My memory of Easter is going to church and arriving home to be greeted with a day full of food, laughter and time. I remember candy eggs with elaborate decorations that we nearly broke our teeth on. I remember the smartie filled humpty dumpty eggs. I remember being given chocolate with the understanding that this was the day when devouring chocolate was not only permitted but encouraged. Family smiling. Movies watched. Pools swam. Gardens run. Time given.
This year I was hit with the reality that Easter, our Easter is up to me. If I didn’t buy the Easter Eggs, set up the hunt and buy the food, then it just wouldn’t happen. I am not sure what happened in years past but I have a feeling during the baby years I was only just surviving, so if Easter was even remembered it was a bonus. As I leave the haze of the baby years and enter the gorgeous chaos that is childhood, I am struck with the certainty that their memories are up to me (and my husband when I rope him in).
I have been thinking long and hard about how I can make my Easter, the memory of Easter for our children, the best ever.
Easter Traditions that will be remembered
- Embrace family. I think at this time of year, the collaborative effort of all, the joy of togetherness is important. Without this reflection Easter has a far greater risk than Christmas of being just about the chocolate. By visiting family, sharing a meal and a laugh, we instill the importance of that value in our children. One day we will be rewarded (we hope) with our children, bringing their own children to our home at Easter, or us going to theirs.
- Give thanks. Prior to your meal, give thanks and talk about what you each have to be thankful for. Gratitude is such a wonderful place to be when you have a belly full of chocolate.
- Explain Easter. I don’t think it matters if you are religious or not but an understanding of the Easter story is important. WHY eggs? WHY rabbits? The meaning you give that story is up to you, but the story is still the reason we celebrate Easter. If you want to know why we have rabbits as a symbol for Easter here is a good explanation of the Easter Bunny. If you want to explain the Easter story to a child check out this explanation of Easter for Kids
- Read an old Easter story. The Country Bunny is my favourite.
- We love Easter art. I am not a craft mum so I settle for the kids producing some lovely Easter themed artwork to gift to relatives. This year we rewarded by my children’s great grandmother ringing with tears of joy in receiving such a thoughtful gesture- which is what it is all about right?
- Buy interesting chocolate. I usually settle for little mixed chocolate eggs and then I go out of my way to find interesting rabbits and a good old tooth breaking candy egg. I also include an Easter book because I use every excuse to buy books for my kids.
- Make the hunt interesting. It is hilarious to sit back and watch kids look for chocolate that a magical Easter bunny has left. You can check out our Easter Clues and our Easter Egg Hunt Ideas for older kids or simply plan an Easter scavenger hunt with your own clues and tricky hilarity.
- Take photos. Be in the photos that you take. I am talking to me here too. I have a habit of taking photos and never being in the photo. BE in the photo.
- Make the magic happen. Whether you leave carrots out for munching or some paw prints in some dirt, kids are easily impressed by visual proof of mythical creatures. Check out these ideas for proving the Easter bunny exists
- Don’t go overboard. One thing I do remember about Easter, is that it had a different pace to Christmas. Time was slower and it was less about doing and more about being. By all means if you are a baker, then bake, a crafter, then craft but I don’t believe it’s about forcing yourself to do things that will stress you out and annoy you. If you LOVE doing it all- then do it all.
- Make the food matter. We begin with a lovely cooked breakfast with fresh juice that is celebrated sans screens with lots of chatter and mess. This meal tends to take us through until dinner with the assistance of the copious amounts of chocolate.
- Make the time matter. What this means will change as the kids get older but whether its playing a board game, bush-walking or heading to the local park, make this time matter. Make your family a priority. We will round the afternoon off with a movie and then some more family time.
- More meals with family. Dinner for us is a wonderful time to connect with family and generally we see whoever we need to and give them TIME while allowing them the joy of gifting the kids with some chocolate or a book.
- Reflect on the day at bedtime. Reflecting on a day is a great way to once again be grateful for all you have. After a bedtime story we generally ask our kids to tell us the best part of their day today, what they really enjoyed, was it different than what they had thought it would be. We do this every night at the dinner table but I will using bedtime as the time for this at Easter.
What matters most at Easter
So there you go. It’s pretty simple and I think it’s pretty easy to achieve. My hope is that my children look back with fond memories of Easter and pass this spirit onto their own children. I live a pretty busy life like most of you and I often feel like I don’t get the balance quite right. Days like Easter and Christmas present the opportunity to get remember what it feels like to have time on my side and real live in the moment with my children.