Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How to Have a Family, Christ-Centered Easter


In the Christian Church, Easter is our biggest celebration. Why is it then that children appear to get more excited about Christmas? Is it the presents? Is it the excitement leading up to the big day? Is it the magical mystery of Santa? What ever it is, I say that kids can get just as excited, if not more excited, about Easter.  It just takes a little creativity and effort by Mom and Dad.

Here are some tips on how to have a Family, Christ-Centered Easter:

1. Start your own family traditions. If you make Easter all about Jesus, and do the same traditions year after year, it will make a BIG impact on your children. When your children become adults and they think about Easter, the first thing that comes to mind will be the 18 plus Easters they spent with you at home. What you do at Easter, starting when you are a married couple, will leave an imprint on your family. Just think about that.

2. Celebrate the Last Supper. This can be done on the traditional Holy Thursday, or which ever day your family can get together. The specific day doesn't matter. What does matter is that we gather with our family and friends to share a meal in honor of Jesus. We can teach our children that this meal is about Eucharist (thanksgiving) and Communion with God and with our family. You can teach your children about the Last Supper and about the events that happened on that very night. Older children might benefit from discussing the meaning of Communion and of the great commission and of Jesus resurrection. 

3. Do A Good Friday Activity. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter. This is the day that Jesus died on the cross and took on the sins of the world. This day has always been extremely powerful for me. When I stop, pray and remember what Jesus did for me I can not help but get emotional, drop to my knees and thank Jesus. Good Friday should not just be another day of the week. One activity that I think speaks the loudest to little ones is a hands on activity involving a wooden cross, prayer and flowers. On Good Friday, kneel down with your children at the cross and thank God for dying for our sins. Place a black cloth around the cross to represent Jesus death. On Easter, remove the black cloth and (with your children) decorate the cross with flowers. Rejoice and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Read the Easter story out of the Bible (Matthew 28:1-7) or use one of the children's Easter books listed below.

4. Easter Eggs, Bunnies & Chocolate. We can still have fun with Easter Eggs, Bunnies and Chocolate on Easter Sunday. Teach your children that we are having a celebration, a party, because Jesus was resurrected! Teach them that baby bunnies and other animals being born reminds us of new life, which is what we have when we love Jesus. When decorating eggs, use stickers with Christian symbols, talk about the meaning of Easter while doing the crafts. When giving gifts, explain why you are giving them (just like you do at Christmas).

5. Read, Read, Read. Knowledge is Power! I can not emphasize enough the importance of teaching our children, through books, the meaning of Easter. The books in and of themselves will become traditions and special memories. If you are feeling lost for words about how to talk to your kids about Jesus and Easter, the books listed below are a wonderful place to start.

I personally recommend all of the books listed below. The first book listed, which is titled What is Easter, is my 2 year old favorite book right now. Sure enough he can tell you the real meaning of Easter!

Recommended Age: Birth - 6 years. Perfect for toddlers. Teaches that candy, eggs, and bunnies are fun but that Easter is really about God and Jesus.


Recommended Age: 2-7. Written by the Author of Veggie Tales. This book is great for the child who is very excited about Easter eggs and bunnies. This fun story shares how baby animals and eggs remind us of new life and Jesus.


Recommended Age: 2- 7 :) This book tells the story of Jesus death and resurrection in a simple and beautiful way.


Recommended Age 2-7 years. This is a beautiful story of a little bear cub who wants to know what Easter is all about it. A soon to be classic in all households!


Recommended Age: 4-8 years. If your children love the Berenstain Bears they will love this book! This fun, colorful story reminds children of the real meaning of Easter.


All Ages: This is a brand new 2-week Easter devotional for families. It contains daily devotions leading up to Easter. Note: I have not finished this book yet, but was so excited when I found it that I wanted to share! Although this can be done with the entire family, children ages 6 and up will get the most out of it.



Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” 
Matthew 28: 17-20

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