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Easter is the most important religious feast of the Christian liturgical year, observed between late March and late April. But as with many other religious events, the celebration of Easter extends beyond the church. Since its origins, it has been a time of celebration and feasting and a way to welcome the Spring. Easter is also a commercially important holiday, fueling widespread sales of greeting cards and candy such as chocolate Easter eggs, marshmallow bunnies, Peeps, and jelly beans.
easter flowers

Easter Baskets: This is truly the gift format of choice for this holiday, so pretty much anything presented in a basket with plastic Easter grass in it will look seasonal and appropriate. Of course you can stick to the fail-safe items, such as chocolate eggs and bunnies, marshmallow eggs, jelly beans, stuffed toys for kids in rabbit or lamb shapes, etc. Or you can take it high-tech (think a basket full of different colored iPods for a real family treat), make it thematic (e.g. a "Spring Garden" theme, using a painted pail filled with items such as a spade, gardening gloves, bulbs, garden signs, etc.) or fill it with homemade and decorated egg-shaped cookies.

Hand-painted Eggs: Even if you're not an expert in psyanky (the beautifully detailed Ukranian eggs created by a written-wax batik method), you can create one-of-a-kind egg-shaped artwork by spending an afternoon with some paints, markers, glitter, ribbon and whatever else you can think of to decorate your own eggs or personalize them as a gift for someone else. Try out some unconventional designs or styles...paint your favorite cartoon characters, go for a modern, minimalist look with geometric shapes, cover the egg with glue and roll it in sand or rice, and if you're really handy with a paintbrush, try reproducing mini versions of famous paintings.

Spring Flowers: Easter is a perfect time to give flowers as a gift, heralding the newness of spring and the world coming to life again after a long cold winter. The Easter lily has been the perpetual favorite, but other colorful choices include tulips, daffodils, daisies, gerberas, or a multi-color bouqet of roses (try yellow, dark pink and peach). Plants also offer (literally) a breath of fresh air, so don't be afraid to simply tie a big pastel bow around the base of your favorite pot, fill it with greenery and present to a family member, friend or neighbor at Eastertime.