For most people, Easter is mostly a bundle of mostly fond childhood memories — mostly fond — that involve lots of chocolate. Egg-shaped chocolate, bunny-shaped chocolate, chick-shaped chocolate, Jesus-shaped chocolate. Chocolate of all shapes! There's other candy too, obviously, and Easter egg hunts and sometimes toys and always that awful fake plastic grass your mom uses to line your Easter basket. That is not candy. Do not eat it.
If you don't have children of your own now, it's unlikely you're going to let yourself be seen loading up your shopping cart with pastel-colored Easter baskets and everything that goes inside. But it doesn't have to be that way. Even if you're not religious — and I'm really glazing over the religious side of this religous holiday so as not to stir up my many suppressed memories of sitting in church wearing ill-fitting church clothes — Easter can be a lot of fun. It's a great excuse to try some sweet craft projects and hack those hyper-commercial inventions that make this country great.
Let's start with the basics. You're going to need a creepy bunny costume. No, not that kind of bunny costume. The Easter Bunny kind, specifically the pink floppy-eared one you see Ralphie wear in The Christmas Story. As luck would have it, some kind soul has actually posted the instructions for making your very own Ralphie-style bunny costume right here on the Internet. It's a simple 13-step process that requires some fuzzy pink and white fabric, pins, needles, thread and courage. A sewing machine is very helpful, as are sewing skills. If you're not much one for explain-y instructions that's cool. Here's the pattern. Make it up as you go, maverick.
Now how about a basket? This is essential Easter Sunday gear. Whether you're going on a hunt, leaving your roommates some treats or simply trying to look with it, the Easter basket is pretty essential. Did you go to camp? No? Let me apologize for that slight on your parents's behalf. If you did, you probably know some basic basket-weaving techniques. Because that bunny costume took so much energy, your fingers probably hurt and some intricate wicker work of art might not be the most exciting-sounding thing right now. This is the simplest handmade basket design we could find. Plus, you can probably find most of the materials — wallpaper, cereal boxes, glue — lying around the house. Don't forget to jazz it up with some colors!
So now that you're suited up and armed with a basket, you've got to get some candy in that belly, and nothing screams Easter candy like a good old Cadbury Creme Egg. The seemingly fist-sized globs of sugar and chocolate are only available around Easter-time, and depending on how weird your neighborhood is, they sometimes sell out. They're also kind of pricey. No big deal. You can make your own using simple ingredients you can probably find your pantry. Here's how:
Oh and by the way, it'll impress the pants off your friends — especially the cute on with the sweet tooth — when you bust them out at Halloween.
If there's any super sweet, diabetes-inducing treat more iconic than the Cadbury Creme Egg at Easter Time, it's most definitely the all powerful Peep. Peeps are those traditionally duck-shaped puffs of industrial-grade marshmallow, coated in perfectly crunchy colorful industrial-grade sugar granules. The eyes are the best part! Foreigners think they're absolutely vile. Most Americans do, too, but typically have fond memories about happily eating them as a child when their stomachs were stronger and their judgement weaker.
I was very recently presented with this dichotomy. My mom sent me a care package — Yes, even though I'm in my late 20s, I still get boxes full of candy, microwaveable pasta and various vestiges of home from my mother, just like in college. This one was Easter-themed and a pack of Peeps were peeking out as soon as I opened the box. My French roommate muttered, "What are those?" Without offering any clues as to what was inside, I made her eat one. A grimace ensued. Then I ate one, and as the sugar seeped into my teeth and leaked out the corners of my mouth I closed my eyes and remembered being five. Then I grimaced, too and spit it out on the floor.
All that said, I'm here to tell you that Peeps can still be delicious, thanks to Fox News. (There's a sentence I wasn't expecting to write today.) This list of eight Peep-related recipes actually looks pretty awesome. The Peeps brownies look most edible. The ice cream with Peeps syrup looks most awesome. Much like a homemade Cadbury Cream Egg, a hypercreative Peeps treat will really impress the friends and neighbors, especially if you put your own personal twist on it. Free idea: Try coating Peeps with Rice Krispies and drop 'em in the deep frier. It's like fried chicken!
Up to this point, a lot of these hackable Easter treats have been pretty traditional. Easter bunny, Easter basket, Easter candy — it's all old hat. So if you really want to be the star of the Easter party, you're going to have to think outside the box. If thinking outside the box is too much effort, just Google random stuff and see what pops up. For example: "Game of Thrones Easter egg." Oh snap, it's a how-to video for making dragon eggs. You might consider skipping the first 20 very weird seconds of this video:
Googling "Lady Gaga Easter egg" is also a pretty fruitful endeavor, because remember the time she lived inside a Ridley Scott-style alien egg for 72 hours before the Grammys? People have had a lot of fun riffing off that very important cultural moment.
If none of this stuff seems appealing, you might like these very sober Easter Egg terrariums. They're more or less transparent egg-shaped objects stuffed with moss, but they'd make a perfect hospitality gift if you're heading to some sophisticated friend's house for Easter dinner, especially if your sophisticated friends happen to live in Brooklyn. (Brooklynites love terrariums.) Another perk is that you can actually keep them around all year long. Just stick them in an egg carton, stash them on a window sill and BOOM! you're hip. And if anybody ever says otherwise, if anybody ever makes fun of your trendy little batch of huevos, just tell them your mom sent them in a care package.