As a young mom, with four babies in five years, many years of my life swirled around a few choice things.
One, that all oatmeal pieces were out of my hair by noon. Two, that all my personal undergarments were tucked in when out in public and three, if those undergarments were not tucked in, please don’t tell me, I would never be the wiser.
Life as a mom of multiple preschoolers created a constant world wind of craziness, cuteness and strong conviction, but my heart’s desire and purpose at that time has not changed from the present: To Know God and Make Him Known.
That desire manifested itself in varying forms throughout my life stages, but imagine my surprise when I found out that celebrating holidays was not as simple as it seemed.
Growing up, my family tapestry was woven rich with traditions, and as a new mom, I was so excited to create that solid foundation of memory making experiences as well. Yet suddenly, I was assaulted with a wide range of varying views from many Christians which I respected the most.
Opinions stretched from, “If you tell your children that there is an Easter Bunny and a Santa Claus, and then they eventually find out that they are not real, when you attempt to tell them about Jesus, and they can’t see Him either, they won’t believe He exists,” to “We have freedom in Christ. It’s our responsibility to teach them the real meaning of Easter, and point them to the Cross, but having pretend fun won’t hurt them either.”
Believe it or not, I am a philosopher at heart, and all these controversial and divided opinions really bothered me. My desire to know God and make Him known led me to weeks of research (on dial up, no less) about the origins of holidays, and how they came to be celebrated, which led to multiple questions that my husband and I pondered personally about what was right for our own family.
I took time to interview mentors that I respected. I prayed about it. I searched the scripture.
My final decision? It really doesn’t matter to your family.
I have been called to reclaim the culture for Christ alongside my husband, our children and often, our extended family. How that is facilitated looks different all the time, and it will be different for your family. As my children have gotten older, and hopefully, I’ve gotten a bit wiser, I’ve relaxed a bit. I’ve realized that whether I put a chocolate bunny in an Easter basket will not make one bit of difference in the scope of eternity.
Daily, I need to be pointing my children’s’ focus towards Jesus. Daily, I need to be reaching their heart and connecting on a soul level. Daily, I need to be modeling for them the heart of a mom whose focus is on Him.
There’s reassurance in knowing that my decision on whether the Tooth Fairy comes through the window, Santa comes down the chimney, the Easter Bunny hops down our drive way or I decide to bypass all three, does not impact God’s redemptive plan for our lives.
I do encourage all of you to really think through why you celebrate holidays the way you do. Creating meaningful traditions is a powerful balm to family unity. I continually remind myself to be intentional with those choices, and so often it’s truly “The Little Things that are the Big Things.”
For our family, those “little things” often comes through traditions. For a plethora of Traditions ideas for Easter, find some inspiration from my traditions category,but here are a few of our family favorites.
As Easter approaches, kitchens far and near will bustle with the sights, smells and tastes that tantalize our senses. Even now, I can close my eyes and anticipate the tradition Easter brunch that graces our kitchen as we host the annual Easter Egg-stravaganza. For years, family members have brought the same dishes that tempt our palettes. There’s something so special about the way family recipes create lasting memories.
That’s why I enjoy making these Resurrection Rolls every year.
We enjoy the simple, yet profound truth of Jesus’ burial and resurrection that can be shared through this memorable hands on cooking experience. Yes, especially for children, the spiritual lesson that comes from this sweet, yummy treat will be a significant memory making moment.
Joy Filled (or Magic) Jelly Beans to Lollipop Garden
Create pure wonder and delight as your children or guests watch these Joy Filled (or Magic) Jelly Beans grow into their own special Lollipop Garden overnight.
It’s amazing what happens when we plant seeds of loving kindness? For the detailed tradition idea, go here.
For a character building tradition twist to the jelly bean garden, read about The Joy Filled Jelly Beans to Lollipop Garden Cake.
The night before Easter, plant the joy filled jelly beans on top of the Garden Cake. These are jelly beans that the children have been receiving all week, each time they chose to show acts of service or kindness to others.
Once the children are asleep, replace the jelly beans with lollipops and enjoy the children’s reactions at just what can happen when we sow seeds of kindness in other people’s lives – it flourishes.
I hope those sparked some creative juices.
With Easter only two weeks away, I pray this Easter is filled not just with special family time, but many moments to reflect and ponder the wonder of His sacrifice for us. This is a time of celebration.
So let’s discuss.
Even among the (in)courage writers, there are varying views on how to celebrate holidays, therefore I know it will be the same with our readers.
I would love to hear – How did you reach a decision on how to celebrate Easter?
Does your family have any special Easter traditions?
(This was originally shared Easter 2012)