Wednesday, April 04, 2007

He Has Risen INDEED!!

Our family spent many years not celebrating Easter or Christmas due to the fact that the origin of these holidays are pagan. Then one day we realized that we are not celebrating the goddess Ishtar or a make believe santa, but we could enjoy the holiday without worshiping the origin. We could celebrate a holiday AND worship our Lord Jesus Christ as long as our heart was in the right place. (That was a revelation to us and it changed the way our family began to make memories with our children). "To the pure all things are pure, but to those who are defiled and unbelieving nothing is pure..." Titus 1:15. As we were seeking the Lord in this matter, we found the above scripture, and we felt released to enjoy the holiday. Our standard is that we still will not lie to our children and tell them there is a santa or easter bunny or tooth fairy. We don't ever want them to think that if we would lie to them about santa perhaps we would lie to them concerning other issues. With all of this personal background being said, I wanted to share with you some great ways that we have made Easter a special time in our home. As with Christmas, I enjoy doing several projects throughout the week with the kids. It gives us time each day to enjoy a special time of being together. I am still amazed at how much my older boys still enjoy what seems to be childish activities.
Today our project was egg dying. As you can see in the above picture, it can create a mess. My oldest son was saying how much he hated messes, but I reminded him memories were more important than messes. We combined all of our eggs into a wire farm basket. My daughter and I cut some dogwood and redbud stems and attached them to the side of the basket. We now have a beautiful table center piece without much cost at all. The best part is that we all had a hand in putting it together and memories were made. Every spring our neighbor blesses us with goose eggs. We always save them to color, and this year I wrote each child's name on the egg with a crayon. I had them color them, and then I placed them in a pretty dish for display.
When I was sick I was "busy" watching the food network. Paula Dean had a great recipe for chocolate eggs. This will be our project for tomorrow. I will post the recipe later. We will also being tinting coconut green to look like grass for our eggs. I plan on putting our green "grass" and eggs on a pretty yellow plate for display.
In times past I have done elaborate Easter baskets for each child. At other times, we just didn't have the money to spend on such things. One mother of a large family said that they purchase each child a chocolate rabbit. In the middle of the kitchen table, they put together a family candy basket for all to share. She says this helps keep the cost down for her. This year I will put together a basket for each of our children. I like to add candy to their baskets, but I also like to add other small things that don't contain so much sugar. Last year I added silly putty to each basket. I was amazed that my kids had never played with silly putty before. Silly putty was a staple in my childhood! I usually find a coloring book and a small box of crayons to add to the basket. For the older children, I splurge and buy them a magazine of interest such as a hunting or fishing magazine. Last year I used cricket buckets for my 2 older boys' baskets. The baskets turned out great, and they were usable when they went fishing with their Dad. It makes the kids feel special when I take some time to think about each of their likes and put that into their basket. My oldest son really enjoys lifting weights. I am trying to come up with something for his basket using that theme. The true challenge is to do this type of thing while staying on a budget! I have also added playdough and bubble making gadgets in the baskets as extras. Hint: When choosing a basket remember the bigger the basket the more stuff it takes to fill the basket. When I am really watching my budget, I buy smaller basekts and it takes less stuff to fill it.
We also try to get together with another family for Easter dinner. Since we have never lived around any of our family, we enjoy having a large dinner with another family in our community. This adds so much more fun to our celebration time.
And most important of all, I want my children to understand that Easter is a celebration of Jesus. On Saturday night, we will have a time of family communion. We celebrate our communion with a large loaf of fresh baked bread and a bottle of sparkling grape juice. We use risen bread intentionally because for us it is symbolic of the fact that Jesus rose again.
I hope that these ideas will help you think about ways that you can share some special time with your own family. Memories are more important than messes so enjoy some messy time with your own children, and make some wonderful memories that will last a life time.
grace and peace,

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