Easter is coming up in a few days and we’ve been having all sorts of fun at our household getting ready for it! When I was young, my mom thought carefully about what holidays she wanted to emphasize by celebrating with great hoopla and excitement. As I have become a mother, I have done the same and given careful consideration to what holidays I really want my children to remember, anticipate, and understand. So we celebrate Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas in style… just like my mother did for our family when I was little. Of course.
Last year, we began celebrating 12 days before Easter Sunday. Each morning, there was a basket on the kitchen table with something in it that somehow pointed to who Christ said he was. For example, our first day, there was a basket with sidewalk chalk in it. The poem attached read, “A gift of chalk to draw and play, and remind us He is the Way.” One day it was little Easter eggs decorated as sheep (He is the Good Shepherd), another is was grapes (He is the Vine), and another it was bread we used for our breakfast (He is the Bread of Life). They looked forward to finding out what was in the basket every morning!
During Z-urchin’s morning nap (ah, it is with great fondness I remember the days when Z would take two naps), I used Betty Lukens flannelgraph to tell the stories of what Jesus did that last week before He died. First, we would sing a few songs (Ho-Ho-Ho-Hosanna and Nothing But the Blood of Jesus), then search for 2 Easter eggs. Inside the eggs, they found something that somehow related to our story for the day. They would look for that element while I was telling the story and they exclaimed with great joy when they encountered it. Often, they would retell the story (well, X-man wanted to creatively make up his own story usually) using the flannelgraph on the board.
We also did many crafts and activities- below are the highlights of last year’s “12 Days of Easter”-
X-man and Princess K really enjoyed our Easter celebrations. (Z-urchin was a little oblivious, being just 6 months old.) They didn’t fully grasp the concept that all the fun was to get ready and anticipate Easter Sunday. The day after Easter Sunday, they woke up and wanted to know what was in their basket! 🙂
A couple of months later, X saw that I was toasting some bread and that one piece had been cut in half. He exclaimed, “Mommy, just like Easter! The bread is broken!” Ahhh, all the effort was so worth it! I look forward to the day when he completely understands what that broken bread really means.