Family get togethers at holiday time were a regular thing when I was growing up. It was expected at every major holiday; Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and others, we’d be over at my grandmother’s house.
As I became an adult and had children of my own, it was important to me to encourage a love of family in my own children, so as THEY grew older and had children, they would make it important to stay in touch and get together throughout the year, as well as on the holidays.
With Easter just around the corner, I thought it would be fun to talk about the Easter traditions we have cultivated and possibly spur some creative ideas of your own to add to your Easter celebrations with your own family. Even though we may not realize it as parents, our children are paying attention to those things we do at the holiday time, and it will shape their own views and actions as they get older.
Families celebrate Easter many ways, and depending on your own beliefs, there are things you can do to make the day one of joy, fun, togetherness and family. In our home, Easter egg hunts are a big event. This year they are looking forward to it more than ever. We’ve just moved to a 56 acre ranch, and I keep teasing them about hiding eggs ALL over the property for them to find.
Hmm.. I may have just found a way to get in a quiet cup of coffee on my porch… Okay kids…there are 100 eggs on 56 acres… Ready…Set..HUNT! 3…hours…later.
If your family enjoys having Easter egg hunts, some fun things to do to make it interesting even for older kids is to use plastic eggs rather than real eggs and hide prizes such as candy, gum, dollar bills, etc in them to find.
Please be careful using things such as pennies, etc when little ones will be gathering the eggs. Add a little piece of clear tape to hold the eggs together until the hunt is done. Little ones can be supervised in opening their prizes to prevent them from choking on something small.
Not only does using other things as prizes reduce the amount of candy they will consume, but it makes each egg an adventure to open once they find them all.
Other things we’ve done throughout the years is to use a treasure hunt style theme, where we choose a certain color or style of plastic egg and create “hints” or clues that go in those color eggs that lead them to a bigger prize of a coloring book, a book, a small stuffed animal, crayons, etc. Dollar stores are a wonderful thing! The children love the thrill of the hunt, and they work together remarkably well figuring out the clues and looking for the next egg.
Easter morning is always exciting, when they get up and find their baskets at their place setting at the dinner table with candy, fruit, pencils and more in them. Coloring books and crayons can be purchased at a dollar store for less than candy, and they lasts longer too! We do add candy of course…jelly beans and chocolate bunnies are hot commodities around here!
Easter dinner is typically cookout style with potato salad, burgers, hot dogs, veggie trays, fruit salad, chips and more. (Anyone else getting hungry? ) When I was growing up, the Easter dinners were very formal with baked ham, rolls, etc. but I like the much more informal fun of a cookout and the kids do as well.
As a child, the last thing I wanted was to have to sit at a table and be quiet while the adults talked. Cookout style means they can eat when they’re hungry, sit where they like, and we can be out enjoying the beautiful weather.
Weather has never been a deterrent in our home. Is it raining outside? Just bring the hunt indoors! Children don’t care where they’re hunting, they just enjoy the hunt itself. Couches, under tables, and in closets are all great hiding places when the weather prevents being able to go outside. Use your imagination, and you’ll find tons of great hiding spots in your home.
If your older kids think they are too old to do the hunting, engage them by giving them the job of hiding the eggs for the little ones. And don’t forget to remind them the idea is for the little ones to actually be able to find them. “No Elijah, hiding them in the gutter that is 10 feet off the ground ISN’T fair…you’re sister is only 3 feet tall.”
If you participate in the city or town public Easter Egg Hunts, be mindful they can sometimes be crowded and overwhelming. I remember one unforgettable time I took my oldest son, whom was 3 at the time, for a public sponsored Easter egg hunt. It was…well, kind of a disaster! There were kids running everywhere, grabbing whatever they could, even out of other children’s baskets. He ended up with, I think, ONE egg and a feeling of frustration.
Sometimes the city events can work, with a lot of planning and supervision, but those I have seen can be a bit much for a younger child, so use your own judgment in those instances.
There are so many variations and traditions you can add to your own Easter celebration, but the most important thing to remember is whatever you do, do it with happiness and joy and have fun, because your kids WILL remember it as they grow up and become parents themselves.
Nothing makes me smile more than hearing my kids talk about the Easters and other holidays and traditions they will continue to have together as they have kids and families of their own. I’m going to be one lucky grandma someday!
Whether your family celebrates in church with a focus on your faith, has Easter egg hunts and baskets filled with goodies, goes to public events some cities and towns sponsor, or a combination of all of the above, we hope you have a happy and fun Easter!
Alisha Land is a mother of 8, a professional writer and ghostwriter for many clients and the owner of Kids Home Safe, a child safety education company. She is also the author of the kindle EBook “How to Make Ends Meet When You Don’t Have Any Money”. You can reach her at any of the links listed. Contact – Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn – Book
Photo Credit – digidreamgrafix