Easter Sunday, April 20 this year, is just one month away.
I should say at the outset that, though Easter is an incredibly important holiday for us Christians, I am not a raving fan of typical Easter colors, Easter decòr, or many Easter traditions. Bunnies, baby chicks, and pastel shades of yellow and purple leave me cold. I dislike jelly beans, malted milk balls, marshmallow peeps, and all hollow chocolate shapes except peanut butter eggs. Even lilies, I confess, are my unfavorite flower. I do like to dye eggs and look forward to being able to achieve bright colors again, as all eggs in England are brown. We have even hosted an egg hunt before, when Norah was three. But these activities seem to me to be more of the Just-For-Fun variety than actually having a meaningful connection with the death and resurrection of the Son of God.
Our Easter traditions have been somewhat in flux, as Mommy tries to find meaningful things that can last as we move from place to place. I’ve tried different things so far with mixed results. When I was a child my parents always gave us new dresses (and sometimes hats!) to wear on Easter Sunday. I loved this when I was little, so I gave the girls new dresses for a few early years. However, often they had enough dresses that had been gifted or handed on, and buying new clothes we don’t really need hasn’t always fit the budget. This might remain a when-we-can type of tradition.
What have we done that we’ll keep? We love to go to church on Good Friday. If there’s no service at our church I’ll find one to attend. We like the English tradition of hot cross buns on Good Friday. The best tradition of all we just began last year, that of crafting an Easter Garden together. We love the beauty and the meaning of this activity. During family Bible time leading up to and throughout Easter week we have a special focus on Christ’s death and resurrection, and the song “Up From The Grave He Arose” is a family favorite at this time of year. Similar to the Advent Readings For the Very Young that Alex and I wrote, a few years ago I wrote a ten-day series of Easter Readings For the Very Young based on the Gospel of John that we will use once more this year. The readings and activities can be found on this blog if it would serve anyone who wants to join us. (I have also been working on a series for the very young that is based on the teachings of Jesus from the Sermon on the Mount. I intended it to be ready to use with the children before Lent (!), but have had to revise my plan and we’ll be doing it after Easter this year. Stay tuned if you’re interested.)
Any of my fellow mommies out there with good ideas for helping our families and little ones focus on Jesus this season? Don’t be selfish. Comment, I beg you!
Addendum: A lovely commenter has just reminded me of Resurrection Rolls, which we made last year and really enjoyed. We’ll probably do this again sometime Easter week.