Friday, 15 April 2011

Alternative Gift Ideas

Posted by Bel
from Spiral Garden

In our home we celebrate the regular holidays of Easter and Christmas, even though they don't particularly fit our belief system or are even seasonally appropriate for us in the Southern Hemisphere.

The reasons we choose to celebrate include getting together with family and friends (who do celebrate these holidays0, just for something fun and creative to do, and to show our children and family and friends that there are ethical and beautiful alternatives to the mass-produced plasticised version of these holidays the department stores and advertising tempt us with.

We have six children aged 16 and under. Some of the creative Easter gifts they've enjoyed over the years include:

* Handwoven baskets with carob eggs nestled inside
* Homemade chocolates wrapped in cellophane and ribbons
* Cute retro eggcups purchased 2nd hand online, with sweet treats nestled inside
* Easter Bilby books, chocolate bilbies and bilby craft activities
* Fairtrade hot chocolate and individual tea cups, with homemade egg-shaped cookies

We normally decorate the table once the children are in bed - set it nice for breakfast with a tablecloth and matching crockery, blow up some balloons perhaps (the pearl type ones look lovely), or bring in some flowers from the garden if we have any (it's Autumn here, nothing much is in flower), mix up some pancake mix to put into the fridge overnight, and set out their easter gifts at each of their places at our table (the children sit in their own chairs most meals at the table). I think it's more exciting for our children to wonder what they'll receive each year than having a magical bunny bringing them store-bought chocolate wrapped in foil year-in, year-out.

Some families in Australia give winter pyjamas for Easter gifts. Others give rabbit or chicken toys, or even real ones! Do you have a non-commercial Easter gift idea? Please share it in the Comments!

For more information:
Fair Trade Chocolate and Gifts from Oxfam
Easter Bilby books
How to dye eggs
Easter craft, stories and more
Raw chocolate recipes
Easter bread recipes from around the world