As a child, I could count on Easter to always bring a few things: candy, white ruffled socks, a new hand-sewn dress (that ALWAYS matched my older sister), and the story of the resurrection tucked inside of our individual Easter baskets. I remember my mother plaiting my hair the night before to get the look of crimped hair; which, by the way, was very cool in the late eighties and early nineties…
or at least I tell myself that…
Each of the holidays was always met with sharing the real reason for the celebration. My mom did not ever tell us that Santa Claus was real, or fake for that matter. I quickly learned on my own that Santa Claus was an idea…a very lovely character I could appreciate for literary value. The same with the Easter Bunny. Although, admittedly, a human-sized bunny dropping candy in a basket held no appeal to me as a child. I much preferred to thank my parents for the baskets.
It comes as no surprise that Christian mothers have started a campaign to “save the holidays,” as so much of our “holy-days” have become an excuse for mothers to spend exorbitant amounts of money on a perfect basket for our perfect children and get perfect pictures with perfectly smocked outfits. Don’t get me wrong, I love a smocked outfit almost as much as I love baby bow-ties (see below). Still, our focus should be on the reason for the celebration and not the celebration itself.
A friend of mine told me about her own campaign to save the holidays. She suggested having a “rock hunt” instead of an Easter egg hunt. After each child collects rocks, the facilitator tells the children that each of the rocks is a sin. Then the children get to trade in their rocks for blessings (treats), just as Jesus sacrificed himself on the cross to save us from our sins and bless us.
I had two immediate thoughts to this idea, “that may be cheesy,” and “that may be brilliant.” The kids still get treats and they hear the story of Jesus. Also, boys love to compete so I can see Bennett running like crazy to get more rocks than anyone.
Another idea to save Easter came from my niece. On Friday, she shared her resurrection eggs with Bennett and me and told the entire story of Jesus: his life, death, and resurrection. It was absolutely precious as she asked to tell the story over and over and she understood complex ideas that adults don’t even understand. I loved hearing her innocent trust in God and it renewed my own.
Having said all of that, however, I suppose I didn’t do much to “save the holidays” this year. I went crazy with Bennett’s easter outfit and basket. I didn’t have anything particularly clever or spiritually meaningful planned. In fact, much of his goodies were practical finds…and we definitely have a perfect Easter basket for years to come. Just when you think she’s got it all together…she goes and commercializes Bennett’s first Easter.
|Bennett’s Easter Basket!|
I found the basket at Michaels for $10. My very crafty mom took some of the fabric from his first quilt and made the lining from the Navy houndstooth. She made the piping from solid navy fabric and monogrammed his name on the lining. It is so perfect.
Our Easter Sunday was filled with Buckhead Church (which may have been the best sermon I’ve heard Andy preach), Brunch at J Christopher, a visit to the Brookhaven park, bubbles on our front lawn, a visit from our favorite friend Chloe, and dinner with Aunt C and Uncle B. It really was the most perfect first Easter for little Bennett.
|Kisses from Daddy|
|Ladies love blue striped bow ties and yellow trousers…|
|Ohhhh…I could snuggle him all day!|
|Our family Easter 2014 (my skirt was a little too big but I couldn’t resist the blue stripes to match my boys!)|
I suppose it may be nearly impossible to have a strictly spiritual Easter when there are goodies to enjoy. I just hope in the years to come I do not make it all about celebrating the goodies when God has given us the greatest gift in his resurrected son.