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In Search of Easter Traditions

Christ’s death and resurrection are the crux of our faith. So, for the past couple of years I’ve been thinking about how we can celebrate a Christ-focused Easter. I wrote about the beginnings of our Easter traditions last year.

Stephen has reminded me many, many times that he doesn’t want us to force traditions into our family life by sheer willpower. Picking an activity and forcing everyone to do it year after year because “it’s tradition” is neither enjoyable nor the purpose of traditions. Of course not all yearly traditions will be Christ-focused, but here’s a little bit of our thinking when choosing which activities might work for us.

We’re looking for traditions that…

  • help us teach our children the gospel truths surrounding the holiday (does this tradition keep the main thing, the main thing?)
  • fit with our family’s personality (do they seem to flow or fit naturally into our holiday seasons? do we enjoy this activity?)
  • are sustainable year after year (is it simple enough? is it affordable?)

I honestly just came up with this list right now, so it’s not like we have a checklist in our heads, but these are some things I think are helpful guides for me.

This year I tried way too many traditions. I kind of wanted to try all sorts of things to see which things were keepers.

We did our Resurrection Eggs again, hosted an abbreviated Messianic Seder (Passover meal, but showing how Christ is the fulfillment of the Passover Lamb) for the kids, tried making a timeline craft of the events of Holy Week (but only got half way through it), made a Crown of Thorns snack and read the crucifixion account, attended the Good Friday service at church, boiled eggs (but never got around to dyeing them), took the kids to an egg hunt at our local rock museum, made Resurrection Rolls on Easter morning, attended the Easter brunch and service at church, and hosted friends for a backyard egg hunt and dinner.

Whew! Like I said, I was overly ambitious.

And it showed most when I got in the car on Easter Sunday and saw that Cooper had dressed himself in a red sweater, black pants with a neon yellow racing stripe up the side and gray and blue sneakers. Yes, he attended Easter Sunday looking completely mismatched! I was reminding myself on the way to church that “Easter’s not about what we wear.” Stephen wisely commented, “And it’s also not about how many things we can cram in.” Too true, husband-of-mine.

So, what were my take-aways from this Easter?

Traditions I aspire to keep:

    • Resurrection Eggs (This year Stephen suggested we hide the egg each night and let the kids find it. Great idea, and it got the kids excited. They even asked their babysitter to hide the egg one night. Next year I’m going to put three jelly beans in each egg to help keep their interest during the teaching time.)
    • Read the crucifixion story from the Jesus Storybook Bible on Good Friday (It makes me cry.)
    • Attend the Good Friday service (This year was the first Good Friday service I’ve ever attended. We listened to several scripture readings of Christ’s Passion interspersed with congregational singing. After the sermon, we took communion together. It was beautiful.)
    • Resurrection Rolls (Yummy, easy, fun, and illustrative of the Easter story. I would do this Saturday morning, though, if there’s an early start to Easter services on Sunday.)
    • Easter brunch and morning service (Can’t miss these! The service was a jubilant celebration with fellow believers!)
    • Backyard egg hunt and dinner with friends (Holidays are better shared. A mini egg hunt in our yard seemed more intimate than going to a huge event.)

Traditions I’d like to do, but am holding loosely:

      • Crown of Thorns snack (This was yummy and kept the kids busy while I read the crucifixion story. I substituted Nutella for the peanut butter.)
      • Dyeing Easter eggs (Nothing spiritual about this one, but I’d do it for classic childhood reasons.)

Traditions we probably won’t be doing regularly:

      • Messianic Seder (While I love the idea of showing the kids how the Old Testament Passover foreshadows the New Testament Passover Lamb {Christ}, this was too complicated and put the focus more on the OT story than the NT. The kids did love it though, and I’m really glad we tried it. We might do it again someday.)
      • Timeline of the Passion Week (The Resurrection Eggs do this sufficiently.)
      • Easter baskets (It would be nice to do this some years, especially if we could get the kids some books on Biblical themes. One book we already have, but is perfect for Easter is The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross. Check it out.)
      • New Sunday outfits (I’d like for us to dress up a bit or at least not be mismatched! Maybe some years we’ll buy new spring outfits. They’re so cute.)

What are your Easter traditions (spiritual or otherwise)? I’d love to hear about them! Maybe I’ll even try some of them next year…

1 thought on “In Search of Easter Traditions

  1. We have none! I intended to do Resurrection Eggs this year, but all of a sudden it was Easter! We did do an egg hunt at mom and dad’s, and I hope to continue in the future.

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