Whereas in the fall I am all excited and eager to do a lot of big, complicated projects, by spring we are all a little more calm (read as a little tired out) and ready to ease into a slow summer.
So naturally our Easter was a little less than it has been in years past.
But at the same time, this was my best Easter ever. Less was way more. It was less Easter Bunny and more Christ. Less baskets and chocolate and bubbles and sidewalk chalk and more reverence and spirituality and contemplation of how Jesus is our savior and what that means.
Easter sort of started the Friday and Saturday before, when we attended my daughter’s Millennial Choir and Orchestra concert. The choir focuses on sacred and patriotic music. Part of their line up included new renditions of “How Great Thou Art,” “Amazing Grace,” “Gethsemane,” and the most amazing “Be Still, My Soul” you have probably ever heard. So powerful. (My little choir angel left my camera in the car, so all you get are these cruddy cell phone versions of a photo – some day I’ll have a better cell phone… some day…)
But so exhausting. Friday night we didn’t get home until 11:30 pm, and Saturday night we were home by 9:00 pm, but still totally zonked.
So no big fancy Easter breakfast or brunch the next morning. No, not for us. Instead some of us had leftover pizza, others a hard boiled egg, and yet a third got into his “big” chocolate Easter bunny and ate the entire thing. (That did not actually bode well for the rest of the day, as you can imagine.)
I would have not done baskets at all (I learned from a friend that you don’t actually have to do an Easter basket, which was somehow a new idea to me), but what is the fun in getting rid of all the traditions, especially if they aren’t distracting from the purpose of the celebration.
However, instead of Dollar Tree stuff I knew I would be trying to throw away for the next few months without my kids noticing, the kids got stuff like swim suits (for the little boys), a Sunday dress (for my daughter), and a white shirt and tie (for my older boy.) And there were some socks and underwear thrown in there too. That was it.
And a little chocolate.
My husband said there was no way I could leave that out.
Did I mention my husband is half Swiss? (That explains the fascination with chocolate. It just wouldn’t be Easter to him without it. I’m not sure life would be worth living to him without it. jk obviously ;). But he does need a chocolate fix every now and then, more than I do.)
So here is what we did do – secular and spiritual included.
Milk Gallon Bunny Baskets
I have wanted to do these again ever since my 1st grade class got to make these way back in the 80s! I thought they were the cutest, most creative thing EVER.
But when I look at them now, I just see a milk jug that probably needs to be thrown away. Creative recycling maybe, but it is only a matter of time. These are going to end up in the trash. (My husband told me not to let the kids take these into public! Ha! But my kindergartener saw the example I made and gushed, “Awwwww! How CUTE!!!!!” So we made them and it was fun.
As always, someone’s creative juices flooded over so we ended up with 4 bunnies and a poisonous serpent who eats rabbits and guards the eggs. It became his theme for the holiday.
Dying Hard Boiled Eggs
Just as my hubby would never allow me to give up chocolate in the baskets (even if he cheered when I ex-ed the bubbles and sidewalk chalk) I don’t think I could ever give up dying hard boiled eggs. We got the marbled dye this year. Not worth it. (Hint: I’m pretty sure you could just add a tsp or so of vegetable oil to your regular dye, and then instead of letting your eggs bathe in the water, you have to splash the egg around for about 30 seconds.) This activity always stresses me out… a lot. Visions of spilled dye all of the kitchen and clothes plague me up until the little cups are safely empty and in the dishwasher. But it just has to be done. Not negotiable.
Guardian serpent egg
And we finally had an actual Easter Egg hunt. My MIL, who always hosts Easter, likes to do Easter Basket hunts – one basket per family – which is really fun because she is the Swiss who made my hubby 1/2 Swiss, therefore the chocolate in her baskets is always the really good stuff. But I have missed doing a regular egg hunt. So this year we went to church and got up to the in-laws’ house before they were back from their afternoon church and did a little hunt of our own.
Speaking of church, I think this was the best Easter Sacrament Program I have ever heard. If I can get ahold of the talks given (and get permission) I will put them up here, or at least links. They were really just fantastic. It set the stage for the entire day. The music was inspiring and uplifting, each hymn drawing me closer to Christ and the celebration of his resurrection, and my eventual resurrection, too!
I sang in the choir, which also helped me be sensitive to the whisperings of the spirit and feel the truth of the message of Easter.
And then I taught my little primary class.
And by little, I mean there was only one student there.
She was more interested in telling me about her trip to the mall and the fashion nails she got in her Easter basket that morning and all the candy she had eaten over the last few days. But although only a minute or two would go by before she would interrupt me again with unrelated information to share, the spirit whispered to me, “It doesn’t matter how much you think or don’t think she is listening or understands. God loves her. Jesus died and was resurrected for her. And it is important to him that she hear this message. You have been called to be the messenger.” So I delivered the message.
Usually the lessons are all planned out (with lots of flexibility) in our primary manuals, but this year the book didn’t include an Easter lesson. So I went with my own.
Easter Scripture Eggs
I really wish I could remember where I got this particular scripture list so I could give credit, but I jus honestly don’t remember. I know you can buy sets like this pre-made, but I had made this myself years ago. My little student and I went through the eggs, one by one and talked about what the object inside had to to with Christ’s Atonement, his crucifixion, and his glorious resurrection. And then we talked about what that means for us. What does the little piece of red cloth have to do with the last hours of Christ’s life? Or the little piece of white linen? What about the nail, the spices, the dice? Or the stone. And why is the last egg empty?
Although I’ve gone through these eggs multiple times with my own kids (and sometimes they get it from mom AND from grandma both on the same day – a little lack of coordination) the lesson was important and meaningful to me, because it is true.
And I got to hear all about fashion nails, too.
I finished up the lesson with these last two short videos.
Hallelujah! He is risen!
Glory and ever thanksgiving be to God for it.
And may you enjoy your chocolate, whether it be for breakfast or dinner, as much as this little guy.