Easter Traditions: secular vs. sacred

Every year about this time I start thinking about our Easter Traditions. Mainly I am doing the secular vs. sacred debate. It happens at Christmas time too. I feel like I am doing a balancing act between the two. There are some fun secular traditions built around the holidays aka: Santa and the easter Bunny. But they aren't real. But Christ IS real. And more important. So the question is how to keep focused on what is real and important while having fun with the secular side too.   It isn't easy, that's for sure.  I considered it somewhat of a triumph that Jay didn't know who Santa was mid-way through December.  Am I weird?

Last year we found a good mix in separating Easter from the easter bunny by doing the easter bunny, egg hunts, coloring eggs, etc. on Saturday. Then Easter Sunday was reserved for Easter-the real reason for Easter: Christ. We attended church and talked about the story then and leading up to Easter. It helped that the candy high had lulled from the day before.  The other thing that has helped is keeping Santa and the easter bunny to a minimum.  No "you better be good for Santa to bring you stuff."  And more, "We will open presents on Jesus' birthday."  And Santa and the easter bunny are minor present givers.  Why should they get all the credit for all the hard work?  Mom and Dad give most of the gifts.

What do you do in your home?  I'm always looking for more ideas on the tradition of a Christ-centered Easter. I added a Mr. Linky below for everyone to share their ideas.  Please feel free to blog about or add a linky to a site with ideas you like too. Then come back and see what treasures of traditions can be found to help celebrate this special day.

UPDATE: I posted a few art projects that are true to the season.  Check them out here.


Joy Alice Photography said...

Jedda, I saw your link on Bloomington Pals, and I have to tell you that I really appreciate this post. With two little ones, this will be the first year that I have had to take into consideration how much stress to put on the Easter Bunny. I think you really have a good mix going and I hope to emulate that. Thanks again!

Summers Family said...

We do very similar things. For Easter, we do candy on Saturday and the Savior on Sunday. We don't talk about the Easter Bunny at all, aside from answer the kids' questions which are few. I don't think they care where the candy comes from as long as they get candy. When talking about Easter, is it always about the Savior, my husband and I never refer to the candy.
We don't decorate eggs, more because no one will eat the eggs and I hate to waste them, but that is one less thing to try and tie in.
I have wanted to make those cookies that you let sit overnight and they are hollow inside like "the tomb", and the story that goes with that, but I have yet to get that organized.
My boys don't really care, but my daughter loves getting a new Easter Dress, and when we pick it out we talk about how we want to look nice for the day we remember the Savior.

Christmas is a little harder. It seems like we have tried to do so many things to focus on the Savior that we over it. Here is some of the things we have done - this year we will do a few of them rather than all.
1. We celebrate Hanukah, Christian style. We use it as a count down to Christmas, but still teach our kids about the meaning behind it. We have a menorah that we light each night, we play draedle (sp?), and have gelt (chocolate coins).
2. We do the 12 days of Christmas with a nativity set and a poem for each figure. Ending with giving Jesus on Christmas Eve. This is a good little missionary tool. I would make sure that I read the poem with the kids before delivery the next time we do this.
3. Santa only fills stockings at our house. The kids know that Santa understands that at our house we remember Jesus at Christmas, so Santa does stockings and that's it. We never say, "Santa is watching" like some of my friends because frankly that is creepy to me, not to mention a lie.
Like the EB, my husband and I don't talk about Santa.
4. We wrap an empty box that we put in a prominent place. It is our families gift to Jesus - a happy and loving family. Any time we argue, we remind each other of the gift and it helps. We still have this gift wrapped on our shelf from last Christmas and refer to it - it helps us keep Christmas all year long.
5. We sing a Christmas song and tell a Christmas story with scripture every night in December.
6. We keep it small. We do one special item that they really will love (still under $30), books, and games for the family, and clothes they need. To compensate for the urge to buy when the deals are good, we have a BIG Family Birthday, aka our anniversary, where we eat cake and ice cream and have big presents. Our family birthday is more looked forward to for presents than Christmas. And my husband and I still go out together, just on a more convenient night.
7. We do Salvation Army boxes and let the kids pick the stuff off the shelf and put it in the cart and we discuss why and where it's going during the shopping.
8. We have given Christmas to a family in need who had children the same ages and our children so they can help pick. That has it's pros and cons.
9. We have our shopping done my Dec. 1 so it's easier to not focus on the gifts (or the stress).

Ok way too much, sorry.

Smullin Family said...

For Easter, our family does a "Jerusalem Dinner". We eat things like they would have eaten in Jesus' day; figs,dried apricots,nuts, seeds, goat cheese,fish (tuna for us),unleavened bread (pitas), bitter herbs (salad greens),hard boiled eggs, grape juice,etc. We sit on the floor and eat around one community bowl.
We also do the "Easter in an Egg". 12 plastic eggs. Read a scripture and open egg. Eggs contain things from the scripture; red cloth, white cloth, sacrament cup, dice, 3 dimes, etc.
There is an awesome book with many more Easter ideas, but I can't remember the name right now. Something like "A Christ Centered Easter" by Joel and ___ Hales??? Sorry. Hopefully that's enough information to find it. It's great.

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