Family traditions that have been passed down from my parents have become some of my most treasured memories. The older I get, the more I recognize and thank God for the rich and stable family life that I grew up in. I know that not everyone has that luxury. But whether you grew up in an amazing family or a family that was less than stable, you have the opportunity to set the tone for your own family and create traditions that your children will remember for the rest of their lives.
Easter is fast approaching. My children are now old enough to begin to understand why we celebrate Easter and its significance to us as Christians. While Easter egg hunts are fun, I want to incorporate the real reason why we are celebrating. This caused me to remember back to my childhood and how my parents incorporated the resurrection story into our Easter egg hunt. I appreciate my parents thoughtfulness, effort, and creativity so much more now that I am an adult, starting to do what they did for me for my kids. Many of the ideas I have are either based off what they did or are an extension of the childhood that they gave to me.
Alright so back to the egg hunt. Here is the basic premise of this hunt. 1. Choose 12 eggs, they can be plastic or hard boiled. I’m going to go with plastic so that I can reuse them every year and so I can put candy, toys, and money inside the eggs. 2. Label the eggs with the names of the 12 disciples (don’t worry, I’ll give you all the names at the end of the post). 3. In addition to the twelve eggs, you need to choose one egg that will be your Jesus egg. I’m going to let my kids help me label and decorate with sharpie the Jesus egg. This also opens up really interesting conversation with them to determine and hear their view of who Jesus is, what his attributes are, and how he should be represented. The teacher inside me rejoices at the prospect of question-based learning.
I would also suggest creating a tomb for your Jesus egg to be placed in. I have not totally worked out what my tomb is going to look like yet. I am going to ask my kids to help me make one. I suspect we are going to use a shoe box placed on it’s side with a hole cut out of the front. If I’m feeling extra energetic, I might take the kids on a walk to go look for a “boulder” to place in front of Jesus’ tomb. Right now my son is super into arts, crafts, and coloring so he is going to love decorating the tomb.
On Good Friday, we will be explaining the meaning of Good Friday and will place our Jesus egg in the tomb we create. Then on Easter morning, the kids will run and check the tomb and find out that Jesus is no longer there; He is risen! So please don’t forget to remove your Jesus Easter egg Easter morning 😉 Go hide the 12 disciple eggs in the backyard or wherever you hide Easter eggs. Then here is my favorite part: You tell your kids this, “Go find the 12 disciples and tell them that Jesus is risen!” Now watch as your precious children run with excitement, find eggs, and whisper to each egg “Jesus is risen!”.
Because my parents are smart and witty, they included Judas in the twelve disciples. However, the Judas egg was always empty and contained no treats. Later when we were older they explained why the Judas egg was empty because of his betrayal of Jesus and how he ended his own life because of his emptiness.
What are your Easter traditions? How do you keep Jesus the focus? I always love hearing how different families do things so leave me a comment and let me know!