”Uuuugh, I’m running out of time to put together the kids’ Easter baskets, I’ve got to think of something QUICK!”
The frazzled mother rushed past me with impressive speed. She whizzed down the aisle at the Target Dollar Spot, phone flattened against her face. She then proceeded to explain to the unlucky recipient of her phone call the reason why she didn’t have time for such a hassle.
Somewhere along the way, Easter has become another stressful holiday for many parents. Expectations of overflowing Easter baskets, beautiful Sunday outfits, and gourmet meals threaten to squash the true joy from this holiday. None of these things are bad in themselves but, like any good gift, they can create blind spots so that we don’t see what’s most important.
Easter should be special. But it also shouldn’t be another day we dread because of self-imposed, chocolate-covered obligations.
4 simple low-stress ideas to make Easter special as you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Mary Holloman @mtholloman #Easter #FamilyTweet
Every family is unique, so your Easter celebration will look different than others—and that’s okay! Here are 4 simple, low stress ideas you can use to make your Easter special and meaningful as you celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
- Read the Easter Story. God’s word promises that it is powerful and effective (2 Timothy 3:16). When we read Scripture out loud as a family, we can know and trust that the Holy Spirit is working. So even if you have a teenager rolling his eyes or a toddler climbing your shoulders, take the time to intentionally read the account of Jesus’ death and resurrection together. God will honor your faithfulness, and maybe even open doors for further conversation with your children about our need for a Savior.
- Read a Picture Book. This is a great option for families with both younger and older children. Picture books are powerful because they communicate big truths in simple ways. Both words and illustrations work together to put old stories in a new light. Choose a story and plan a time to read together as a family. It could be before bedtime, around the dinner table, or in the backyard. Here’s a short list of wonderful books that focus either specifically on Easter or on God’s rescue and redemption of humanity: The Garden, the Curtain, and the Cross by Carl Laferton; That Grand Easter Day and The Quiet Crazy Easter Day by Jill Roman Lord; Goodbye to Goodbyes by Lauren Chandler; The Jesus Storybook Bible by Sally Lloyd Jones.
- Use Resurrection Eggs. This is a simple but very effective tool for sharing the gospel message at Easter, and it’s one that children love. There are Resurrection Egg Kits out there for purchase, but all you really need are a dozen plastic egg (hit up the Dollar Store or Walmart), 12 scraps of paper, and a few items you’ll have lying around your house or your yard. You’ll label the eggs 1 through 12, and in each egg you put a slip of paper with a Scripture verse along with an object that tells a portion of the Easter story. (For example, in one egg you might put a nickel, along with Scripture about how Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver.)
You can even turn this into an Easter egg hunt; once your children find all the eggs, have them put the eggs in order and open one at a time as you walk through the story. You can find a whole list of free printable Resurrection Egg downloads along with instructions on Pintrest.
- Think Strategically About Easter Baskets. Every family is different; some thrive on putting together Easter baskets, while others opt to forego them as a way to lessen the stress. If you choose to use Easter baskets, make a point to view them as a tool for furthering the gospel within your home. That might look like keeping things simple and avoiding extravagant gifts that center the focus on ourselves rather than Christ. It might look like very purposeful gifts, such as a devotional book or a new Bible. It might even look like working with your children to create small gift baskets for neighbors as a way to share the gospel. Find what works best for your family in this season, and go for it.
The Greatest Story
Singer/songwriter and author Andrew Peterson said,
“If you want a child to know the truth, tell him the truth. If you want a child to love the truth, tell him a story.”
The story of God’s rescue of mankind through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection is the greatest story ever told. Mary Holloman @mtholloman #Easter #ParenthoodTweet
The story of God’s rescue of mankind through Jesus’ perfect life, death, and resurrection is the greatest story ever told. When we tell this story every day, at every opportunity, we invite our children into that story with us—and pray God fills their hearts with love for the Author.