Monday, March 7, 2016

Tips for Familes to Focus on the True Meaning of Easter

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Easter is just around the corner, and it doesn't matter if you celebrate for one day, or for a whole season, with the egg hunts, plush bunnies, and chocolate filled baskets, it's sometimes too easy to get distracted about why we celebrate the holiday.

I have friends who do everything fun on the day before Easter.  They are Protestants, so they have no problem with that.  Personally I would not want to make Holy Saturday a "fun" day but would instead opt for Easter Monday to have the egg hunt, give fun gifts such as candy and bunnies. (And hey, if you want until the day after Easter, if you get up early enough you might be able to take advantage of half off sales!)  On Easter Sunday, they give their children gifts, but they are usually something like a Bible, spiritual DVD, or the like.  You could even give a milk chocolate cross on this day as well.  (Maybe if you stock a basket with treats that are good for the soul you wouldn't even have to have a second gift giving day.  There are plenty of candy with Bible verses on them.  Stickers are always loved by children as well!)

During Lent, focus on the meaning of Easter.  Lent is like Advent in so many ways.  Many of the traditions used for advent can be adapted for Lent.  For instance, some families read a short Christmas story every evening of Advent, having them wrapped and the kids choosing them at random.  Why not try the same  or similar for during Lent?  It's a great way to get started at family devotions.  It seems like a long time while we are in Lent, but really, it's can be a very faith filled time if we just allow it to be.

Resurrection Eggs are a wonderful resource to help reinforce the truths of this holy holiday to children.  Focusing on the Resurrection, I also recommend the VHS video Easter Is.  It is not available on DVD, but I watched this several times when I was growing up, and loved this video.  I found it as an adult, and purchased it, and was really impressed with how they related the Good News to children by a story of a boy and his dog.  There are plenty of other resources out there, and you could even make your own.  Catholic Icing blog has a great baking idea of Resurrection Cookies that "break open" in the oven overnight after it is sealed with masking tape.

Memorize Scripture together.  This isn't as difficult as it sounds.  There are many ways, especially with younger children, it can be made into a game.  The wonderful thing about it is that it can be fun AND effective.  Each person could have two or three words assigned to them in the week.  Young ones could be responsible for calling out "Bible Verse" any time the family is together and everyone says their part.  After a week of this, you all will know the Scripture.  You can also make up card games using memory verses.

Pray together.  This sounds obvious but it isn't something many families do.  If you are Catholic, maybe make this a special time of the Rosary.  There are instructions online for crafting rosaries, and that might be a good way to keep them in every room of your home.  No matter your denomination, focusing on the Lord's Prayer this time of year, and what "Thy will be done" meant can make this Easter Season even more meaningful.

Forgo new clothes for Easter Sunday.  That might be more of a sacrifice than some want to make, and in that case, maybe buy something a little less expensive than you had originally planned to buy. Give what would have been spent to a missions organization or your church.  Allow your children to place the money saved on their clothing in the offering basket when it is passed around.  This is a great way to reinforce giving and charity.

It's hard to make the spiritual part of Easter as fun as an egg hunt or chocolate, but it's not difficult to combine the two and make Lent and Easter an important part of your year.  Think of these three things:

What can I add in that is spiritual?
What can I take away that isn't spiritual?  (that could even be a bad habit, not always candy!)
What can I do for others?

May you have a Lent reflecting on the true meaning of the season and have a blessed Easter.

I love comments, and I'd love to hear how you focus on the true meaning of Easter.


  1. I never heard of "resurrection eggs" when my kids were growing up - what a wonderful idea... and love about praying and reading and memorizing scripture together.... as a family!

    1. Clare, I am working on a post with some simple tips to memorize Scripture. :) Hope you stick around for it. I once memorized the entire book of Matthew, and these are some of the things I did to help me do that!

  2. Great tips here!! I agree totally about waiting to celebrate Easter until Easter Sunday. But sometimes, it's very hard... for us, our community Easter Egg Hunt is always on Holy Saturday, and yes, we still go. (sigh) We can't really change the way that others celebrate and schedule things, and we still want our kids to experience a fun Easter Egg Hunt like this too. Thankfully though we have so many other traditions for both Lent and Easter that our kids know the true meaning of this holy season.

    1. Most egg hunts do seem to be before Easter. You are right that we can't change the way that others celebrate. Going to a community egg hunt the day before Easter is fine, in my opinion, but I personally wouldn't schedule a fun family celebration on that day. I mean, every kid needs to experience an egg hunt. I heard a lady talking this year that her "too old to be trick-or-treating" son was so excited to go door to door for candy. Why? He had been in foster care most of his life and he never had gotten to go before. There are certain things that just seem to be part of childhood.

  3. Our last church did the egg hunt after church on Easter and we loved that. It was perfect! We've moved and now I'm all mixed up about what to do. I wish more Catholic churches did the hunts on Sunday. I love your ideas and I'm trying harder this year to help my family really feel the rhythm of living the liturgical calendar!

  4. Oh wow. This was a great post. We have an Easter Egg Hunt at church on Easter.

  5. Pray together....that says it all...Easter, Christmas...every day. The true meaning is what I teach my family....Easter dresses, bunnies and eggs are not important to us.

  6. Lovely ideas here! I particularly like the idea of taking "new Easter clothes" money and using it to help someone less fortunate. And you're so right about Lent and Advent having many similarities.