Tag Archives: Easter

Resurrection Day

Today is Easter Sunday,  a day set aside to remember our Savior’s death on the cross and resurrection. A day to celebrate our new life in Him.

This past week was full of special activities — egg hunts, Easter parties, craft days, and re-tellings of the Easter Story. We have a few favorites things we do almost every Easter season. They include:

*Reading our favorite Easter picture books — Benjamin’s  Box by Melody Carlson is one we read year after year. It’s written to correspond with the Resurrection Egg set, where each egg contains a different “piece” of the story. Before we purchased one of the sets, I made up my own using regular plastic eggs and filling them myself with items we had around the house.

Another book we really enjoy is The Parable of the Easter Lily by Liz Curtis Higgs. In the story, a young girl named Maggie receives a flower bulb as a gift and, disappointed, tosses it into the garden. When the bulb grows into an Easter Lily, Maggie learns about grace, forgiveness, and the true meaning of Easter.

*Dying Easter Eggs — Sometimes we dye the eggs before Easter, sometimes on Easter Sunday. Either way, it’s always been a great activity for bringing extended family together. Now that the kids are older, we don’t just dip the eggs  in the dye; now we blow the eggs out so they’re hollow and paint them!

*Hunting for Easter Baskets — We had this tradition when I was small, and I’ve continued it with our children, for no real reason except that it’s a lot of fun.  Each child has a designated basket filled with goodies, and Easter morning they hunt around the house for them. Even my 14-year-old still enjoys looking for his basket. Or maybe he just going for the treats inside. Hmmm….

What does your family do to celebrate the Resurrection?

Large Family Stuggles — or Benefits?

mfgroupDuring the Easter holiday season, we took off some extra days for spring break and headed to Florida to visit with family. This week, my children have spent time with cousins ages 6 months to 26 years, and for the most part, they’ve had a lot of fun together. Interacting with so many people, though, means there will likely be some problems. Even within the immediate family, personalities are so different that they’re bound to clash sometime; multiply that number by four or five, and there will be more than a few arguments.  Small disputes and bickering are likely to occur, especially when so much time is spent together.

But if you have a large family, you know that’s actually one of the benefits of having so many relatives. Within the safety and comfort of the extended family, my children can learn to relate to all kinds of people, ones they get along with as well as ones that don’t share their same views. They learn how to be kind and include someone in a game even if they don’t want to, and they can come to adults they know well for help if difficult situations arise.

Interestingly, this time there was even peer pressure at work among the teenage/pre-teen cousins. When my daughter Cassie was looking for something to do, she asked her cousin if she had any ideas. “No,” the cousin replied. “I just do what the others want to do so they’ll include me.” Cassie , who at 11 years old falls in between the “older” and “younger” groups of cousins, was very surprised, but it was a good lesson. Even among family, someone can feel pressured to fit in.

So while this week has been a nice break, it’s been a time of learning as well. Time for my kids to relate to others  a little better, and a time for me to sharpen my parenting skills. And as the extended family continues to grow and change, I know we’ll grow and change as well.

Easter Events

Cenetaph027One of my favorite memories of Easter when I was growing up was attending a church musical about the Resurrection. The church was a large one, so the production was quite grand, especially to a young child. I still remember the name of the musical — “The Life Giver” — and the chorus to one of the songs, the song where Peter realizes that Jesus is the Christ. It was so long ago, but it made such an impact on me. So, when we have opportunities to attend a cultural event during the Easter season, I try to take advantage of them. This year, we had two.

For the past few years, a friend of mine has done a Passover presentation, during which she explains the significance of the Passover feast and how it relates to the Crucifixion and Resurrection. In previous years, it had always fallen on a day when we weren’t able to go, but this year we could. She sent everyone instructions on how to make a Sedar plate and what to bring along.

After we arrived, she helped us set everything up, and when each family was ready, the presentation began. She took us step by step through a shortened version of the Jewish Passover, pointing out the symbolism and meaning of different parts of the feast. I learned things I had never heard before, and the children and I had a lot to talk about on the way home.

Yesterday, we had the chance to hear a musical presentation entitled Saturday, 29 A.D., relaying a possible dialog between Pontius Pilate and his wife. Mark Schweizer of St. James Music Press wrote and performed one of the parts, and it was both powerful and thought-provoking. We talked about it before we went, so the children knew what it was about and what to expect. They were quiet and listened intently, and the older ones understood most of it as it was being performed.

Besides being enjoyable, however, these presentations also help put us in the right mindset regarding the holiday. It’s fun to dye Easter eggs, go on egg hunts, and eat candy. But the real reason we celebrate Easter is to remember the work on the cross and the Resurrection. The holiday is an ideal time to again tell our children the Easter story, to remind ourselves of His great sacrifice, and to share the Good News with others. Let’s take advantage of such a great opportunity.