Easter’s coming! I hope you have some fun plans for the day, if you celebrate Easter. My older two boys are both off from school today, and although I’m not off from work, I’ll likely be able to log off a bit early to start the festivities.
Easter has become mine to host since my grandmother passed away four years ago, and this year we have ten people for our feast. In a coincidence, it was also my little guy’s fourth birthday on Monday, so it will be a combination Easter/birthday celebration.
Holidays here at CMO central are filled with activities. Today I’m going to share with you five ways we’re making the holiday a special one this year – and I’d love to hear what traditions you have in your own celebrations.
Homemade Easter Sugar Cookies
It wouldn’t be a CMO holiday without homemade sugar cookies, right? You’ve seen me make them for Halloween, Valentines, and Christmas. Well, we also make them for Easter.
Not only do they make a delicious dessert, but decorating them is a fun activity for adults and kids alike. Even very small children can “paint” or drip colored icing onto the cookies, creating patterns that are delicious, if not very attractive. Older kids and adults can go crazy with detailed, meticulous decorations.
We always use icing that is made from milk, powdered sugar, food coloring and vanilla rather than royal icing. Although royal icing will certainly make the most beautiful sugar cookies, I’ve never cared for the taste. Stay tuned on Instagram this weekend to check out our cookie making in action!
Here’s the recipe for you to save, print, or pin for later.
Sounds like some fancy fun, right? One of the advantages to learning how to run a blog like this is picking up some design tools and skills I wouldn’t have otherwise. And that’s how I got the idea to make some fun menus for the holiday.
I happen to love Canva to design my images (not sponsored or affiliate, just awesome). I got the idea to make some fun Easter menus this year, and wondered if they might have a template. Lo and behold, of course they did.
So I used some free clip art from Canva, along with some free stock photos, to craft this cool Easter menu.
I’ll place each menu on the plates of our guests. It’s a fun and free way to bring a little something special to the holiday.
From the au gratin potatoes, to the crocodile birthday cupcakes, to the wheat rolls – everything on the menu will be made from scratch.
Honestly after going so long rarely eating out, and making most of our food from scratch, storebought food just doesn’t taste as good.
Take rolls, for instance. I love experimenting with making bread. I’ve made white bread, wheat bread, cinnamon bread (including cinnamon rolls), potato bread, and more. Bread makes good rolls – pretty much always.
By making the food myself, I know it doesn’t have artificial dyes (well, except for the food coloring I’m going to add to the crocodile cupcakes) or preservatives. It also just plain tastes better than anything I’ve bought, unless the item being purchased costs a ton of money.
It’s still amazing to me that to buy something with less ingredients, you pay more. Bread can be just flour, yeast, salt, and water. It can be much more, of course – you can make an enriched dough with butter and eggs, or a sweet dough by adding honey or sugar.
I love the experimentation aspect of homemade food, as well as the taste. The cost savings over buying something equivalent is just a bonus.
Of course, the majority of the food for this feast will be coming from Aldi’s. Get your quarters ready, it’s time to shop!
Making Confetti Eggs
I actually wrote a bit about this last year. I have to say, I love making confetti eggs as an alternative to coloring hard-boiled Easter eggs.
Why? So many reasons!
- No one in my family likes hard boiled eggs. So having those nice pretty eggs around is fun for a day, but then they go to waste. And I hate waste!
- You can save up eggs for as long as you like. If you blow them out (punch a small hole in the top and bottom of a raw egg, and blow the egg out of its shell) you can just save up eggs you’re using for baking in the weeks and months leading up to the holiday. Old egg cartons make a perfect vessel for storing the eggs while they wait for decoration. I also like to put the shells into boiling water once I’ve blown them out, to kill any bacteria.
- You can get more creative. Since you’re not eating them, you don’t have to worry about coloring them with non-toxic materials. We use paint and markers to create fancy designs.
- You can fill them with anything! We fill them with small cut up pieces of paper from magazines, or construction paper. This makes it so when you smash the egg on the ground (or on someones head), confetti comes out! But you could put something else inside, depending on how big you’ve made your hole. You could put small seeds for birds, and smash them outside for the birds to eat. You could even pop in small stickers. The possibilities are endless!
They come out beautiful, and if your kids don’t want to smash them, they can be saved for many Easters to come. And even if you don’t have kids, this is a great chance to get creative, using eggshells that would otherwise get thrown away.
Make a Pop-Up Card Together
This is a new idea I had this year. What if I took some fun Easter images, printed them out, and used them to make a pop-up card for the little guy?
Yes, these are the kinds of things I think about.
So I printed out a few images of the Easter Bunny, and some eggs. I grabbed some construction paper and went to town. Alex “helped”, of course, by trying to cut out the eggs himself. But mostly he watched me assemble the card.
Making a pop-up card for the first time was a bit tricky, but for the most part I nailed it. Well, nailed it enough for a four year olds taste. If I were making it again, I would try and find a better way to make the images pop-up.
How did I do it? Basically I cut out “grass” from construction paper, and taped the eggs behind the grass. The grass was taped to the card, as was the Easter Bunny. Then I used a small strip of paper taped to the item I wanted to pop up on one end, and the other side of the card at the other end. This made it so when you open the card the images “pop up”, but you can close it flat.
Alex also took some of the extra printed egg images and made his own Easter egg hunt around the house. Four year olds just love stuff like this, and it only took half an hour or so.
The Possibilities Are Endless
There’s a saying that I heard a long time ago that “frugality without creativity is deprivation.” It’s stuck with me over the years, and is something I try to keep in mind especially when the holidays roll around.
After all, the most frugal way to celebrate the holiday is likely to sit in the dark and eat Ramen for lunch. But that’s not what we’re going for.
Celebrating holidays in a fun, frugal, creative way lets you create special memories with your kids or family – without spending a ton of money to do so.
I could have listed even more things we do – paint $1 wooden Easter decorations, pick up fun holiday decor at tag sales and thrift stores, get Easter books out from the library. I bet you have some great ideas too!
Let me know in the comments how you’re making Easter a fun and frugal holiday. I’d love to get some ideas for next year!