My kids just turned 5 and 3 and honestly, I don't have many traditions surrounding Easter yet. Some people color eggs, buy new clothes, eat with family, watch the sunrise on Easter morning, etc... The thing about traditions, is that you have to start them and do them every year. I do a couple things and will just build on that. Thought I'd share a bit about my childhood and then what we do with our kids.
Growing up, my mother left a pile of candy next to my bed. It was always fun to wake up to find it there and wonder when the Easter Bunny arrived. That is all that I remember ever doing for Easter. One of my grandmothers might have taken me to church (catholic and anglican) but there are no other traditions besides that mysterious pile of candy next to my bed that I can recall.
I now am a "born again" type Christian.... Meaning I have accepted Jesus as my Savior later in life and really try to live a life pleasing to God. I read the bible and go to church to get to know the character of God better. I have a relationship with my heavenly Father and Creator. Just like you get to know a new friend... you talk to them to build intimacy (prayer) and you listen to them talk so you can get to know them better (reading bible). It is because of Jesus we can have this relationship with God. I had a hard time understand WHY Jesus, why the blood, why the death on the cross... it never made sense. But 10 yrs ago I started asking specific questions and wow... they were right there in my dusty bible from childhood the whole time. But God's timing was perfect and He brought the right people into my life at the right time to help reveal those truths.
So the reason I share all that is because Easter is SO MUCH MORE to me than about chocolate and all that stuff. And I don't want any easter bunny fun to overshadow the awesomeness of Easter!
For that reason, we have decided to do the candy toy loot part on Saturday and keep it separate from Easter Sunday, the day Jesus conquered death.
I don't buy much.... just the buckets this year with new kites, light sabers, a chocolate bunny and some chocolate eggs, plus a new sprinkler to share. The bags on either side were from Nana. She likes to shop.
Then all around the livingroom I hid plastic eggs filled with jellybeans.
This year we had Jay's brother and wife over in the afternoon. We had Indian take-out and just hung out here at the house. It was a gorgeous day and we lounged on the deck. It was nice to just be with them when everyone's schedules are so busy and they live 45min away.
So that is one of the things I want to fine tune. What do we do on Saturday besides the egg hunt? Should we make it a family day with family activities? A big meal? I don't know yet, but either way, this year was great (even if I was ill).
I have a basket of Easter books that talk about Easter being about Jesus. Easter eggs are fun but it's about God's son! Love that.
(Easter basket is pic#77 for my Project 365.)
And to teach my kids about Jesus' death and resurrection, I use "resurrection eggs". Just Google it to make your own.
You fill 12 plastic eggs with symbols that remind you of Jesus' death and resurrection. There are many different symbols you can use and you can print the verses to go in there too.
The unleavened bread is what Jesus ate at the last supper.
Broken toothpics to symbolize His thorny crown.
3 silver dimes represent the money that Judas received for telling the soldiers where Jesus would be.
A sponge to remind us that Jesus was thirsty while dying on the cross and he was offered vinegar by means of a soaked sponge on the end of a sword.
The kids love taking turns opening each egg. Vienna is old enough that she knows what most of the symbols mean and as the years pass, I look forward to her either reading the scripture or just telling me in her own words what the meaning is.
Sunday is reserved for Jesus. I want our thoughts to be on Him all day. Not easter baskets and eggs or chocolate. We succeeded this year by reading this morning. Going to church to hear a great message. And spending the rest of our day with friends eating a wonderful meal. But again, we have no tradition around what we do on Sunday. When the kids are older, I would like to watch the sun rise. I think that'd be special. And I really enjoyed the meal today. I would like to continue that too. So we shall see what next year brings. As long as our focus is on the reason for the holiday, that's all that truly matters.
Jesus is alive. And my life is evidence of that!