baskets, but they’re a healthy addition to the not-so healthy Easter diet of jelly beans and chocolate. I buy the low sodium variety, (which is still pretty salty) but I don’t worry about it since we hardly ever eat salty snacks and none of us have heart problems.

The rest of our Easter is completed with long ago bought thrift store baskets, a small gift (my younger son will get a from Goodwill Starbucks Easter bunny bear, the older one a Buffalo Exchange $5 gift card.) The plastic eggs are from a co-worker who years ago gave us her surplus and a chocolate Peter Rabbit bunny from The Dollar Tree.) No fuss, no muss.

The best part is that when the kids have finished gorging on their Easter treats, the shells go into the compost and there’s not of the nasty, stringy easter grass snaking its way under the couch and into the cats.

I think the Easter bunny would approve.

Do you have Easter traditions to share? We are not Christian (I am Jewish and my husband is nothing) so our Easter traditions are wholly about the bunny. Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Kim March 31, 2010 at 8:21 am

I’m with you on the grass. I hate it! In fact, I don’t buy it and our Easter baskets have nothing lining them. My kids have never been bothered by that 🙂 I suppose a scrap of a springy or easter themed fabric would make a nice liner if necessary. Actually – cuter than that stupid grass – lol!


Annie Jones March 31, 2010 at 8:25 am

I, too, hate Easter grass, especially the pink kind that DOES NOT SHOW UP on gray carpeting.

It’s all about the Bunny at our house, too. One of my granddaughter’s gifts is a new beach towel. It will line her basket instead of that evil grass.


Katy March 31, 2010 at 8:34 am

Ooh . . . I Iike the idea of a fun but practical gift that replaces the Easter grass. Nice job!



Laura March 31, 2010 at 9:01 am

I LOVE the peanut idea! The girls’ Easter baskets will be lined with the same green paper Easter grass I bought 5 years ago when I’d had enough of the plastic stuff. I put it away with their baskets, and then re-fluff it each year and it looks and works fine.

Last year the girls all got flip-flops (2 for $5 at Old Navy) in their baskets along with the candy; this year they’re getting $5 Starbucks cards as they’ve all recently expressed a desire for a Frappuchino.


WilliamB March 31, 2010 at 9:10 am

Sing it sister! I’d hate the stuff just for its mess quotient, even if it were perfectly environmentally responsible. I also dislike the little shiny metallic bits that get added to birthday cards for the same reason.

If I were to make a basket I think I would run green construction paper through a cross-cut shredder. Or maybe buy dyed jute or hemp. The paper is essentially free, the jute reusable from year to year; both are composable.


Karen March 31, 2010 at 9:12 am

Just another holiday where I’m happy to be Jewish. 🙂
I’ve used that grass in the past for craft projects and it’s a pain in the butt especially if there is any static in the house!!
I love the towel idea.
I’ve done gift baskets with popcorn, or just shredded paper, which can be recycled.


Krista@CommitmentisLibearting March 31, 2010 at 9:47 am

Great idea!!! I have nobody to make Easter baskets for this year but I’ll keep this in mind for the future 🙂


Lisa March 31, 2010 at 9:54 am

I love the peanut filler idea. Nifty! I would probably go with shredded paper if I were to create a basket. Hmmm, I wonder whether regular newspaper could be given a green tint with food coloring??? When my son was small, I used to bake cupcakes and frost them with green tinted icing dipped in green coconut. With a few jellybeans on top, they looked like little egg nests. As for eggs to hide, we always had real hard boiled, dyed eggs. They’re edible and help to offset all the candy consumption.


Diane March 31, 2010 at 10:01 am

I looked at a copy of Woman’s Day yesterday at the doctor’s office. There was an article on making baskets from paper shreds. If I’m remembering correctly, it seemed fairly simple: cover a bowl with plastic wrap, invert it, coat with a 2 part glue, 1 part water glaze. Apply paper shreds and brush with glue mixture to coat. Continue until desired thickness is achieved. Let dry, remove from bowl and you have a cute basket. Of course they used brand-new, brightly colored paper, but I have some ancient Easter wrapping that is very out-of-date, so I think I’ll try that. Maybe I’ll mix it with whatever random stuff’s in my shredder to make it even more eco-friendly. Be sure to use non-toxic white glue, which is usually readily available at your favorite Dollar Store. Fast, fun and frugal, just the way we like it.


Angela March 31, 2010 at 10:40 am

This cracked me up: “my husband is nothing.”

The peanuts are a great idea.

I can’t wait to see the outraged comments about your inflexible stand on Easter grass (“I LOVE Easter grass! You must be nuts!) The pro-Easter grass faction.


Queen Lucia March 31, 2010 at 11:01 am

This cracked me up! I also hate that grass with a passion. So much so that I actually line my daughter’s basket with (gasp) NOTHING. She has a small basket that I reuse every year, put in a few candy items and a chocolate bunny and one “fun” gift. No fuss, no muss, and she doesn’t feel in the least deprived. I have learned to avoid certain family members at Easter, who give their kids those huge pre-packaged baskets full of crap that they forget about after 3 minutes. But oh, the envy they incite in a small child!


Andrea March 31, 2010 at 11:33 am

My kids used to call the Easter Bunny “the Candy Rabbit” so that tells you what Easter is all about here (though they usually only get the health-food store jelly beans and BunnyGrahams…I used to give dried papaya too till the health food store stopped carrying it). I grew grass last year, but didn’t get around to it this year. We have paper grass that we re-use year after year. And this year I didn’t buy everone a book for their buckets (yet!) I’m trying hard not to, since we have too many books, but I may not be able to stop myself.


WilliamB March 31, 2010 at 2:50 pm

What is this “too many books” of which you speak? I am unfamiliar with this concept.


Mrs. B March 31, 2010 at 2:58 pm

I second that William!!


Tara Morrison March 31, 2010 at 4:51 pm

We may one day live in a house made of books!


Laura April 2, 2010 at 11:35 am

You may be a geek if… your home decor style is “bookshelf eclectic”.

–Laura, proud advocate of the “bookshelf eclectic” style


Tara Morrison March 31, 2010 at 4:51 pm

We are Christian and for us Easter is about Christ rising from the dead but we also do have an over sized bunny hop into our house and leave a basket with no plastic grass. I actually use the kind of hay you get in gourmet food shipments ( for us from igourmet assorted Spanish cheese and cured meats we receive every Christmas from my awesome father in law!)I have enough to fill three baskets hopefully next year I’ll have enough for number 4. I don’t know if it is just in the South but it is common to get a bathing suit in your basket and my mom always got us a book or magazine depending on our tastes. My kids will be getting a chocolate bunny, a scattering of Jelly Bellys and either pjs, or swimsuit and yes they may each get a small book. I think for me it is something they are going to use and I would otherwise provide it and so why not make it into a gift.


Marie-Josée March 31, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Boy, I am so behind in this Easter stuff. My babies, aged 20 and 23 will get a nice chocolate bunny (good quality stuff), so will my son-in-law who is one year my junior. That always feels so weird. We buy him an advent calendar at Christmas, and he’s thrilled (he never got one as a child)! No fake Easter grass in our house. We used to leave cabbage leaves and carrots for the Easter Bunny on Easter Eve, but you know, they kinda have figured out HE DOESN’T EXIST. I will also get both my children a gift, and one for my son-in-law too, now that I think of it! A Gilmore Girl season for my daughter, and a concert ticket for my son. Katy, love your posts!


Molly On Money March 31, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I don’t love the plastic grass and I have been known to go out and clip the first shoots of green grass of the year from the yard and toss over the fake grass (yes, I mix the grasses). But the peanuts are hilarious yet totally practical. I can’t wait to tell my girlfriends at coffee tomorrow.
How did you come about thinking peanuts would be a great substitute? I’m not disagreeing, it’s just kinda funny!


Alea March 31, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I love your idea! I usually shred the colored junk mail separately from the white and use the colorful shredded paper as grass for baskets.

Our oldest kids are getting too big to do the usual egg hunt, so we have modified it and do a “combat egg hunt”. We do it after dark and they use flash lights to help them find the eggs. (The combat part started when they decided to use water guns and nerf guns to stake out their claim. With a basket in one hand and a gun in the other they do not have a free hand for a flashlight, so they have started using headlamps). Since we are Christians and this activity, especially the combat part, does not seem like an appropriate Easter activity, we hold the egg hunt a couple days before Easter.


Marie-Josée April 1, 2010 at 4:39 am

That is so cool! It’s so positive to hear about people who adhere to their values/faith, while making a place for fun.


WilliamB April 3, 2010 at 5:12 pm

“does not seem like an appropriate Easter activity”

That’s OK. The fertility and egg part are pagan anyway.


Kayla K March 31, 2010 at 7:02 pm

My (22-year-old) boyfriend still loves the commercial-Easter. Last year I made him a bunny-shaped basket from a milk jug and filled it with candy, which he seemed to really enjoy.
I was just walking down the “Easter Aisle” at the grocery store today, in awe of all of the plastic everythings, pondering the relevance of plastic Easter grass. How funny that you brought it up! The peanut idea is brilliant, by the way. I may try that for this year!


Dana April 1, 2010 at 12:13 am

My girls (4 and 6 y/o) don’t even know that the plastic Easter grass exists. I usually get them a book and a box of Peeps (that they share) and maybe a few jelly beans or some kind of sweet that I have a coupon for. They’re perfectly happy with that!


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl April 1, 2010 at 2:39 am

Ohhh, I HATE Easter grass too. Hate it, hate it, hate it.


Bellen April 1, 2010 at 4:21 am

Finally gave up Easter baskets when we moved away from our kids – they were in their late 20’s!! We gave them their baskets complete with paper shred grass that had been in use for at least 20 years!!

Each year I’d pack the baskets away in a large box with other decorations. When retrieved for use I’d fluff the grass and they were good to go. The Easter bunny left some jelly beans, one chocolate bunny and 4 marshmallow eggs (a dozen split 3 ways). They also got radish seeds, a squirt gun, a book, bubbles and maybe some socks or t-shirt. When they were old enough to understand about the Easter bunny – they got Easter candy the day after when it was on sale at 1/2 off – they loved it!!


Cate April 1, 2010 at 6:46 am

We don’t celebrate Easter (my husband and I are both somewhere between atheist and agnostic), but I hate that plastic grass, too! When I was a kid my sister and I had to be very careful to clean it all up after Easter, lest the kitties ate it. It always seemed kind of pointless to throw it away right after examining our Easter baskets!

While I’m at it, I want to throw in a vote for also hating Christmas tinsel. I know some people call it “icicles.” Whatever it is, it’s too much plastic and makes me shudder!


Karen April 1, 2010 at 7:58 am

Katy thanks a lot for the recommendation of the book “The Happiness Project”! I just got it 2 days ago and nearly have it finished! I can’t wait to apply some of what I learned from Gretchen!


Jean April 1, 2010 at 9:21 am

I too hate Easter grass (notice no one has voiced a favorable opinion yet?) becuase of the havoc it wreaks on cats and vacuums. And it’s really not that attractive… For years I have lined the Easter baskets with colored tissue paper or a piece of fabric that coordinates with the basket. This year my daughter’s basket is lined with a lovely Battenburg lace dinner napkin (that must be returned to me, it’s part of a set!) the others will have fabric.


Hiptobeme April 1, 2010 at 9:30 am

HOW DARE YOU SPEAK AGINST THE BELOVED EASTER GRASS? Ok, not really, I just like to be different 😉


Lori April 1, 2010 at 2:08 pm

Nut-allergic daughter, so no peanuts for her basket. Lining it with some pretty fabric looks nice, with a special nut-free chocolate bunny snuggled inside.


Condo Blues April 1, 2010 at 8:28 pm

As a kid the Easter Bunny used the same basket and plastic grass from year to year and I still didn’t clue in about the Easter Bunny until I was older…

This year we’re doing a fruit bowl because one of the extended family is diabetic. No grass! Just fruit!


Laura April 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

I never liked the plastic Easter basket grass either, even as a kid. Do you know how hard it is to find stray escaped jelly beans in a lump of that stuff?!?! And keeping it from the cats is always an issue too. As for the vacuum, yeah, it tangles up there, but so does my hair…


Julia April 5, 2010 at 7:29 pm

My husband’s company sponsored a local Easter egg hunt, so we went and my 8 year old chose to participate for the first time. (We are Jewish too and just finished our week of Passover about 40 minutes ago…I’m so tired of matzah.) I figured, what the heck—it’s obviously a secular activity at this point. Anyway, of course we had no Easter basket so my son collected plastic eggs using a Halloween bag! I expected some funny looks but was willing to endure them instead of taking a (shudder) plastic bag that they were handing out to kids without baskets.


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