Like all holidays that have become secularized, as Christians we need to be conscious of keeping our focus on the real deal at Easter time; and if you have kids, then there’s a big responsibility to make sure they “get it”.
Here are a few of our family traditions for Holy Week and Easter to help kids understand what it’s all about:
- Resurrection Eggs – I love this activity! I’ve used it for years with my own kids and always did it yearly with my day care kids, too. They love trying to guess what’s in each egg, and their eyes get huge as I explain what happened to Jesus and how He allowed it, even though He was GOD and could’ve made it all stop. That’s how much He loves us. I look each child in the eye to be sure they GET IT. I pray that no matter where life takes them, they will never doubt that fact: that He LOVES them and died for THEM.
- I make a point to take the kids to see our church’s passion play each year – this is a little scary for the younger kids, so use your judgment. It always elicits some good questions and discussions about good and evil, and love and forgiveness. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they’re doing.” I love emphasizing to them that Jesus, right in the middle of His unbelievable suffering, forgave the ones who caused it.
- On Holy Thursday for years now we have done our own special little family foot-washing (just like Jesus washed Peter’s feet in the bible). Each person carefully pours a little water on a family member’s feet, one at a time, and says they’re sorry for something. It brings tears to my eyes as a Mom to see one sibling carefully wash the foot of another and saying they’re sorry for teasing or hitting or whatever, and hearing the “I forgive you” that follows. It’s also good for the kids to hear Mom & Dad apologizing and then forgiving each other for being selfish or snippy at times.
- Before the kids check out their Easter baskets on Easter morning, we will say a little prayer and a thank you to Jesus.
- Yes, we take part in Easter egg hunts and visits to the Easter bunny, but we also read Easter stories that put these traditions into a Christian light. Here are are a couple of my favorite Easter stories:
How do you teach your kids the eternal truths about what Jesus did for us on Good Friday and three days later on Easter Sunday? What are your family Easter traditions?
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