Easter isn't about the eggs…

Leaves

This year, Easter is going to be an interesting time for our family.  EJ is old enough to learn about the real celebration of Easter, and I’m feel like I’m making my way through this time almost on my own.  Why? 

The church we are a part of is fabulous, and we love it there.  But the church body there does not celebrate Easter (or Christmas) the way the church I grew up in did.  We celebrate the risen Christ, but there are no special “lessons” about Easter for the children in Sunday School.  So how do I explain to a 3 year old about Christ needing to die for our sins, and that He rose again for our salvation? 

My mom is cleaning out their attic right now, and she brought over boxes and bags and bags and boxes full of Easter baskets and toys we accumulated over the years as a family.  We had so much fun going through all of our old stuff, and EJ had a blast claiming things as his own.  I’m excited about adding these things into our Easter tradition, as they played such a fun part of my family’s traditions growing up.  And as EJ sorted through things, I prayed he would understand that these cute bunnies and eggs and chicks and baskets are not what Easter is about.  Yes, they are fun, but that’s not what it’s about…

We are reading the Easter stories out of our Bible storybooks a lot right now, and I hope to get some more books to help tell the Easter story in a way that a 3 year old can understand.  I know that it can take years for a child to really understand this…  I pray we are laying a good foundation, though.

How do you tell your children the special truth about the Easter celebration?  How do you celebrate Easter with your families?  I’m very curious about how others share this good news with their young ones – I’m telling EJ the truth, but how can I help him understand?

Coming up: egg-free Easter crafts – literally.  EJ has severe egg allergies, so we will be having fun without touching a single egg.  Stay tuned!

leighsig-3

Comments

  1. You know, this is something I’ve really, really been struggling with. I just cannot make a connection between Easter eggs and chicks and bunnies – which are all lovely and fun but so inconsequential – and the resurrection of our Lord and Savior. And I have no idea how to approach it as I teach my girls the Truth.

    Frankly, I would like to just avoid all the commercialism altogether, because I remember waking up on Easter morning looking forward to my Easter basket and the egg hunt that would follow and not caring one whit about the real celebration of the day…and I hate that thought.

    But our family’s are not making it easy for us to let go of those things, and I’m not convinced that it’s worth becoming a Scrooge over (especially since my husband may not be as, ahem, passionate about it as I am), and so I’m trying to find the balance.

    But I’ll admit I am so, so, so torn over the whole thing!

  2. Oh, so with you on this. I have been working on an Easter series on my blog now and then… my oldest is 3, so now my deep down tension with traditional Easter “celebrations” is coming to a head.

    One thing I’m planning to do this year is a family seder dinner – a seder and the explanation of Passover is such a beautiful way to teach our kids about Christ – He tied His death and resurrection to the Passover Himself, from Exodus on, so I think it’s worth thinking about! I’ve been talking about this enough that I think my parents are on board now and we’re going to do a big seder with my whole side of the family. Very exciting!

    With the egg thing… I’m not sure what to do with that. People always say it’s ok because it’s a celebration of “new life,” but honestly, the kids don’t care about the symbolism when they’re finding plastic eggs full of candy. I’m kicking around ideas of how to tie in the fruit of the Spirit – that we only display evidences of new life when we’re connected to Him… that will probably show up on my blog sometime in the next week. :)

    Thanks for voicing the issue – I’m glad that more Christians are starting to seroiusly wrestle with it. The resurrection is the very foundation of our faith – Paul says without it our faith is futile! So, we have got to get serious about owning the observance of Easter and not leaving it up to the secular culture to direct us.

    Sorry to ramble… :)

  3. There’s no eliminating the candy with us – for the grandparents that is too large a part of Easter. And I don’t think that it will necessarily make Easter more meaningful to my kids – they have been seeing Easter decorations and goodies all over the place and I don’t want them to equate Easter with being excluded from “fun.”
    BUT…we keep the candy to the bare minimum, don’t talk about the Easter bunny, and try to spend more time talking about Jesus than candy.

  4. Thanks for stopping by during the blog party! I’m excited for easter also, I love everything about it. :) Looking forward for your easter crafts.

  5. Leigh. This has been a big deal for me since Lydia was born. Last year we did a Spring Party on the First Day of Spring. We did all the bunny/eggs/chicks things. Then “easter” Sunday (or Resurrection Sunday as it should be called, imo), we went to church and lunch w/our parents.

    They still got some gifts from the g-parents that were eggs/baskets/etc. BUT b/c we had the spring party–I think her mind went to that party instead of combining it with Jesus, kwim?

    Anyway, I’m planning on doing a Spring Party again this year…but I already missed the 1st day of Spring.

    Oh, and as far as Resurrection Sunday goes…I tried to find lots of books about Jesus’ death/resurrection. But (and here’s my biggest pet peeve) the Christian bookstores don’t have any books like that! 99% of them are “Easter” stories that talk about eggs. And you can only get these books at Easter. Not even all year long. Grrr.

  6. Grab a box of “Resurrection Eggs” either online or in a Christian Bookstore. They have been the greatest tool to help us explain the Easter story to our kids. We actually keep them out almost all year!

  7. elizabeth says:

    i love easter…i love candy….i love dyeing eggs…i am 31 and have grown up with these things my whole life… we did not do the easter bunny and we never did santa claus … we have 2 children 2 & 5 … with our first one we made the mistake of explaining the reason of “easter” too soon…children so young have a hard time grappling with death, resurrection, etc. …

    my parents, i think, did a great job with holidays (yes we even went trick-or-treating) … my parents never lied to us – easter bunny and santa claus not only are blatant lies … but take the glory away from christ … my parents always explained to us that all these extra things were fun to do but not to be the focus (if you completely disallow, it brings the potential to actually drive kids to want to embrace them) ….

    i think the importance is to find a balance, but always focus on christ and give him the glory….

    i am very interested to hear how other parents explain christ’s death/resurrection to young children … i know what we aren’t going to do the second time around… but i would love ideas for our second go at it (probably next year)….

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