Apr 9, 2012

Celebrate with Great Joy — Keeping Easter Religious and Fun

Easter Eggs

Photo Credit: Grant Hutchinson

At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, “Who, then, is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?”  He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them.  And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.  Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.  If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

Matthew 18:1-6

A friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook (names edited for privacy).  This lady is a real inspiration to me in my walk with Jesus.  She is the devoted and faithful wife of a pastor, and the mother of seven beautiful and delightful children (the youngest of whom is not quite a month old!).

“‎96 plastic eggs in 6 different colors all stuffed with the children’s favorite things. Baskets lovingly filled with a few special things. We’re ready to hide eggs (by color…[Oldest Child]’s orange eggs are super hard to find and [Youngest Child]’s blue eggs are pretty much in plain sight) for our annual hunt. The REASON we celebrate Easter is Jesus. The WAY we celebrate is with great joy! Gifts in honor of The GIFT.”

It”s was a wonderful reminder.  So many of us get so stuck on the religious dogma and the “reason for the season” that we lose the joy and the fun in the celebration, and we take away a lot of the fun from the celebration.  We try to discourage the commercialization of Easter (or other religious holidays) and instead try to stick to the faith-based celebrations.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate the fun in the day either!  Chocolates, egg hunts and family meals can all have a special place in the celebration of Easter, as much as solemn church services, prayers of thanks and singing hyms.  There’s lots of ways to celebrate the joy of the holiday without focusing on the candy and the bunnies.

Here are some ways we have discussed and discovered to teach Naomi about Easter, and the Resurrection of Christ, while still keeping the fun and joy in the holiday.

 All photos are the credit of the links in the descriptions beside them.
The few that are not were found via Google Search. 

Empty Tomb Snacks made from chocolate cookies and donuts (not recommended just before bedtime!). These are a clever — and delicious! — way to discuss the story of the three women coming to find the empty tomb, and how the rock might have been rolled away.
  Lots of beautiful printable coloring pages, including Jesus, Mary, crosses, hot crossed buns, and several other lovely pictures.
  A great alternative to traditional chocolate and candy eggs is Resurrection eggs, in which you tell the Easter story using pictures and plastic eggs with small treats.  This is a very festive take on the Advent calendars.
  An Easter garden would be a lovely centerpiece to your table.  It would keep your little ones’ attention as they watch the grass grow from the day that the stone is rolled over the tomb to the day it is rolled away.  It would be an excellent way to let the imaginations of older children get a better understanding of the story.
   I bet you never thought of M&Ms at Easter (except maybe as filling for chocolate eggs).  But here’s an adorable poem about how to use them to explain the Easter story.
   A great idea for your artsy toddler would be to make a paint stamped cross on canvas.  A little tape and a cheap paint canvas make for gorgeous art.  I think this would be especially cute to do with hand prints.
  A delicious and well thought out dessert is Resurrection cookies.  As you include each ingredient, you get to read a passage from the Bible.  Each ingredient has a special significance to the story.  What a passionate way to discuss Jesus while connecting with your children!
  The Jelly Bean Poem leads to lots of crafty inspiration.  Making a stained glass cross, a bracelet or necklace, a jar of layered colorful jelly beans… pretty much anything involving multiple colors!

Do you have some other fun ways of teaching your children about Easter?  Feel free to share them!

This post is a part of Sunday Snippets Catholic Carnival
at This, That and The Other Thing.


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  • How cool are these ideas? And why didn’t I find them before I wrote my book??? :)

    Thanks for sharing! I’m all over this for next year…

    • A little motivation for the next edition! 😀 Hope your Easter was blessed, Kathleen! 😀

  • My kindergartener made the canvas with a cross and paint. It turned out beautiful, almost like stained glass.

    • Sounds beautiful! I hope to do the same with Naomi next year (or before, if we get so inspired!).