Celebrating holidays has always been my favorite. As a child, I remember overwhelming joy and a feeling of incredible safety. There was laughter late into the night and good food. For my husband, holidays were also a time of joy and togetherness. Now as adults, as parents, we want to create the same feeling of warmth, joy, and security for our children. My husband and I have spent a great deal of time discussing our vision. 🙂 Our main concern is making sure that our children have an understanding of the meaning of certain holidays, not to get bogged down with the secular trappings. We want to have fun. As Jace gets older, and now we’ve added Kobi to the family, we want to really enjoy our family holidays, start new traditions, honor cultural and spiritual traditions.
This is what we have so far:
- Attend a Bible based, teaching church with a Bible based, teaching children’s ministry regularly.
- Read books about the holiday and actively discuss what we read. For example, we read a book called God’s Easter Love by Mark Bernthal to prepare for Easter.
- Not buying a bunch of gifts. For example, this past year for Christmas Jace got two gifts from Mommy and Daddy. Yes, we told him they were from Mommy and Daddy. He also received gifts from grandparents, aunts and uncles. We talked to him about Jesus and why we get and give gifts.
- Spending time with family. Before having kids my husband and I didn’t mind traveling for every holiday. Now that we have kids, we want to make sure that we spend time at home as well. Not only are we rotating between our families, now we’ve added our immediate family into the rotation. 🙂
- Suggestions? Please respond in the comment section with any ideas on keeping the holidays fun, but purposeful. Thanks!
All that being said, what did our Easter look like? Well, I thought it was great. Jonathon, myself, and my mother in law went shopping for the kids Easter outfits a few weeks back. Secretly one of my favorite traditions when it comes to this holiday. lol Anyway, Jon and I also went to the Family Christian store earlier that week to look for Easter items. We decided to get each child one gift and a Bible to share. The picture to the right is deceiving LOL The basket is from one of my sorority sisters and the train is from Nana. Anyway, since we had been reading the book God’s Easter Love with Jace, we wanted him to go on an Easter egg hunt. We wanted it to some how have meaning for a two year old. Ask and ye shall receive. 🙂
When we first walked in to the store there were resurrection eggs sitting on the front table. Inside of each egg is a symbol representing the resurrection. In addition, there is a small book that describes each symbol and includes a Bible verse. Parents are encouraged to read the short passage to their child/ren as each egg is opened. Perfect! Now, of course Jace did not understand all of what was going on, but kids hear more than we know. Besides, its the feeling, the tone that has been set. We will use these eggs for years to come.
So, on Resurrection Sunday we got up early, allowed Jace and Kobi to look at their gifts, ate a hearty breakfast, got dressed and went to church. After church we ate lunch and napped. Later we got ice cream to celebrate. Finally, Jace went on his Easter egg hunt. He loved it!
We are far from perfect. We do not have all the answers, but we are trying. We are taking what the Bible says, combining it with some of what our parents taught us, some pieces of tradition, love, joy, and warmth, and taking the journey one day at a time.