Have you ever had a longing to have a more meaningful Easter with your family? Have you struggled to teach your kids the meaning of Easter beyond eggs and bunnies? Have you ever felt stressed and overwhelmed with the sheer volume of available information? If you seek simple ideas about how to start easy, fun, meaningful faith-based family traditions this Easter, this post is for you.
1. DIY Easter Cards
A great way to implement simple Easter traditions, especially with young children, is to make Easter cards and give them to family members, neighbors, or school friends. Sending or giving a card is always such a personal gesture, which can lead to conversations and making connections with people you wouldn’t have otherwise.
Another idea is wrapping a bar of chocolate, attaching a Bible verse to it, and then giving it to your teacher, neighbor, or friend.
2. Resurrection Garden
Making a Resurrection Garden is a lovely way to incorporate outdoor play and an Easter devotional. It helps to tell the story and explain the meaning of the Easter holiday to young children. When we made our first Resurrection Garden, we used a tutorial from We Are That Family, but improvised to make it fit our family. You can do the same. We took our kids on a nature walk/scavenger hunt to look for the items needed to build the garden setting. We then arranged our little Resurrection Garden in our backyard using dirt from the garden. We did not grow grass or plant flowers, like many tutorials suggest, but it can be a wonderful idea to spend more time with your children outdoors while doing some gardening.
3. Rocks of Sins
When our children got a little older, we used the idea of Sin Rocks from OhAmanda. We gathered a few rocks from outside, took a marker, and asked our kids to think and give us examples of sin in general. Then we asked them to give examples of sins in their own lives. Even though they struggled at first, they did realize that they indeed struggle with some sins in their lives. It was also humbling when my husband and I mentioned a few sins, with which we were personally struggling. Our kids were visibly shocked to find out that their parents were not perfect. But I think this was a very important and even defining moment for them to learn the magnitude of sin on Earth and also realize that only God is perfect and sinless at all times. We also discussed that nobody’s sin is worse than the other person’s. They are all sin in God’s eyes, and we all need His forgiveness just the same. We ALL need salvation.
After writing the sins on the rocks, we took turns praying over them. Then we covered them with a red napkin, which represented Jesus’ blood and sacrifice. In the morning, instead of the rocks the kids found a few sweets and goodies under the napkin, and the rocks were gone. The sins were forgiven and gone. But we reminded our kids that it doesn’t stop there. We placed the rocks in the glass jar to remind us that even though Jesus had paid for our sins, we need to remember that sin still exists. We also need to continuously pray to God and work hard on our attitudes and actions to do better.
4. Attend a church service
Attending a church service on Sunday is a family tradition for many. It is a wonderful opportunity to invite extended family or neighbors, who typically don’t go to church, to join you and sit with you during the service. You might be surprised how many people just want an invite and wait for someone to extend a friendly hand.
If you are looking for a church in order to attend an Easter service, just ask your neighbors or friends if they can recommend one in your community. If your heart calls for being with others on Easter morning, follow it and try to find a way. You will be greeted with open arms!
You might also want to find out if any of the churches hold a Sunrise Service. It is usually less formal and held in the park or church’s property.
5. Prepare an Easter Feast
Growing up in Belarus, we followed many Christian Orthodox traditions, and one of them was keeping food restrictions for the whole duration of Lent, followed by a huge feast on The Resurrection Day. The Easter table would be so full of all sort of food and delicious dishes that you could barely see the tablecloth! The women would bake a variety of special Easter pies, and each family had their very own secret recipe. It would be customary to visit relatives on Easter and bring one of your family’s Easter pies with you, for which the hosting family in return would gift you an Easter pie of their own! This brings back many fond memories! 🙂
This is a tradition where you can get creative and make it your own. We have skipped the Orthodox influenced rituals and adapted a few cultural ones instead. We have made a leg of lamb in the past, special dinner rolls, as well as Easter cakes, cookies, and cupcakes.
You can involve your kids and come up with a special dessert, like your own version of an Easter pie, for example. Make it about your family coming together and celebrating the biggest gift we could have ever received–eternal life in heaven with the Lord.
The Easter holiday doesn’t have to be stressful or intimidating! In order to celebrate in a meaningful way with your family, take one or two of the above-mentioned ideas and make them your own, add to them, change them up, make them work for you! Ultimately, the point is to bring more meaning to this beautiful holiday in a few simple ways and to enjoy your family time together.