In case you hadn't noticed, Easter is hippity hopping its way here faster than you can say, "what do you mean you're out of jelly beans?" If you're the kind of rascally rabbit that has ever positioned the chocolate bunny just-so to hide the dented side because it was the last one on the shelf, you're not alone.

One of my friends fessed up on Facebook: "Kim D. doesn't have an Easter basket plan for the first time in 13 years," she admitted, "...what to do, what to do, what to do?" Like all good girlfriends, the response was immediate, clever, crafty, and best of all thrifty. Thinking outside the basket, most of the BFF bunnies suggested spending money on treats that would stick around after the sugar rush had worn off. No matter what the occasion, no one wants to throw money down a rabbit hole.

"You have lots of time," wrote Marne S., "who's open late??" God bless the optimists. "My mom did tickets to Great America one year," Danielle M. chimed in, "that was fun."

"I just got back from shopping," wrote Julie B., "I grabbed iTunes cards and some candy for the two oldest, and Target dollar bin stuff for the 6-year-old...no idea where the baskets are so they're going into the 99-cent Easter gift bags." Work it, work it.

"With all those girls," suggested Candy J., "mani-pedi kits?" Colorful and reusable! Carolyn K. also thought nail polish was a good idea and brainstormed, "iTunes gift cards ... art stuff, books, CDs, lip gloss, Silly Bandz bracelets (they have a religious set and a spring set) ... hope that helps!"

Personally, I miss the days of tucking Matchbox cars and Thomas the Tank trains into the Easter grass, but we too are moving on to books, surfing magazines, flip flops and sunscreen.

Kim D. was appreciative, but needed more. "OK...I wasn't clear," she wrote, "I always do something with the "actual basket". Like one year I filled laundry baskets, one year beach bags, one year totes, new backpacks, etc...but this year they really don't need any kind of "carrying device" whatsoever so I am kind of at loose ends." Hmmm..added degree of difficulty, but these friends are no dumb bunnies.

"Paint cans!" wrote Jennifer S., "You can get clear paint cans at Michael's in the gift wrap stuff. Put their names on with stickers or something and fill em up!" Love this. Carol C. suggested the gift of giving. "You could get some type of wicker baskets," she suggested, "fill them with the girl's stuff, and then [help them] refill them with men's socks, travel size shampoos, soap, toothpaste, etc..." and donate to a homeless shelter. She explained, "that way [the basket] doesn't just sit in their rooms."

Last minute bunnies unite! It seems we really can accomplish almost anything with a little help from our friends. Now, hop to it!

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