Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Keeping Christ in Easter - Family Traditions
I receive lots of friendly emails from people. What a ray of sunshine you all are!! You restore my faith in mankind and I hope that God will bless you forever for the kindness you've spoken to me. I really don't deserve it! After I pray God gives me ideas and I write it down. He does all the hard work!
Of recent, I received an uber polite email from Sister Frost. I'm not sure where she's from but if I had to guess I'd say the motherland, dear Great Britain. She was just so proper and well-spoken. She is looking for thoughts and ideas for new family traditions she can start to make Easter more meaningful.
Melanie, who runs sugardoodle.net has an exceptional page with different ideas for Easter. Click here to see. In fact, I saw one on having a candle lit dinner that I'm going to try this year! You really cannot get better than this assortment and gathering of ideas found on her site. Isn't she wonderful? She really reminds me of someone who emulates the Savior gathering resources so our homes can be happier places.
* In the April Ensign 2009 on page 40 starts an article called "He is Risen". Take a jar and cover it with gray clay, making it look like a rock tomb. Make the lid into a rock. Cut out the scriptures and pictures from this article and put them in a jar. There are 20 pictures/scriptures total. They are short scriptures, perfect for young children. Along with some of the pictures, add small service projects that can relate to that scripture or picture. A week or two before Easter have your child draw one or two out each morning. Display the pictures where they can be seen. Plan so that on Easter the jar will be empty (just like Jesus' tomb) but our hearts aren't because we served others and read our scriptures!
For example: The picture "He is not here" Scripture Matthew 28:6 - Make a loaf of bread to take to someone. The picture "Easter Morning" Scripture John 20:16 - gather some flowers or do a flower art project to give to someone (When I see the picture it just makes me think of beauty, beauty makes me think of flowers... could there have been a more beautiful moment in history?). The picture "The Disciples Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre" Scripture John 20:3-4 - Run up and down your neighborhood block dropping off pass along cards of the Savior in mailboxes. The picture "Feed my Sheep" Scripture John 21:16 - make a pizza and salad to take to a family. Ask your children what does the picture or scripture make them want to do for someone?
* I made a chart for my little ladies with all the commercial aspects of Easter and how they relate to Christ. The pictures are simple and the words too. I titled it "When I think of Easter I think of My Savior". I have a picture of the Easter Bunny with the phrase, The Easter Bunny shares and gives just like Jesus shared and gave His life for me. Another picture is of an Easter basket with the words Easter baskets are open just like the open and empty tomb of Jesus. I have about 5 pictures and phrases total. My daughter's favorite is a picture of baby chicks with the words Baby chicks, baby bunnies and duckies... who gave us all our animals? Jesus! We go over this every other night and I have it posted next to the GAK picture 233 of Mary and the Resurrected Lord (Although He wasn't quite fully resurrected yet... the whole "touch me not" bit)
* Easter Caroling. I mean... why not? There are some great Easter songs and a lot of elderly people out there that need some happiness in life!!
* Our family is Greek. Out of the 8 brothers and sisters that came from Cephalonia, my Yaya was the eldest. My mother and father are the only LDS members. What is my point? Oh how I babble so. We have the tradition of dying some eggs deep red. To remember the blood of Christ. We then crack it against other people's eggs, which really doesn't have to do with Christ, but it's fun.
* Paper Palm Leaf and Clothes count down. Have a picture of Christ on the donkey your children can move each day towards the empty tomb. On the palm leaves and clothes have scriptures or small acts of service you can do as a family each day.
* I know that in the Jewish religion, for the celebration of Passover Seder Feast an empty chair is left for the prophet Elijah. Why not leave a chair empty for the Savior at your Easter dinner? Jesus and the Holy Ghost are always welcome in our homes and are very much needed so! At dinner you could talk about things you would ask the Savior, share favorite stories of Him and discuss what it will be like when we are all resurrected. You could even have a box with questions to draw from and answer as you eat, all of course relating to Jesus.
* I also think that visiting the grave of a loved one could not be more appropriate than doing so on Easter.
Soooooooooo Sister Frost, I hope this could be of some help. Really, the site to check though is sugardoodle.net! Happy Happy Easter!! You have one blessed little daughter to have a mother so caring and concerned for her spiritual well being. If only all the mothers in the world could be so impressed and motivated to teach their children of our Savior!!