For many families, Easter means a visit from the Easter bunny, Easter egg hunts, sugary treats, and family gatherings. While Easter is a Christian holiday marking the resurrection of Jesus, many families, whether religious or not, enjoy celebrating Easter's many symbols of new life, renewal and the beginning of spring. Whether you are just starting Easter traditions with your family or you're interested in reviving your celebration, here are seven ideas to create a personal, fulfilling holiday.
Jelly Beans, Chocolate, and Peeps!
Easter is only second to Halloween in terms of candy sales. Many children look forward to a visit from the Easter bunny (rabbits are century-old symbols of fertility) who traditionally delivers sweets and other goodies (think sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and books) in colorful woven baskets. Sometimes the Easter bunny hides baskets for children to find on Easter morning.
Color Easter Eggs
The egg traditionally symbolizes new life. Many families annually gather around the table to color hard-boiled Easter eggs. Need fresh ideas? Try having your children carefully color the eggs with crayons and then dip the eggs into the dyes. For preschoolers, dye the eggs first and then decorate the eggs with glue dots (sold in the scrap booking section at the craft store). They can roll the eggs in colorful glitter or sand.
Add a Cultural Twist
Many families bring cultural influences and traditions to the Easter holiday. Do a little research with your children to find out what your ancestors might have enjoyed over Easter. For example, many Greek, Italian, and Eastern European families prepare this traditional Easter sweet bread each year.
Easter Egg Hunt
Organize an Easter egg hunt! Hide Easter eggs (colored eggs, chocolate eggs, or plastic eggs stuffed with goodies) either around your yard or in the house for your children to find. Some families make it a competition to see who can collect the most.
After carving the Easter ham, take advantage of having your family together. Create a jar with conversation topics to pass around the table, like "What is your most memorable Easter and why?" "What does Easter mean to you?" "How did your family celebrate Easter when you were a child?" Your kids will love to hear your childhood antics and traditions and share their own memories. After dinner or dessert, bring out old photos and tell stories about your family's more colorful characters, their struggles, triumphs and humor. Learning about their lineage helps children build a sense of connection to the past, self-identity and family pride.
Easter Egg Rolls
Easter egg rolls began in Britain and Germany. Children rolled the eggs down a hill, which symbolized rolling open the rock to Jesus's tomb. The traditional White House Easter Egg Roll (celebrated on Easter Monday) will mark its 135th year, attracting 35,000 visitors who were invited through a lottery system. Children roll eggs with long-handled spoons across the White House lawn and can participate in a variety of activities and events. No plans to attend the D.C. festivities? Coordinate your own Easter Egg Roll. Set up lanes in your yard and see who can roll their egg to the finish line first.