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By Charles Hopkins Published 04/7/2006 | Social Issues

For Christians around the world, Easter heralds the coming of spring, the season for rebirth and rejuvenation that marks the time that Jesus Christ rose from His grave to appear to his followers. Thus, for centuries, Easter has been a sacred holiday for Christians and over the years, the Easter celebrations have acquired traditional accessories such as Easter eggs and bunnies. A lot of people are mystified at the way eggs and bunnies have become an inherent part of Easter party planning, but these are traditional fertility symbols that were introduced to America by German immigrants to signify rebirth during Easter.

A family occasion

When planning an Easter party, keep in mind that it is essentially a time for family, so you neednt really spend a packet and put up elaborate decorations and lay a lavish spread on the table. However, you can make the occasion special by thinking up fun and easy-to-find table decorations, banners, and invitations. To begin at the beginning, lets take the invitations first. 

Invitations: Two choices lie before you. You can either buy the invitations, provided you arent sending out too many, or you can make them yourself if you want to save on costs. If you choose the first option, there are numerous choices available, including miniature cutouts of Easter bunnies and collapsible Easter eggs, most of them for between one and two dollars apiece. If you make them at home, you have to ensure that they leave invitees with enough time to respond. You can use fabric or paper to make bunny and egg cutouts, or simply make plain rectangular cards and do them up with ribbons and sequins for the personal touch. 

The entrance: If you have a driveway, you might consider putting up a banner at the end to let people know where the party is. Hang a large Easter bunny cutout in the doorway and place a table next to it loaded with small thank you gifts for the invitees, including traditional chocolate bunnies and marshmallow eggs. 

The table: Whats Easter party planning if you cant have fun choosing table decorations? First up, decide on the centerpieces. Inevitably, the bunnies will pop up again. For the average table, two stuffed bunnies or eggs work very nicely as centerpieces, while glitter and confetti can be scattered on the floor surrounding the table.

You can turn a plain white cloth into a glamorous Easter tablecloth by using fabric paint to create extravagantly colored bunny and egg patterns. There are special fabric paints for such occasions in glitter colors that you might want to look at. Just make sure the paint has enough time to dry.

You can also use special Easter themed paper plates and glasses for the added bit of color. Or, if youre really confident of your abilities, try some ceramic painting on the cutlery. But we recommend this only for experts.  

The food: As far as we are concerned, this is the best part of Easter party planning. As we said earlier, dont make the food too lavish, and keep in mind the age and dietary requirements of your guests. Mandatory items would be roast marshmallows, a light lemon pie or soufflé and special Easter cookies. The rest is up to you.  

The games: Youll find lots of game ideas if you run an online search, but your Easter party planning is incomplete without the Easter egg hunt (do we hear groaning?), a bunny-drawing contest, and a bunny-making contest. Just make sure you have enough coloring materials handy. Some card and gift shops also offer special Easter games and game ideas, and these can be relatively inexpensive options that generate a huge amount of fun nevertheless.