Is Easter a favorite holiday for you? Why? I confess I love the jelly beans and malted eggs, but not the Peeps. I despise plastic “grass”, which like Christmas tree needles can be found in odd places months after the holiday. Yet, I love Easter for its deep spiritual meaning and its fun associated activities.
As a child, Easter was about the candy and the new outfit. The outfit included ruffled socks, white patent leather buckle shoes, ruffled under pants, a full slip, a dress, a hat, a purse and gloves. We usually shopped at Sears for the outfit. Yes, we died eggs, had an egg hunt outside (weather permitting), received a multi-colored fake-straw basket full of candy and we went to church. I do not recall any emphasis on the Easter bunny. We knew all our gifts were from our parents.
As an adult, I still like the candy. But now the special ham dinner with the family is more important to me. Even though I don’t like coconut, a Lamb cake is the perfect dessert because it represents Jesus as the perfect Lamb of God sacrificed to take away our sins. I savor Easter worship, and if I can also include a Good Friday or Maundy Thursday worship, those are a welcome bonus. I appreciate my Catholic friends’ attitude about, and reverence towards Holy Week, which goes from Palm Sunday to Easter.
As a parent I used green cloth to line multi-colored plastic baskets that I filled with candy, added a few half-dollars, and sometimes a Christian music CD or DVD. I don’t recall when or why I started giving half-dollars, but they were happily accepted. The baskets were presented on Good Friday or Saturday so that candy was not the highlight of Easter Sunday. I generally bought my children a new outfit but not of the same caliber or level of fancifulness as what I wore as a child.
I think I enjoyed the egg hunts as much as my children. I still enjoy hosting them for my grandchildren. At an outdoor hunt there is always the risk that some egg will not be found till August. Hopefully that egg is not the one with the money in it. At my hunts, I do not let all the children begin hunting at the same time but let the youngest start first and give him or her a few minutes of hunting before allowing the next oldest to begin. Staggering their starts even just a few minutes apart prevents the oldest child from quickly finding all the easily hidden eggs which the youngest child needs.
Here are a few more family ideas for possible Easter traditions:
- Watch an inspirational movie, such as Risen (for children over 6)
- Dye boiled eggs
- Take a basket to an elderly neighbor or relative
- Make Easter decorations
- Choose a Pinterest project to do as a family
- Go to a live Passion of Christ play
- Visit another church for their Good Friday worship
- Make a lamb cake (with or without the coconut)
- Make Easter egg nests
- Attend a sunrise worship service
Easter Egg Nests
(recipe given to me by my mother-in-law more than 30 years ago)
2 12 oz. bags of milk chocolate chips (or use 1 bag semi-sweet & 1 bag butterscotch)
1 large bags of chow Mein noodles
2 bags of jelly bird (small) jelly beans
Melt the chips in a double boiler or in the microwave. Pour in the dry noodles. Mix well enough to cover the noodles.
Drop by the heaping tablespoon onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper. Add 3-5 eggs (jelly beans) onto each nest. Put in refrigerator to harden.