Celebrating Easter: Traditions and Takeaways

Easter is surely one of the biggest celebrations in the Christian church.  While Christmas brings news and celebration of Christ’s coming, Easter communicates what Jesus Christ came to accomplish on earth.  So if Christmas is the “Who”, then Easter is the “What”, “When”, “Where”, and – most importantly – the “Why”.  It’s a celebration of the fulfillment of God’s plan to redeem mankind.  But, unlike Christmas, Easter doesn’t hold quite the cultural hype and the months of planning, shopping, and celebrating.  And I like it that way.

Photo Mar 29, 8 36 24 PMI think back to my childhood celebrations of Easter, which mostly centered around attending church in a pretty new dress that likely coordinated with my sisters’.  Our church had a tradition in which a tall, mossy cross was displayed outside of the sanctuary on Palm Sunday, and – on Easter – each person brought fresh-picked flowers from their yard, from Publix if you were fancy, or from the azalea plant on the side of the church property if you were late.  [COME AS YOU ARE, PEOPLE.]  Families would add the flowers to the cross to transform it from mossy and boring, to bright and alive.  I loved the metaphor of that.  Of course, when we got home, we always did an Easter egg hunt and ate far too much candy for a Sunday morning like the rest of America.

Now as I have my own growing family, I wanted to do a little bit of “research” into other traditions and activities people do to acknowledge and celebrate this holiday and the Jesus who made it all worth celebrating.  So, since I’m not in graduate school any longer, I was free to use Facebook as a credible source, and I found several great ideas.

  • Make a “resurrection garden”, representing the cross and the tomb – a hands-on activity you can make with your kiddos who are old enough to NOT eat gravel.  A great description of the how-to can be found on Kristen Welch’s blog here: http://wearethatfamily.com/2012/03/diy-mini-resurrection-garden/.  Ann Voskamp has a variation on the resurrection garden and calls it the “grace garden”.  Her description (along with some really practical application of the project) can be found on her blog here: http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/03/a-family-christian-activity-for-easter-make-a-grace-garden-a-visual-parable/.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.48.10 PM
  • Curl up on the couch for a movie.  Suggestions include “The Ten Commandments” or “The Passion of the Christ”. Or, if you’re like me and can’t handle the heavy movies, “Veggie Tales ‘Twas the Night Before Easter” should do.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.47.52 PM
  • Keep an eye and ear out for local events and chances to connect with your community:  Easter Eggstravaganza is a fun event held by Chets (@ Chets Creek Elementary) every year on the Saturday before Easter (9:30-12).  Don’t miss it, and definitely bring a friend!  Another friend shared with me that the St. Mary’s Railroad has a special “Peter Cottontail Express” ride on the two Saturdays before Easter for all of you who, like me, have “choo-choo train” obsessed littles in your life (http://www.stmarysrailroad.com for more info).  Don’t forget to look out for neighborhood and other community egg hunts as a great opportunity to get to know and love on the people who live right near you!Eggstravaganza-slider
  • Attend a Seder dinner. The Passover Seder is a meal that involves a ritual retelling of the freeing of the Israelite slaves from Egypt, with foreshadowing of Jesus’ great rescue all over it.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.47.29 PM
  • Hide Easter baskets, candy, eggs for your children (or spouse) to find…inside the house or out.  Brace yourself for questions about how the Easter Bunny got inside if you choose the latter.  Sorry about those, mom.
  • Bake! Easter bread, resurrection rolls, bunny cakes.  Gather the family for some special time together and make a mess in the kitchen.  While you’re in the mood to make a mess, dye some eggs too.Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.53.19 PM
  • Go through the Resurrection Eggs.  This was a VERY popular response to my deep research on the matter of Easter.  I have heard of them, but have not used them myself, so I can’t wait to try them out when my kiddos are older!  Each egg is opened to find a small object inside representing a part of the story of Easter.  Put together, the story is told in full.  Some families open all 12 on Easter to narrate the resurrection, while others open one egg per day in the weeks leading up to Easter.  As a special treat, we are doing a GIVEAWAY of a set of Resurrection Eggs to one lucky reader!  Comment below (or comment on our Chets Women Facebook thread) to enter to win.  In your comment, share a tradition (new or already mentioned) that you have for Easter.  And be sure to share this post with friends and family!Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 2.05.49 PM

I hope these ideas will help you consider new ways to celebrate Easter with your family.  For me, traditions like these (Christ-focused or not) are always a fun way to get talking about the “Why” of the holiday.  If you’ve already got your traditions nailed down,  I hope looking through these can help you cherish the ways in which you already celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and all that Easter means.

Don’t forget about Easter at Chets, where we will have THREE services to celebrate as a church family: 8:30, 9:45, and 11:15.  See you there!easter-slider

{This article was written by Laura Wilson. Laura is wife to Aaron and mommy to a sweet and silly 2 year old boy who will have a sister come May. She serves with Chets Women by leading the Communications team. As a mom and pediatric speech language pathologist, she carries an artillery of goldfish and toys everywhere she goes. She loves learning more about the Lord from his word, her family, and Starbucks.}

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