Monday, April 30, 2012

Easter Traditions

This year we started some new Easter traditions. We wanted to enjoy all the fun of Easter but add to it the JOY of the celebration of the Resurrection. Christians ought to have the best Easters of anyone because the real reason for the celebration is so much better than chocolate bunnies and the coming of spring! So while we did the Easter egg hunt/dyeing eggs/etc, we also added on some fun new traditions of our own. Well, some of them were based off of pinterest. But what can I say? Most good ideas are. :)

First, the boys and I put together this garden.

 We gathered all kinds of greenery from the yard (in the rain!) on Good Friday. We talked about what Jesus' friends must have been feeling on that sad day. Why is it called Good Friday? What happened when Jesus died? (They were very interested in the earthquake part.) What did the disciples think had happened? Iain's response, that they were upset because they thought He was the king and now thought He wasn't, was pretty right on.

We also talked about how no flowers were allowed in our garden. Flowers are for happiness, and this was a sad, sad day. The tomb is a carved potato, which the boys thought was awesome. This garden was our table centerpiece on Friday and Saturday. By Saturday night, the plants were wilting. We talked about how long it must have seemed from Friday to Sunday, and how sad the garden was now.
 Then after the boys went to sleep Saturday night, I went to work with some babies' breath, transforming our sad, wilting garden into a place of happiness! The tomb was opened! And it was empty! And the flowers, which represent happiness and joy, were bursting forth! This is the sight that greeted our eyes on Easter morning--and the boys loved the surprise. And the empty tomb was our centerpiece for our Easter meal, and it sparked some good discussion over dinner, too.
 "The potato is empty! Jesus is out of the potato!" said Cory. Well, we tried. :)

We have debated Easter baskets every year. While we want to do tim because they're fun, we've also been hesitant since we don't want Easter Sunday morning to be more exciting because of stuff than because of the Resurrected Lord. This year, we hit on a way to bring some good symbolism to Easter baskets (thanks again, pinterest). As Jeremy said, even if they end up thinking this is corny, at least they'll know we tried to bring the gospel into everything.

We each took five rocks and put them in our Easter baskets. Then one by one, we took them out, naming a sin for each rock, and dropped them into one basket we called Jesus' basket, showing how He takes our sin. Then we covered Jesus' basket with a red cloth, because He covers our sins with His blood. So now our Easter baskets were empty.

The next morning, they were full of good things--because Jesus takes our sins and gives us good things instead. I know it sounds contrived, but the boys really got it. And it was fun.

So there you go. Our original (pinterest-based) Easter traditions. They went very well, and the Resurrection holiday seemed fuller because of the time and thought that we spent really thinking about what Jesus did for us and what it means. The Gospel is so rich and deep--we want our kids to dive into it. What fun, creating new traditions.


Phyllis said...

I love your children! :-)

TheHappyNeills said...

i really like the garden/tomb and basket ideas! we don't do baskets but the grandparents gave each of the kids one. totally fine with that--because it IS a celebration! but like you said, they can get more excited about that than the Reason. we might try the rock/sin analogy next year!

Papa said...

Jesus is out of the potato!!! He is risen indeed!!!