(Sidenote: It feels ridiculously weird to use the word “tween” to describe my 10 and 11 year old sons. “Tween” connotes someone so much older than my baby boys. If I think too long on how quickly they’ve grown and how quickly they’ll be leaving our house (make no mistake; they WILL be leaving), I start to feel a little panicky and my heart begins beating too quickly. Then, I hear them yelling at one another in the next room and I wonder why I think they even deserve Easter basket treats to begin with!)
Unless it’s peanut butter and chocolate (which is the best dessert combination in the world), candy is a “take it or leave it” kind of thing for me.
Actually, I kind of hate candy. Mostly because my kids always bring home boatloads of it from various school functions and holiday gatherings.
It all starts with Halloween. I love that my kids have memories of dressing up and trick-or-treating, but, after school parties and door-to-door begging/threatening, we always end up with an obscene amount of candy. Once I throw away all the crappy stuff like Twizzlers, Now and Laters, and Smarties (keeping the chocolate), we still end up with more sugar than a family of 5 should eat in a decade.
By the time I get around to throwing away the vestiges of the Halloween candy, it’s time for Christmas candy. No one eats those Starlight mints or candy canes, so more goes into the trash. But the CHOCOLATE!
Just as I’m tossing out the Christmas candy leftovers, it’s time for Valentine’s Day. Then Easter comes right around the corner and the candy is driving me insane and controlling my life and I need a Xanax.
My candy-related issues always cause me to seek alternative ideas for Easter baskets. And boys, for whatever reason, are more difficult to buy for than girls. And then OLDER boys are even MORE difficult to buy for because they want all the things that cost all the money. I simply can’t afford to put video games and high dollar itunes gift cards into their baskets.
So I put my brain to work and came up with some ideas for older/tween boys that won’t break the bank. Here you go!
3. Cans/Bottles of Favorire Drinks- Yes, sodas and Gatorade-type drinks are special treats in our house. My boys would LOVE to have a couple of bottles of Gatorade all to themselves.
4. Movie Tickets– If I were to do this idea, I’d purchase tickets for the whole family and then each child would get one ticket in their basket. Make it a matinee and save even more!
5. Pajamas- Target usually has inexpensive PJs, but you’ll probably get more mileage if you go to the store rather than shop online. The current ones online run about $12/set, which is still a little steep for this cheapskate. You can generally find sleep pants in store for under $10.
6. Bandaids– Yes, my boys still want their own bandaid “style.” Heaven forbid they have to use a Hello Kitty bandaid in front of their friends! If I’m buying them for the family, I’m getting the
cheap classic tan ones.
7. College/Team Paraphernalia– We’re HUGE Baylor fans in this house, so I know my little bears would love a small BU token, like a magnet, temporary tattoos, eye black, lanyard, pen, etc.
8. Office Supplies- My boys both love to write and illustrate, so they’re constantly stealing the printer paper, much to J.’s aggravation. Having their own packs of colored notebook paper, composition books or spirals, colored pens, etc. would thrill them.
9. Favorite Snack or Food Item- One of my boys loves fruit snacks/gummies. Another one loves chips and popcorn. We don’t buy any of that on a regular basis, so getting snacks like these in their baskets is a special treat that’s NOT CANDY.
10. Homemade Coupons- I didn’t appreciate the joy of having children until they were old enough to unload the dishwasher and take out the trash by themselves. Now, there are chores that I simply won’t do because my children need to learn good work ethic…right? But they might like to legitimately get out of those chores sometime, so I found some really cute ideas for homemade coupons to stuff in eggs here, here, and here.
11. Earbuds or iPod accessories- We can never find earbuds and chargers when we need them. These are a steal! And if they’re crap, well, at least you didn’t spend much on them.
12. Coins- Throw a few quarters in some plastic eggs, and BINGO! Happy boys!
If all else fails and you’re at your budget but the basket still looks meager, just buy a smaller basket!