Easter is all about the Resurrection, and this was our family’s focus during the weeks leading up to Easter. We kept things pretty simple, but tried to be intentional about focusing our attention to the resurrection.
A couple weeks before Easter we always made The Empty Tomb which became our table centerpiece throughout the season. The visual representation was so helpful to the kids.
We always took the time to read the Easter story in the Bible as well as favorite Bible storybooks- such as this one. I remember one of our sons would pretend bad men were nailing the body of Jesus to the cross. He would say, “nail, nail, nail”, and then he was Joseph of Arimathea. He would use a baby blanket wrapped up to be the body of Jesus and he would carefully “take it off the cross” and place it in the tomb (which was behind his bedroom door). Right now, you can access a free download of “The Resurrection Story” (This is a part of Uncle Rick’s Holiday Book.) .
It is essential for kids to understand about the resurrection before they can ever begin to understand the concept of salvation. And so, the resurrection was something we would talk about, read about, and sing about. (Some of the best songs seem to be about the resurrection of Jesus and the Risen Lamb. We enjoy playing these songs throughout our home during this time of year!)
We chose not to confuse our little ones’ minds with the Easter Bunny but purposed to always tell them the truth. There are so many aspects of Jesus’ birth, death, resurrection, and ministry on earth that are miraculous. If we were to tell them the Easter Bunny was real and then tell them the incredible story of Jesus, how would they know when to trust us and when not to? That was our reasoning.
We also chose not to do Easter baskets, but the kids enjoyed annual boxes from grandparents filled with Easter candy. One year my sister came to visit at Easter time and she and I hid candy in our little patch of woods for the kids to find. We’ve continued that tradition. Rick and I hide it, and all go hunting- kids, dogs- It’s fun and doesn’t appear to have detracted from the meaning of the Resurrection.
On Easter day, after spending the morning at church, we have a large traditional dinner with the family- ham, scalloped potatoes, pineapple delight, green beans and sweet potato casserole. For dessert, we make either a cross cake or a lamb cake. We have the pans (found here and here) for both and alternate each year. The girls loved to decorate the cakes as they entered their teen years and up.
Often on Easter night, we’ll sing the old traditional Easter hymns as we gather as a family, even now as our family has grown and added daughters and sons-in-law and grandchildren. That’s always a special time.
I hope you have a blessed time this year as you build your own special traditions around the resurrection of our Lord.
What are your Easter traditions? We’d love to hear them!
Below, I’ve included the scalloped potato recipe we’ve used for years on Easter- enjoy!
- 6 to 8 medium potatoes
- 6 Tbsp. margarine or butter
- 6 Tbsp. flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 3 c. milk
- 1/4 c. minced onion
- 2 c. sharp Cheddar cheese, grated
Peel potatoes and cut into thin slices. Cover with water and boil for 5 minutes. Drain and pour into a 2-quart casserole. Melt margarine in saucepan. Stir in flour and seasonings. Add milk slowly. Add onion and cheese. Cook and stir over medium heat until boiling. Pour over potatoes. Sprinkle with more grated cheese. Bake at 350° for 30 to 45 minutes. YIELD: 8 servings.