Candy Free Easter Basket - Belle Année
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Candy Free Easter Basket

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As the child of hippie parents who divorced when I was two, I don’t have a complete collection of bucolic holiday memories stored in my memory bank.  I have one here and one there — for instance the Christmas that I was desperate for a Dukes of Hazard matchbox car.  I woke up early Christmas morning, ran to the stockings hung with care, and reached in only to discover nothing there.  I went in to wake my dad, sobbing, only for him to stumble into the living room and reach into the stocking and produce the exact thing I was sure wasn’t there minutes earlier.  I was young enough to believe that he really had tried to wake me up the evening prior when Santa was there but I was old enough to be skeptical of his little magic act.  

My only other real holiday memory is the last Easter when I believed in The Bunny.  I must have been about six, the same age  my son is now.  What I desperately wanted wasn’t chocolates, jelly beans or marshmallow peeps (seriously, please no marshmallow peeps) but I desperately, achingly wanted a pearl necklace.  (Southerners are just a little different than everyone else, apparently starting at birth.)  Anyway, I spent the night at my grandmother’s house in Lake Charles, La.  She was the Irish Catholic matriarch of an 8-child family and I was the first grandchild so at this point all of her children and their partners still “came home” for holidays.  It was a small house with a lot of loud Irish folks pushing around and laughing and drinking.  As I said I was the first grandchild and the next closest one in age was probably 3 so  I had a lock on the Easter goodies.  This year Easter morning rolled around and, as usual, I woke up to the aroma of coffee percolating and biscuits in the oven.  From my room off the kitchen, I pushed open the door to the kitchen to reveal two baskets on the yellow linoleum counter.  The first was the biggest easter basket you have EVER seen for the 8 adult children to share and second was a smaller one off to the side.  I stood up on my tiptoes, pulled it carefully to the edge of the counter and continued to slide it so that it would fall off of the counter and into my arms.  Candy went everywhere but I didn’t care.  I ran around like a truffle pig until I found exactly what I had been wishing for with all of my heart:  My very first pearl necklace!  Still wrapped in it’s Made in China plastic wrapper.  SUCCESS!

The bottom line is this:  Kids don’t always want candy.  Sometimes it’s the other little and not-so-little things that make an Easter basket magical.  Here are some options to fill a basket for a girl, a boy or even the grown ups.  Give it a shot.  Even a non believer might feel a little magical when they wake up to a basket of goodies next to the coffee on a Sunday morning.

Hippity Hoppity!

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”38″ size_format=”px”]Girls:  [/typography]
Girl's flip flops - Easter Basket idea from Haivanias flip flops from Zappos.  $19 with free shipping. Essie Nail Polish - Easter Basket idea from Spring nail polish line from mani/pedi superstar, Essie.   $8.50 each The Day the Crayons Quit - Easter Basket idea from


A colorful children’s story.  $10 in hardback. Bouncy Balls - Easter Basket idea from Bouncy balls instead of easter egg candies.  $5.25 a dozen Pink Bracelet - Easter Basket idea from Sweet  pink costume jewelry.  $10

Custom Rubber Stamp - Easter Basket idea from   A custom rubber stamp from Etsy.    

Screenshot 2014-03-21 08.49.08

Did you know that Lego produces a line specifically for girls?  You do now!  Lego Friends.  $2.00 to $100.00+ from various sellers. 

[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”38″ size_format=”px”]Boys:  [/typography]
Dude cap from JCrew - Easter Basket idea from Baseball cap for your DUDE!   $24.50 JCrew Crewcuts


Mo Williams Activity Book - Easter Basket idea from

Activity book from MOMA . $19.99Purple headphones - Easter Basket idea from Easter egg colored headphones.  $60 JCrew Crewcuts. Timex watch - Easter Basket idea from A seasonally colored digital watch.  $23 Timex. Superhero Rubber Duckies - Easter Basket idea from Superhero rubber duckies.  $6.25 a dozen Sidewalk Chalk- Easter Basket idea from Sidewalk Chalk.  $3

Coupons for kids- Easter Basket idea from

Coupons made especially for kids.   $4.50 from Etsy.    

Screenshot 2014-03-21 08.52.15

Lego minifigures.  Throw in a few bags at about $2 each.  Available on Amazon or your local toy store.


[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”38″ size_format=”px”]Grown ups:  [/typography]
iPod Shuffle - Easter Basket idea from Ipod Shuffle $49 from the geniuses at Apple Nike Fuel - Easter Basket idea from Get those bunnies hopping with a Nike Fuel for $149 from Herhsel Tote - Easter Basket idea from Hershel duffel bag with separate shoe compartment.  $75

Photo from Key West by Jessica Bride

Weekend away somewhere cool, or somewhere warm.  $100 to ….a lot!  per night….Tablet Hotels.

Red Envelope cutting boards - Easter Basket idea from

Personalized wood animal cutting boards.  In the spring spirit, get a little chick.  $30 each from Red Envelope. Goop signature ring - Easter Basket idea from Silver signet pinky ring.  $119 from Goop.      

Grown Up Coupons - Easter Basket idea from

Sleep in.  Stay out.  Anything you want with these coupons from Etsy.  


[typography font=”Cantarell” size=”38″ size_format=”px”]For celebrating Passover: [/typography]
Zabar's Breakfast Basket --  Passover gift from Spenny basket for Passover.  $185 from Zabar’s. Zabar's coffee basket -- Passover gift from Less spenny basket for Passover.  $79

Max's 4 Questions - Passover gift from

Why is this night different from all other nights?  Max will tell you.  $4.99

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Jessica Bride

I am a Notting Hill based lifestyle writer and Instagrammer. My reason for being is my family plus a combination of food + travel + art + life between London and New Orleans. Find me at @belleannee or covering arts & culture for @London.

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