One of the best parts of being a parent and having my own family is getting to pass on family traditions, as well as starting new traditions of our own. Growing up, on Easter, I always wore a new Sunday Easter dress, went to early worship service then headed to my aunt’s house for a late lunch and egg hunt in her backyard; however, I can’t remember many other traditions. Recently at a weekly play date, I asked a bunch of my mom-friends about their family Easter traditions, hoping to add a few to our holiday repertoire. I asked specifically if they had any Christ-centered ideas for Easter, as it’s easy to get caught up in the secular celebrations involving Easter bunnies, eggs, chocolate, and such. Here are some of the great ideas they shared for keeping Jesus the focus of your Easter celebrations.
7 Fun Christ-Centered, Easter Traditions to Celebrate with the Family
1. Kitchen sunrise service. Regardless of the day of the week, my kids are up at the crack of dawn. One of my neighbors says her family holds an informal “sunrise service” in the kitchen as they get ready for the day. They listen to Handel’s Messiah on the CD player, read the Easter story in the Bible, and then follow up with a children’s book such as The Story of Easter. You can make an Easter sunrise breakfast of Empty Tomb Rolls, made of crescent rolls, marshmallows, and brown sugar – these recipes are all over Pinterest or you can find one on WomenLivingWell.org.
2. A new Sunday outfit. Stemming from a tradition my mother started with my sisters and I when we were little girls, every Easter Sunday every child receives a new outfit for church. One of my friends says she does the same thing, buying new dresses for her girls, but incorporates an important note of scripture with the gift:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. – 2 Corinthians 5:17
3. Prepare the food and set the table with prayer. My friend Ginny says that when she’s preparing the food (for instance, peeling a 10 pound bag of potatoes), instead of grumbling about the monotony of the task, she uses the time to pray to Jesus for each person that will be sitting around the Easter table. You can encourage your kids to do this too and pray for your guests as they help set the table for any family Easter gatherings!
4. Organize a neighborhood pitch-in lunch. We don’t have family in town and we don’t travel for Easter because we really like to attend our own church on this holiday. For years now, my friend and neighbor Katie has opened up her home as a gathering place for a pitch-in lunch for anyone who might not have family in town to celebrate with on this special resurrection day. If you’re not getting together with neighbors, share your Easter meal with someone who might spend it alone and use that time to tell them about the reason we celebrate Jesus on Easter!
5. Skip the eggs filled with only candy and sweets. My kids love games, so the traditional Easter egg hunt is something they really look forward to. But instead of only sugary treats hidden in the eggs, they also will find a small piece of paper with a redeeming scripture verse hand-written on it. After the hunt is done, we sit together as a family and each child reads aloud the verses they found in their eggs.
6. Read The Parable of the Lily and plant (or force) a lily bulb. The Parable of the Lily is the sweet story of a little girl named Maggie who one day opens the package to find a bulb buried in a crate of dirt. This was not what Maggie expected. She had hoped for a doll or a game, not a bulb that would one day become a plant. When spring comes, she finds the bulb in the cellar and tosses the lifeless thing into the garden, never to think of it again . . . until she walks outside on Easter morning and finds the most beautiful lily she has ever seen. Through the unique gift of a bulb, Maggie discovers the true meaning of Easter.
7. Make Resurrection Eggs to tell the Easter story, as described step-by-step by my fellow blogger Tara Ziegmont in this post this week.
What are some of your favorite family Christ-Centered Easter traditions?