Celebrating Easter In Lincoln, NE

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Sunday, April 24th is a special day.  Not only is it Easter, but it’s also what many people consider the official kickoff for the warmer months of the year.  Preparing for Easter can include a number of things and it’s always a good idea to start planning as early as possible!  Not sure what to put on your ‘Easter checklist’?  We’ve got some great ideas for you!

Gifts for the Kids

Whether your kids are still small enough to be excited for the Easter Bunny and local Easter egg hunts or they’re older, it’s likely you will need to put ‘Easter gifts’ on your list of to-dos!  Of course, the type of gifts you’ll be getting will depend on which category your kids fall into!

Some parents enjoy giving their kids Easter baskets well into their high school (and sometimes even college) years.  It’s a fun tradition and if both you and your kids enjoy it, there’s certainly no reason to stop!  No matter what your kids’ ages, they should always get a few tasty treats in their baskets.  Consider the ‘traditional’ treats such as jelly beans and eggs and chocolate rabbits as well as some ‘new tradition treats’ like roasted Cajun pecans, butter toffee almonds and peanuts and taffy treats.  If you don’t have a lot of time to put something together yourself, consider ready-made Easter baskets.  “We offer a variety of products we can put in a basket we provide or we let you bring in your own,” says Mary Miller of Totally Nuts.  “Our treats of signature cinnamon-roasted nuts, sour mini jellied eggs and more make great additions to your Easter baskets.”

Younger kids might enjoy a stuffed rabbit or a little toy to accompany their treats, while older kids might require a little more thought.  One great idea is to give your older child a gift that helps them stay active (this is also a good precedent to set, especially if you are giving them candy!).  A gift such as a new bike or skateboard accessories are great ways to give your child something he or she will enjoy, but that is also good for them.  “Giving the gift of a bike is great because it encourages family activity,” says David Kosark of Joyride Bicycles.  “With bikes, families can enjoy Lincoln’s trails and have adventures together.  We also take trade-ins, which is great if you have younger kids because once they grow out of their bike, you can bring it in and trade it in for a bigger one.”

Phil Burcher of Precision Skateboards adds, “Getting your kids gifts relating to their skateboards, like t-shirts, tools for working on their boards and accessories, is perfect because they are inexpensive gifts and promote a healthy lifestyle.”

No matter the age of your kids, its still fun to have some family traditions associated with Easter gifts.  Hide the baskets and gifts around the house so when the kids get up in the morning, they can search for what the ‘EasterBunny’ brought for them.  Make sure you have the house decorated for Easter, too.  RuthAnn Carpenter with Plum Creek Gifts says they have some great Easter decor items, like foiled bunnies and hanging Easter eggs, that will make your house extra festive.

Take the kids to a church or community Easter egg hunt or hold one at your own home by hiding eggs around the yard (or inside if the weather isn’t cooperative).  Make it a tradition to either have a big lunch or dinner at your home, at the home of one of your friends or relatives or even at your family’s favorite restaurant.

New Outfits

Remember when you were a kid and you got a new Easter dress (or suit) to wear to church?  Do you miss those days?  Everyone should have a new outfit (or outfits) not just to wear to church on Easter Sunday, but also to welcome the warmer weather!  Nothing says ‘I’m ready for Spring’ than a cute new dress, a trendy new accessory or a pair of great sandals.

Outfits for the Kids

According to Angie Parde with Tiara’s Boutique, “The Easter, Spring and Summer 2011 trends for kids are vibrant and subdued, playful and quiet, romantic and modern.  This season has many fun trends from the back to the ‘80s looks to sweet flowers and floral patterns.  Sequin splashes and a dash of sparkle are being incorporated into many outfits for the right amount of shine.  The color combinations of the sailor look are also all over!  Combinations of navy, electric blue, red, yellow and a shot of leaf green are very popular.  We are also seeing the camo look, but very girly, such as camo added with laces and mesh florals.  Animal prints are still in and very cute from zebra with added pinks to leopard prints.”

“Kids’ clothes are becoming more fashion-forward,” says Cindy Sturman with Pink Shampoo Boutique.  “Strips and polka dots are huge for girls and we’re seeing lots of rocker inspired attire for boys.”

When choosing an outfit for your son or daughter, try to choose something that they can not only wear to church on Sunday, but that they can also wear again, either for other special events this summer or just for everyday wear.  Buying a thirty or forty dollar outfit is a bit much if it’s only going to be worn once, but it becomes much more practical if your child is going to wear it for a summer wedding and a family get together later in the Spring as well.

If everyone in the family gets new outfits for Easter, it’s also a great idea to get some pictures taken.  Whether you get them professionally done or just get out the digital camera, it’s always nice to have some pictures of the family when you are all dressed up in your new outfits and will be a wonderful keepsake, especially if you remember to do it each year and can look back and see how much your family grew.

Outfits for You

Almost all women do some shopping for the new season and Spring is often a favorite time as bulky winter sweaters and pants can be traded in for lighter materials, dresses and sandals.  Choosing an outfit for Easter Sunday is just the beginning of the shopping fun!  Our local boutiques gave us a little help in finding out just exactly what’s ‘in’ for Spring this year!

“One of the trends we see is great jewelry to accent any outfit,” says Cherie Travis from Rachel’s Boutique.  “Silver, silver with gemstones, bold beaded statement pieces and nice simple necklaces to wear with tee shirts are very in right now.  We’re seeing an interest in lines such as Brighton, Treska, Pandora and our new line, Simon Sebbage, which features light weight sterling silver slides worn on leather cords.”

Cherie also mentions the bags that are popular this season.  “Vera Bradley has four new fun, cheerful patterns that will be very hot this season and Brighton has some beautiful straw and leather bags.  We also have a new handbag line, Via Nova, that has great prices and colors for Spring.  As far as clothing goes, we are seeing an interest in bright printed jackets from Berek and Multiples, fun flowing long tops over leggings and soft neutral sportswear from Olsen Europe and Spanner.”

“This is a year of fun, exciting outfits for women,” says Cindy of Pink Shampoo.  “We’re seeing a lot of coast and runway fashions coming our way that have great prices, so everyone can afford to wear them.”

“This Spring, less is definitely not more in terms of jewelry,” says Kelly Merklein of Blu Velvet.  “We continue to see a trend of chunky bold statement pieces.  A hot trend is stacking several bracelets on one arm, which was very apparent at any red carpet event in 2011.  Also straight from the runway is flouncy florals, stripes in an array of colors and in nautical themes, as well as lace overlay on clothing and the antique look of lace in dresses, skirts and vests.  This spring you cannot go wrong with bold colors along with bright whites.  You will see bold colors carry over into handbags as well as the long strap reemerging.  Clutches will no longer settle for being used at night and make their way to the daytime scene.  Tassels, flowers and studs continue to adorn all arm candy and scarves are also a hot fashion item this spring.  In different textures, fabrics and colors, they make any outfit unique and new!”

“Spring is all about feminine and vintage looking pieces,” states Cari Wilke with Camy Couture.  “Long tops over jeggings and embellished denim are the look for casual days and dresses that are feminine and vintage along with funky fun prints will be everywhere.  Dresses are very popular and fun to pair with gladiator flats or colorful wedges.  Bags are also feminine with flowers and pretty colors all over them, but at the other end of the fashion spectrum is the rocker look with zippers and studs all over bags and clutches.  Metallics are also very strong this season in bags and shoes.  Tops have become more relaxed and flowy, including t-shirts and knits.  Dolman sleeves are really fun and make a t-shirt a bit more fashion forward.  Accessories that are in are full of rhinestones and bling.  Rings are of the bigger and blingier is better variety!  This spring this fashion is fun, girly and not so fitted!”

Of course, everyone wants a brand new wardrobe this season, but sometimes the budget doesn’t allow for much shopping.  In this case, you can always wear your wardrobe from last Spring and jazz it up with a couple of inexpensive new accessories.  By adding a simple belt or scarf to an older dress or top, you can instantly make it look and feel new.  You can also buy a couple of the new trends, such as a studded bag or colorful wedges, and pair them with your outfits from last year to give them the look of new.  You don’t need to blow the budget to get a new spring look, you just have to be a smart shopper!

Easter is just around the corner and whether you are planning a big family feast after attending church or a fun-filled Easter egg hunt, you should make sure your family is looking their best in their new spring outfits!  Happy Easter!