Traditions and celebrations help us remember and mark something significant. In my book, resurrection is pretty consequential and therefore worthy of remembrance and celebration!
As a young mother I wanted my children to be excited about Easter, to contemplate the weightiness of such an event, and to remember His supreme sacrifice with great appreciation and thanksgiving. So what could be done to mark such a special day and bring about such contemplation?
Christmas warrants a full season of celebration. Why should Easter be wrapped up in one short day? The importance of the resurrection deserved a bit more attention than that in my book. So the following will help you see some of the prep, planning, and celebration we now practice!
1. Mom purchased books about the Resurrection story. These books are brought out a few weeks prior to Easter Sunday and made available for perusal. Placed in view for decorative purposes, we also read them together during those weeks. The story is told and retold. What better story is there?
2. Years ago one such book prompted us to create figures/puppets of the characters involved in the story. Now they are set out each year and the young set (my own children and now my grandchildren) enjoy re-enacting the story. Great!
3. This mom is big on seasonal decor. For me, it sets the tone. A month before the big day flowers, figurines, garlands, special dishware and linens are brought out. All these things cue the children and visitors — something really special is being remembered!
4. We always take time to plan special outfits for Easter Sunday. It is common in many cultures to wear festive clothes during celebration — surely Easter merits this! In years gone by we’ve all worn white dresses, or had new flowered dresses and new suits, or planned to wear matching colors using existing wardrobes. Celebration commemorating such an event deserves thought and investment. We must remember and celebrate His great goodness! It doesn’t need to be costly, but it should be thought through. Cleaning, mending, adding a simple touch such as a new tie or hair ribbon — this takes time and effort, and that is what helps children (and ourselves) recognize the significance of the day. We begin plotting our outfits days and even weeks before. After all, Easter is a major event! Jesus rose from the dead!!
5. Traditional foods are part of the big day. Menus are planned, ingredients purchased, and for several days we are busy preparing breads, breakfast foods, cakes, cookies, etc. More time and effort? You bet!! The kids watch and get involved. Something really important is going to happen and the excitement builds! Easter will be celebrated soon and we better be ready!
6. Music. Resurrection hymns at the piano. A simple children’s song (“Jesus is alive,” the angels say. “Be glad! Be glad, this Easter Day!”)
Easter morning begins early.
1. We wake the children with traditional greetings: “Hallelujah! Christ is risen!” They respond with: “He is risen indeed!”
2. Donning our robes we head downstairs for the annual treasure hunt. The night before, clues have been written (one for each child, written with their particular age level in mind) and hidden around the house. One by one they are discovered, each leading to the next. The final clue will take the whole crew to the stash of baskets laden with sweet treats. How exciting!
3. Breakfast of traditional Cheese Braid begins. During the meal, gifts are shared — a book, a CD, a simple piece of jewelry.
4. Off we go to get dressed and head to church to celebrate with the brethren. Hallelujah! This is the highlight — songs of rejoicing and victory!
5. Home once again, we partake of Easter dinner with its traditional breads, cakes and veggies. Main dishes seem to vary around here, trying new recipes regularly. The tables are set with our best china, decorated with flowers and lit candles. We typically invite lots of guests — families and individuals joining our celebration as we give thanks to God for His sacrifice and victory on our behalf!
The end of the day comes and we revel in the beauty of the celebration. Easter has become a special season in our home, warm and bright, reflective and meaningful. It is one of my favorites!