My second-favorite holiday after Christmas would have to be Easter – and how appropriate! On Christmas we celebrate the birth of Jesus, and on Easter we rejoice in the fact that He died on the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day. But aside from the religious aspects… I just love the springy atmosphere that surrounds the season! Trees are budding, flowers blooming, birds chirping, everything seems brilliant and alive. Almost as though all of nature is celebrating with us.
Christmas gets most of my attention when it comes to decorating. The only things I really have for Easter decorations are some baskets from years prior and Easter grass that I saved. I like the idea of having a perpetual window display that changes with the seasons, using natural elements for decoration - for Spring, think bright yellow hyacinth, pussy willow, twigs and branches with eggs and birdies hanging from them. For now, I’m chalking it up to good intentions. And the Valentine’s Day heart strings look so pretty where they are, I hate to take them down…
I am excitedly contemplating these ideas for simplifying spring baskets, but for now I’m gonna go with some of the cheap-o plastic eggs. The kids love ‘em! Josiah concentrates so hard trying to get one open, and gets so excited when he succeeds.
Growing up, it was tradition for my grandparents to hide Easter baskets for us around their home. We would go over for Sunday dinner, casually looking around for where they might be hidden as soon as we walked in the door (but not officially looking for them until it was time). Each one had a name written on it, and if we found someone else’s, we couldn’t say anything. The baskets usually contained jelly beans and foil-wrapped eggs, and along with the goodies our parents bestowed upon us, the sibs and I would have little pow-wows and trade our wares. If I remember correctly, the crispy chocolates were one of the more coveted items, while the mini jelly beans were low on the totem pole.
These chick and carrot containers are like the ones I used to announce our pregnancy with Gwen on Easter of 2007 *sigh*
I’m always conscious of what kind of example we’re setting for our children, what traditions we want to start or continue on with them. I always associate special occasions with treats of the edible variety, something I’ve been trying to get past in my mind. It’s nice to have treats once in a while, but I don’t want every special occasion to mean SUGAR.
So… what to put in the Easter eggs? I like the idea of gifting something that was already on the shopping list anyway. I got Gwen a small bottle of nail polish (mermaid blue – I’m so borrowing this) from ecomom; I got a 50% off voucher to their website from Mamapedia recently and had to pick this up. It fit nicely in one of the carrot containers.
And it won’t fit in an egg, but I got her a book about a newfound favorite…
The kiddos have more than enough toys, of course, but it occurred to me that – while Gwen has some small plastic horses and other barn animals – Josiah doesn’t have anything like that. So I got a tube of plastic dinosaurs from Joanne’s (yay for 50% off coupons). The smaller ones fit inside the eggs, and the larger ones fit inside the chickies.
The kids love putting money into their piggy banks, so I got a bunch of coins from the change jar to put in some of the eggs. They’re nice and jingly. Which reminds me of an idea for recycling plastic Easter eggs – make music shakers out of them, like little maracas. Our library has something similar for storytime, and they have music symbols stamped on them.
And last-but-certainly-not-least, I did get some goodies for the eggs. I picked up a bag of peanut M&Ms, justifying them due to the protein content (and also because Phil mentioned he would love to have some for snacking at work). I also got a bag of organic lollipops, but since these won’t fit in the eggs I’ll have to do something else with them. I’m hoping to find some natural fruit jelly beans, but I could also just get some dried fruit or other more healthy snack, since the kids love it just as much.
Phil and I have thrown around the idea of hiding the eggs for the kids to find, sort of like a scavenger hunt, but that just means one more thing for me to organize. Meh. We’ll see.
Last year, Gwen made Resurrection Eggs at her grandmother’s church, and we plan on using these again this year to tell the kiddos about the true meaning of Easter. The ones she made have pictures taped to the outside, but I’m going to actually put the elements inside and number the eggs in order – e.g. a leaf for the palm branch, piece of purple cloth for the robe the soldiers put on Jesus, a cross for when He was crucified, a nail for His wounds, a stone to symbolize His tomb, and so forth.
It just so happens that we have a book called Benjamin’s Box that goes along perfectly with the Resurrection Eggs. I had put it away with some of our other books, always forgetting to take it out for Easter, and was pleasantly surprised to find out it can be used in conjunction with the eggs.
This is always a busy time of year – Phil’s birthday is coming up, Palm Sunday and Easter, and I always look forward to attending a May Breakfast (a New England tradition, I believe), especially since my Mom and one of my brothers share a birthday on May 1st.
What do you look forward to this time of year? What are some of your Spring/Easter traditions?
Shared at the Meaningful Easter blog hop at