Around St. Helena for Dec. 4, 2014 _lowres

Stephanie Warren

Spring has arrived and Easter is Sunday. If you want to steer away from the traditional baskets filled with candy that you most likely won’t let the kids eat, here are a select few fun, candy-free and other ideas. These surprises are easy on the wallet and hard for kids to resist.

TURN A WOODEN BOX INTO AN EASTER BASKET: Celebrate spring with a garden-themed Easter basket. Paint an old wine crate or any wooden box and fill it with seeds, small plants, mini garden tools and a few simple toys. Take the kids outdoors with their new baskets and get planting.

CARE PACKAGE FOR SOLDIERS: A care package is the perfect way to show love and support to someone serving abroad. Go to your local post office and buy a flat-rate box. Paint the box or cover it with fun stickers. Include Easter grass inside to really get festive. An Easter card or picture is a great way to add a touch of personalization. Add touches of fun and silly items to your package. An egg dying kit that only needs water will get your soldier and the rest of his unit really in the holiday spirit.

EASTER BASKET IDEAS FOR ADULTS: Adults like to get surprises on Easter morning just as much as the children do. Here are a few theme ideas and basket filler item ideas.

A movie theme basket: Fill with a throw blanket, a movie, microwave popcorn, theater box candy and a bottle of soda.

A fishing theme basket: Fill with bait, hooks, weights, an extra roll of fishing line, sunblock and bug spray.

A relaxation theme basket: Use bath salts, lotions, gourmet chocolate and a gift card for a massage.

A few ideas for what to use as baskets: serving tray, tackle box, small cooler, pots or kitchen baskets, beach pails or a beach bag.

Contact Stephanie Warren by phone at (985) 517-4869 or email