There is a long history of Easter Gifts. The famous Fabergé eggs were made as Easter gifts for the wives and mothers of the Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II as early as 1885. Unfortunately we were unable to source any of the 43 surviving Fabergé eggs at a reasonable enough price for a decent RRP. Maybe next year, but read on for something a little bit more economical on the pocket...
The egg at Easter is a Christian representation of the rebirth of Jesus, the cracked empty shell a symbol of birth and the empty tomb Jesus left behind.The painting of eggs goes back to early Christianity and many were stained red to represent the blood of Christ. Not exactly the best story for a gift that one, but I promised a little history, it gets a little cheerier. Eggs were once a forbidden food during lent so it is believed people used to decorate them and give them as gifts so at the end of lent they could be eaten in celebration. Decorating them for gifts is a much better story than the blood of Christ, so tell the kids that one..
Victorian's made cardboard eggs and filled them with gifts and sweets. At Easter they were broken to reveal what was inside. The much tastier modern tradition is of course to have hollow chocolate eggs which often have gifts or more chocolate buried inside. But it doesn't have to be Chocolate, eggs can be represented in many different materials like this large savings pot egg. Luckily underneath it has a stopper that can be removed so you dont need to smash it. If you like the idea of a bit of smashing you could opt for a set of 4 eggs that hold up to £40 each which need to be smashed just like the Victorian eggs. Each one comes in different varieties. There is a baby set for babies first Easter!!
The egg idea of course led to what appears out of them. Birds and chicks became the symbol for birth which corresponds to the beginning of spring and Easter time. The goddess of fertility Eostre has long been associated with Easter and many believe the word Easter was derived from her name. There is a story about her turning a cold chick or bird into a rabbit so that its fur would keep it warm. However because of the rabbit's original origins as a bird it was able to lay eggs. This is were the egg laying Easter Bunny comes into play. The story of the egg laying bunny has German origins and was called "Osterhase". Kids would make nests so that the bunny could lay its colourful eggs there for them. Which puts pay to the lack of sense of humour which comes with the German reputation, but does go with the slightly weird one they have. What a great story to come out of it with the Easter Bunny now coming along with its basket of colourful eggs. Below you will find some very colourful Easter Bunnies along with some other Easter bird ideas. The Cockerel is perfect for any farmhouse kitchen all year round as are the hanging metal chickens and wooden dove.
There isn't much history to be found for the Easter Egg hunt but it it was thought it was started by a man called Martin Luther a German fellow born in the 15th century involved in the Protestant Reformation, he would hide eggs for the women and children to find. It migrated across to the UK sometime after 1892 as they learnt about the German tradition. I guess in the UK we like to copy the odd foreign tradition as is evidence with the increasing popularity of the Halloween term "trick or treat" that was introduced in the 1980's from across the big pond. Before that the term was not used although the costumes were.....Anyway talk about side tracked, Easter egg hunts, here are a few things you can put out to decorate the garden or house for the hunt.
Apparently along with the French the Germans were also responsible for chocolate eggs, which is one to chalk up to the good books of German Inventions along with the modern motor car and the hole punch no less. Chocolate has become synonymous with Easter in the modern times. Possibly for the same reasons as decorating eggs. Chocolate was banned from being eaten during Lent so would be consumed in celebration at the end of the period. What better way than making the eggs chocolate ones. An alternative to the chocolate eggs however is a personalised chocolate bar, the personalised wrapper is a lovely way to pass on a message over the period.
Right I have babbled on long enough and have run out of interesting history for Easter. The Germans however feature very prominently for this season which was a surprise to me during my research who knew........ So this is where I bung a few more ideas at the end just in case you like the look of them. If you made it this far thanks for reading and keep an eye out for my future blogs on seasonal gift ideas, after all we are a gift shop trying to plug our stock find us at www.bitsbobsandpieces.co.uk