As a Christian I always strive to focus on the meaning for the season, and prepare my heart over the Lenten Season. I also easily become distracted by the cute bunnies and delicious chocolates on display in the month or two leading up to Easter, and can quickly become wrapped up in the commercialization of the holiday.
This year I have decided not to be too hard on myself when it comes to regular daily readings and preparing for the Easter Season. I am extremely pregnant and it’s been a rough season of sickness in our home, but I still don’t want to lose the joy, fun, and reflection that Easter brings.
This year if I would choose one word for our Easter preparation it would be “Rejoice”. We are rejoicing in the end of winter, as spring and new birth draws near (quite literally for our family). We are rejoicing in our creativity, and surrounding ourselves with the things that make our spirits feel light and refreshed. We are enjoying each other’s presence, pursuing simplicity in our home and our hearts, and focusing on gratitude for our many blessings, and the true meaning of Easter.
Tradition has always been important to me, because it signifies the uniqueness of a family home, the things that matter to each family, and the memories that stand the test of time.
For us we have a few Easter traditions that we try to partake in each year.
1. Preparing our home for Easter with simple, often handmade decor
My first Easter as a wife I was heavily pregnant with our first child. I was also off work and didn’t have much to keep me busy. I spent a lot of time perusing Pinterest and filling my home with colourful and simple decor in pretty pastels. I wrote Bible verses on little construction paper bunnies, and made a pretty banner using paint chips. We were on a budget, but I managed to brighten our home with some creative ideas and a little bit of effort.
Each year I try and do the same. Sometimes I’ll buy a little Easter decoration from Home Sense to add to my collection, but most of the time I spend a few afternoons crafting - now with my children joining the fun!
2. Easter egg decorating
I think most families have Easter egg decorating at the top of their to-do list every year. This year we decorated Easter eggs using natural dyes from beets, purple carrots, and tumeric. I will also buy a fun kit from the store and make another round of eggs shortly before Easter with my girls, because it’s such a fun and memorable tradition for them.
3. Set up our mantle the week before Palm Sunday
Something that we haven’t done yet, but that I would like to start doing this year, is setting up a visual for our family the week before Palm Sunday (April 9th, this year). We will include a handmade tomb, some palm leaves, handmade crosses and any Christ-centred crafts the kids make, and a little toy donkey. My hope is that this visual will be a fun reminder for our entire family of the reason for Easter.
4. Attend church in our Easter clothes
My children have grown up in our church, and have learned to be very comfortable there. For them, it’s like a second home. It’s where their father works every day, and they are often seen running down the halls, hiding, and playing. I want my kids to feel safe and comfortable, but on Easter, I also want them to feel like attending church is a special event - a celebration of Christ defeating death on the cross. That’s why we try and take extra care on Easter, waking up early, getting dressed in special dresses just for the occasion, and doing their hair.
5. Washing each other’s feet
When I was in the 5th Grade my teacher had us all wash each other’s feet after reading John 13: 1 - 17. It was a one-time event that stuck in my head and made a huge impact on my heart. Over the last few years I have washed the feet of my own children, sharing with them the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet, and letting them know that I will always love and serve them and pray they will do the same in our family and beyond.
6. Having lots of Easter Bunny fun
We are not against the Easter Bunny in this house, in fact, the Easter Bunny provides lots of fun and memories over the Easter season. My kids love talking about the Easter Bunny, and they enjoy leaving out a carrot for him and waking up to a surprise on Easter Sunday. For us, the Easter Bunny is just a part of Easter, and although he doesn’t really fit in with the reason for the season, we embrace the traditions he brings.
What Easter traditions do you have in your home? Please share in the comments below!