Easter is kind of a work of transition around our house. Every year I try to make it a bit more meaningful for the kids while combining elements of traditions my husband and I grew up with. (Except for re-creating the Easter that I had chickenpox---not a great memory!)
Three Things We (Almost) Always Do
1. Color Easter Eggs.
This is not my favorite part of the holiday. There, I admitted it. Frankly, I would do without it altogether if not for my husband's insistence that it be included. I am usually a reluctant participant because I don't care for craft-type activities. Especially not messy ones.
I'm also not a big fan of food dyes. (Yeah, I'm that kind of mom!) Lest you think I am a total grinch (Oops! Wrong holiday!), I do buy the egg kits and eggs. This year I got white free-range eggs from Earth Fare for free, so I'm happy that at least our petroleum-drenched eggs are healthy ones! :-)
One year, my mother-in-law colored eggs with the kids and thought my quick grabbing of upsetting cups of dye was hilarious. Last year, we were in the middle of a big remodeling project and had to color eggs on a piece of cardboard on the newly laid floor of the living room since our furniture was all removed. That was especially nerve-wracking!
2. Get New Outfits.
I know this borders on materialism and is often dictated by peer pressure. However, there is something to be said for the celebration of Resurrection Sunday and the newness of life represented by new clothes. My mom often buys all of us coordinating outfits for Easter while she's out scouting for deals. (Bless her! Shopping is also one of my least favorite activities.) Usually my kids need spring dress shoes anyway, so I just make sure they are new for Resurrection Sunday.
3. Give Easter Baskets.
Another materialistic expression, right? Well, it doesn't have to be. We keep ours small and try to focus on a few small meaningful toys and yes, candy. (Refer to #1 for my thoughts on this!) My kids honestly don't think much about bunnies and no one in the family cares for Peeps. I've gotten them chocolate crosses instead of Easter bunnies and one year, we included Christian Easter music CDs and books.
Things We Have Done in the Past
1. Resurrection Rolls.
When I accidentally bought colored marshmallows so they looked a little funny. (And you know where that coloring comes from!)
2. Resurrection Eggs.
Which I tried to save for this year but found the carton crushed underneath our Christmas decorations in December. Oops!
3. Easter Egg Hunts.
Which proved to be too much of a temptation for not treating the other children as they would want to be treated and netted my youngest with about 2 eggs.
4. Visit the Easter Bunny at the Mall.
Yes, I know---the pagan icon which my children knew was just a dressed up mall employee 'cuz I told them. (Yep, they also know I'm the Tooth Fairy and Dad is Santa. We choose not to lie to them.) This resulted in my youngest (at the time) giving a terrified scream and a less-than-serene photo. We haven't done that for about 5 years since! Who really wants to sit on on the lap of an larger-than-life-sized mammal anyway?
What We're Going to Do This Year
I have really enjoyed this devotional by Ann Voskamp over the last few weeks to prepare my own heart for Easter. She generously offers it free on her site, and it is so meaningful!
Our church also has a special Communion service the Wednesday before Resurrection Sunday, so my husband and I take turns participating while the other watches the children. We feel that they should have an understanding of the sacrament and a relationship with Jesus before partaking themselves.
Since I have small children that are difficult to get up and dressed for regular Sunday morning worship, I haven't attended our church's early morning Sunrise Service for many years. I believe I might attend alone this year in order to prepare myself spiritually for the day without the welcomed but distracting presence of my children. We all attend the later services together, of course.
As far as celebrating with the children, I am planning on making a new set of Resurrection Eggs. I also thought these Easter Cookies might be a bit more meaningful to explain the Resurrection story to my kids.
I also downloaded these Easter Listening Pages to help my kids participate more in the services on Sunday.
What are your plans for celebrating the Resurrection with your family?