Tips on Hosting Easter
Easter brunch or dinner is a long-running tradition in many families — along with all of the fun holiday activities like egg-hunting and Easter baskets. If Easter’s at your house this year, you don’t need to put on a giant bunny suit to make it a special time for everyone. In the event that you want to do that, we’re going to leave it up to you! The most important things to get right, of course, are the food, the activities and the hospitality. Up ahead, we’ll talk about how to master all three and throw an Easter celebration that your family and friends will never forget.
Source: Roman Samborskyi/Shutterstock
1. Embrace Easter culinary traditions.
Easter is an underrated source of awesome food traditions. First up: tasty roasted and/or smoked meats like lamb and ham. These offer a perfect way to feed a crowd, and there are tons of ways to cook them. Serve up a traditional roast lamb, or try smoking a ham on a pellet grill over your favorite variety of wood pellets — the choices are endless, and so delicious! Many of these items are also slow-cooking and require relatively little attention, so as they cook you’ll have more time to spend with family.
Of course, you also don’t want to neglect the sides, which are almost as important as the main dish. Creamy, cheesy, hearty foods like mac and cheese or potatoes au gratin are traditional choices, but feel free to add in some lighter fare like Caesar salads or roasted veggies for variety and healthfulness. Depending on your family observances, you might also be serving Good Friday dinner, which in some traditions requires serving fish. Whether or not you actively hold to those rules, it’s a great time to explore some delicious pescatarian recipes! Baked or fried whitefish recipes are popular, but feel free to explore — adding tuna, salmon, shrimp or other seafood favorites to the menu can offer a tasty twist.
2. Get your outdoor spaces ready to enjoy.
For a lot of folks, Easter is the first holiday that offers an opportunity to get together in the mild spring weather. Thus, it’s a good idea to make sure your porch, patio, backyard and any other outdoor areas are ready to go, especially if you’ll be hosting outdoor activities like Easter egg hunts. Clean out gutters and flowerbeds, and polish up your outdoor kitchen kits and lawn furniture so that everything sparkles by the time the big day arrives. This is also a great opportunity to do any early-season gardening you’ve been planning, such as trimming hedges or planting flowers. If you’d like some color that’ll arrive in bloom by Easter, plant some fast-blooming spring flowers, or go for some containerized flora from your local garden center.
Source: Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock
3. Plan your Easter baskets so you can keep them consistent (or tailor them).
If you’re responsible for putting together Easter baskets for kids, consistency is key — you don’t want anyone thinking you’re playing favorites! Come up with a plan for evenly stocking each basket, including which candy you’re going to use as the centrepieces and which will act as fillers. Make sure to buy enough candy and supplies to ensure every basket is fully loaded.
Alternatively, if you’ve got the time and resources, you could tailor each kid’s Easter basket to what you know they like. If one kid likes basketball, another likes princesses and a third likes Star Wars, they’ll feel super special when they see their own personal baskets. It’s also a good idea to make a couple of extra baskets in case unexpected guests show up. If they don’t get used, oh well — the candy goes back to you!
4. Use fresh flowers and plants to decorate your house.
Nothing brings out the joys of the spring season like fresh-cut flowers on the table or in the front hall. By the time Easter rolls around, your local florist will almost certainly have some lovely seasonal blooms in stock, so ask them for some recommendations. They’ll be glad to provide bouquets, wreaths, centrepieces and any other kind of spring floral arrangement you fancy.
If you’ll have kids and/or pets around for the holiday, make sure any flowers you purchase are non-toxic. Foxglove, hydrangeas, azaleas, lily of the valley and even the much-loved daffodil can all be toxic when ingested, and some are deadly. Keep an eye on kids and animals around these plants if they’re in your garden, and make sure the florist knows to avoid them when creating your arrangements.
5. Get creative with your Easter egg hunt.
The egg hunt is one of the most fun parts of hosting Easter, so let the creative ideas flow! For kids, there are lots of fun things you can add to eggs besides candy, such as small toys or even dollar bills. If you’d prefer to let kids choose their own prizes, you might use a ticket system with a number of tickets hidden in each egg that are redeemable for items from a prize bucket.
If there’ll be adults sticking around to hang out later, a grown-up Easter egg hunt can be surprisingly fun, especially when paired with a few beverages. Since you don’t have to keep it kid-friendly, these prizes can be just about anything, from gift certificates to fun lapel pins to airplane bottles of liquor. Just don’t be surprised if your friends and family demand that you host Easter again next year!
Source: LightField Studios/Shutterstock
Any time you feel a little bit overwhelmed, remember that Easter is all about celebrating new beginnings — so embrace the unexpected and treat each moment as an opportunity to let the magic happen! You’ll appreciate the day much more if you let go a little and enjoy the company of friends and family.