Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Celebrating Easter with Family

Guest post by Amy H.

Here are a few ideas of how our family will celebrate Easter this year!


Exodus is my favorite place to start reading.

Each time I read the account of the Passover I am reminded of Jesus' sacrifice! The richness and true meaning of Easter is clearer to me as I gain understanding through the Old Testament. Then I move on the New Testament and read about Jesus' life, death, and resurrection. He is our passover lamb, the ultimate sacrifice!


Ask someone to join you.

Easter is an excellent opportunity to invite someone to church. Ever notice that church is fuller on Easter than most Sunday's? It's because people who don't generally attend will come just because it is Easter!

Are your children involved in a special program for Easter or is there a Good Friday service? Great opportunities to extend an invitation!

Or what about lunch after church? We love college students and have had the privilege of spending several Easter afternoons with students who couldn't go home. And, since we don't live near family we've always appreciated invitations to spend Easter with friends in our area!

Or maybe a picnic lunch or play-date that includes coloring eggs and an egg hunt? There are lots of opportunities! Which one will you take? Go get your calendar and see what might work for you and then go ahead and extend your invitation!


Spruce up your home.

Spring is a traditional time to deep clean your home. Maybe you go all out, or maybe you get to one room. I recently deep cleaned our bathrooms. I washed walls, scrubbed the shower, and washed all the rugs and curtains. Truthfully, it only took a few hours and the results were amazing! It was so encouraging for me as the bathroom had been on my list for months! What area of your home needs a little extra attention? Go ahead and do it!

Flowers are another easy way to spruce up your home. Living in the northeast, it doesn't feel or look like spring yet. I've learned a $5 bunch of flowers can easily be divided into 5 different small bouquets and stays fresh for at least 2 weeks. I use bud vases, small glasses, and creamers to display the flowers throughout my home including our dining room, kitchen, living room, bedrooms, and bathroom. That little investment really adds freshness to our home!

If you've already extended an Easter invitation you might find yourself motivated to spruce up a little. Or maybe you'll spruce up your home and then be motivated to extend that invitation. Either way, I know you and your family will appreciate the freshness!


Think of Easter as a season.

Plan activities and reflections for the weeks leading up to Easter instead of just for a week or even a day. We have a collection of Easter books that we begin reading a good month before Easter. One of our favorites, Journey to the Cross by Helen Haidle, is more of a chapter book. Our family reads it together as a morning devotion in the weeks leading up to Easter.

For weeks my children enjoy indoor egg hunts with our resurrection eggs from FamilyLife or you can make your own. After the eggs are all found we snuggle up to read Benjamin's Box: The Story of the Resurrection Eggs, opening each egg as we read about it. I can't tell you how many hunts we've already enjoyed this year!

How about reading the events of Holy Week and encouraging your children to draw pictures that can be strung together into a banner or drawn along a time line to give them (and you) a deeper understanding of sequence and timing. This year I hope to teach my children where the story of the crucifixion is in the Bible and help them learn to find it themselves. This won't happen in a day, but in our house Easter is a season!


Ears are for listening.

Make an Easter playlist of cross-centered songs! Consider current worship songs as well as hymns. Compile your favorites together and listen to them often! It's amazing how music in the background can liven up an otherwise normal day, calm you in the midst of chaos, and focus your mind on the true meaning of the season. Rich lyrics will help you and your family meditate on Easter.


Really make meals special.

Resurrection Rolls are something we enjoy making together. I use this recipe, but use 2 crescent rolls for each one to be sure the "tomb" gets sealed well. We talk as we prepare them and then linger over our meal as we enjoy them!


In the past we've also had the opportunity to be part of a Christian Seder meal. I learned so much and would take the opportunity again. I've even considered planning a Christian seder for my family or planning with a group of friends to enjoy it together!

Meals can also be made special as children create place cards or other table decorations. This year my children colored pictures of flowers, taped a mini muffin paper in the center, and filled the muffin holder with jelly beans. They are so cute and will be a welcome addition to our table as we welcome guests this weekend. Just a little something different can make meal time memorable!



How will your family celebrate Easter this year?


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Amy H. offered hospitality to college students for over 10 years as the wife of a collegiate minister.  Today her ministry focuses on her husband (who now coordinates campus ministers in New England), three children (ages 2, 5, and 7), and friends both new and old.

7 comments:

  1. Great ideas, Amy. I just posted about making Resurrection Eggs, and we opened the first one tonight!

    We're making Resurrection rolls for the first time this year, as well. I like your flower/jelly bean placecards, and will keep those in mind!

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  2. So many practical ideas! Thanks Amy!! I've also considered doing a Seder dinner with my kids. I have a review of Passover books scheduled next week on my blog. :)

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  3. For anyone interested in *carrie*'s homemade resurrection eggs here's her link: http://watibg.blogspot.com/2011/04/homemade-resurrection-eggs.html

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  4. Great tips Amy! Our house was recently placed on the market, so I feel I'm in a constant state of "spring cleaning" LOL. I'm hoping to have some friends over from church for our dinner. And with our church being right next door, I might invite some people to come over after the morning service.

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  5. Crystal, sounds great! A few years ago we were in the midst of re-doing our bathroom and weren't sure we'd be able to invite others over. The day before we decided to make extra of our meal. On Easter Sunday we were able to invite over some students as well as a family--who had no lunch plans, to enjoy Easter with us. I believe it was a blessing to all of us!

    Sometimes spontaneous is good!

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  6. Beautifully done Amy. I don't know how you do it. Thank you for sharing.

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  7. I love the idea of thinking of Easter as a season. We try to do that and I think it really highlights all that we want to remember during this month!

    Thank you, once again, for sharing your holiday ideas, Amy! I always come away with things to think about and new ideas to share with my family!

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