I had never taken the time to look into the history of the Easter Basket. As a child, it was just a fun present to look forward to each year. Now as an adult, it’s a fun way to treat my parents to a small gift around Easter.
As I began collecting pieces to assemble an Easter basket this year, I was trying to think what might be some useful items to include. The obvious thought is candy. As a kid, our baskets were always full of chocolates, peeps, jelly beans, you name it! However, being that my parents are trying to cut back on all that sugar, my other thought was to fill it with fun things for Spring: I was thinking flowers, gardening tools, seed packets, etc. Lastly, because we are Christians, I wanted to include items that would reflect the meaning of this time as well. I found a beautiful notepad with an encouraging bible verse: “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength” Philippians 4:13. This was the perfect final addition to my basket!
After stuffing my goodies into a cute gardening tin, I had the idea to write this post. I wanted to encourage you guys to get creative with your baskets, and to consider giving baskets to other people in your life aside from only children. To start this blog post off, I thought it would be a good idea to look into the history of the Easter basket! Who knew that when I did, I would discover that the basket I created touched on most of the surrounding traditions of the Easter Basket’s history!
The Easter Basket is though to have originated in pagan cultures as a way of blessing their future crops. These cultures would bring their fresh sprouts to temples to pray over, and hopefully receive blessing from their gods for a great growing season. I was delighted to find I was, in a way, paying homage to these late cultures by including so many gardening pieces to my basket!
The second piece of history I learned, is that it is thought that the idea of food in a basket comes from the catholic tradition of Lent. This is the time when Catholics refrain from food for 40 days to commemorate the time that Jesus fasted for, and remained faithful to God, in the desert. It is on Easter when they have a large feast to celebrate the end of their fasting, and to commemorate faithfulness to God. If you’re not a believer, think of this as a time to be considerate of the choices you make, and celebrate the fact that you truly are striving to be a good person in this world! Again, how cool to include snacks and treats and reflect on this tradition as well.
Lastly, the largest significance to Easter for me, is the story of Jesus’ resurrection. This story, whether your are a believer or not, tells a great message of new life! It actually aligns well with the entire season of Spring, which in many faiths and cultures is a significant time of fresh starts and celebrating life! What a hopeful season this is 🙂 I felt I acknowledged this significance in the inspiring notepad I included.
I have to say, after learning all of this history, I want to use these themes as a road map next year in my Easter Basket creations: Successful growing season (anything that signifies a successful start to a new year), Feasting (or any reward to commemorate the act of faithfulness and striving to be a good person), New Life (anything that inspires hope and future). How fun to think more about the Easter Basket than just a gift to give out: it is stemmed in deep tradition and I think it is meaningful to know where these practices come from!
Happy Easter Basket Making!