Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Preparing for Easter

One thing that my mother did a terrific job of when we were little was in making special memories of the special moments.  Memories and traditions are really important in our family (as in most) and Mom always understood the place that these traditions could have in shaping who are were and our lifetimes of faith.  I will always be grateful to her for that.  I think the fact that we are such a close family and that we we tend to continue these traditions even now, when we are in our forties, is that they connect us back to who we are.

When I was growing up, there were two traditions that we engaged in every year at Easter.  The first was creating our own paper tomb scene.  We coloured the figures and punched them out of the book and the model always lived on our mantel in the living room. I don't think you can buy the one that we always used anymore (it was 35 years ago!) but I did find this one, if you are interested in trying it at home.   The other was that every year, the "Easter Bunny" always brought us something that was alive - a plant, a cactus or even, one year, a bowl with a goldfish.  That might not sound very exciting but to us, it was amazing.  We didn't  have much money and gifts were never elaborate but they were always well thought out and we learned from them.  I have been wanting to make those memories for my own kids, especially at Easter, which seems to me to often take a back seat to Christmas in the celebration department, even though it should be the highlight of the year.

We have embraced several Easter traditions in our family and now that Pk is 10 and Ij is 7, they are starting to ask each and every year, "When are we doing...?'  I will share the Lent/Holy Week/Easter traditions as we engage in them this year.  I have to say, it's been hard finding ones that fit with our lives and our beliefs - Catholic families seem to be much better at this than we Protestants.  I am trying, though, and it's fun to see the results.

This year, so far, we went to an Ash Wednesday service (the first "Mainline" service Ij has attended since our local church in town is definitely more Evangelical in orientation) and they were both fascinated.  They had never gone up to take communion directly from a priest (Anglican) or, to Ij's absolute fascination, been at a communion service with real wine!

This past weekend, we engaged in another Lent tradition (feel free to look up more info on it, I can't say that I know a ton, just that it IS a tradition), making pretzels.  My kids never tire of baking bread and watching the impact of yeast always seems a bit magical.  We tried this recipe and they were so good, I needed to make an extra batch because so many got eaten right out of the oven!

I found these wonderful tags to print and they have taken pretzels each day this week, along with the tag.  I feel as if our faith so often isn't talked about during the course of a busy day and this little lunch addition seems to help.

How are you preparing your children for Easter?

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