Wooden egg shakers from Amazon, a homemade rainstick made out of an old paper towel roll and some packets of oatmeal will be in 11-month-old Charlie Stackhouse-Frechette’s Easter basket this year. First-time parents Jill and Nate Stackhouse-Frechette will be foregoing Easter outfits and pictures, an Easter egg hunt and, of course, visiting with family.
With just over a week until Easter, families are starting to plan for how to spend the holiday under the restrictions of the coronavirus pandemic. With bans on large gatherings and stay-at-home orders, extended families likely won’t be gathering together or attending church services this Easter holiday. Some may opt for virtual meet-ups or watch livestream services. As for those Easter baskets, in the last month many retailers have shuttered their doors. This leaves consumers with fewer options this year.
Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist, also predicts that consumers will be buying Easter goodies.
“Bunnies are just what we need right now, as long as they’re cheap,” Yarrow said. “In other words, Easter — which is more like a celebration of spring rather than a religious holiday for many — has traditionally been a lower-cost holiday with strong emotional impact.”
Despite millions of layoffs and furloughs, consumers strapped for cash will make room in their budgets for some treats and decorations for their kids, she said. But they won’t be looking for extravagant gifts or experiences.
Many will turn to online retailers to source the candy for their baskets or buy items online and pick-up at the store.
The focus for many will be on activities, not just candy. Parents are looking for ways to keep their children entertained since they are unable to attend school or meet up with friends during this time.
Many towns will be hosting “bear hunts” and are planning “egg hunts” in local neighborhoods. Bear hunts are where neighbors place a teddy bear in one window of their house and children walk down the street to try and find them. The activity allows them to venture outside for fun and fresh air, but also helps keep them separated from others.
Egg hunts will be similar. Community members can print out and decorate a paper egg and either place it on the mailbox, on the outside of the house or in a window, so that kids can find them as they walk their neighborhood with their parents.