Break away from the traditional candy-filled egg


March 26, 2013 at 7 p.m.
Updated March 25, 2013 at 10:26 p.m.

From pastel-colored filler grass to fancy holiday duds and sugar-coated goodies lining store shelves, it's apparent that Easter is just around the corner.

And the holiday means big business.

Nationwide, people will spend an average $145.13 on Easter this year, according to a National Retail Federation news release. Overall spending will reach an estimated $17.2 billion.

While that chunk of change will go toward things such as clothing, food and decor, Easter basket goodies also join the mix.

Crossroads retailers say shoppers aren't limited to plastic eggs and jellybeans this holiday, however.

Here, they offer up a few out-of-the-ordinary ideas.

Mind the music lover

While most instruments won't fit inside a basket, there are other options. Consider novelty gifts such as harmonicas or kazoos or even accessories like guitar strings and picks. CDs are good for the music lover who doesn't play an instrument.

Dish up some decor

Decorative wall crosses are appropriate for the holiday, and you can personalize them for the recipient. Look for a favorite color or a cross that corresponds to a cause they're passionate about. That might include cancer research or pet charities.

Supply some sparkle

Jewelry is an option for both children and adults. Whether it's religion-themed pieces or those with rabbits and baby chicks, it might even fit inside a plastic egg, adding a bit of surprise to the holiday.

Consider something cuddly

With the bunnies, lambs and other furry friends that enter into Easter designs, stuffed animals are a natural option. Not only do they fit easily inside a basket, but they're also easier than caring for the real thing.

Reach out to the reader

Consider tucking a new book into that basket. While virtually any book would work, rabbit-themed reads such as Beatrix Potter's classics are a good option for children.

Attend to the animal lover

Consider including basket items for the person's four-legged friends. That might include pet treats, clothing and a number of other accessories.

Personalize, personalize, personalize

Whatever route you plan when it comes to this year's basket, keep the person you are shopping for in mind. Do they prefer quirky options or have more traditional tastes? That extra thought can make shopping much simpler and makes for a better gift.

Sources: Brittany Fiedler, manager with Target; Rebekah Liserio, employee with Redbird Books; Sally Salazar, employee with Goliad Pharmacy and Gifts; Karissa Salinas, owner of Tails to Nails Grooming; Taylor Sparkman, employee with Collins Music Center



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