When I was chatting with Christy and Bonnie on the Fountains of Carrots podcast recently, I realized that while we have some set traditions for observing Lent in our home, we haven’t developed as much for celebrating Eastertide (50 days!) after Easter Sunday comes to an end. But we’re slowly and surely adding in some solid Easter traditions in our home, so I thought I’d share.
Kick it Off!
One of the ways we help the kids get excited about Easter is making a big deal out of Holy Week and the Easter Vigil Mass. Last year was the first year we attempted taking our three young kids to Holy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Vigil and we were surprised that it wasn’t as difficult as we expected to wrangle them through the long services. (OK, so I could have gone without the folks in the pew in front of us trying to pass them M&Ms during the whole Vigil Mass without our permission but, all in all, it was a success!)
The Easter Vigil in particular is a stunning experience. I mean, there’s a bowl of fire! To prepare them for the Mass and emphasizing the importance of what we were celebrating we bring out a new outfit for each of the kids to wear to the Vigil. Last year, some items were purchased new and some where new-to-them hand-me-downs. Benjamin got new pants and a white shirt and tie, Lucy and Gwen wore fancy dresses. I showed them all their new clothes during Holy Week and talked about how we dress up especially nice on this wonderful day.
We made a big deal of getting dressed for the Easter Vigil and just before getting in the car, we gave each child a new picture book about a saint that they could look at during the service if they got the wiggles. (These are a few of our favorite books for Mass, if you’re looking for suggestions.)
When we got home from Mass (it’s a LONG Mass) they got to open their Easter baskets (last year I shared about what sort of things we put in ’em), have one sweet treat, and then it was off to bed knowing they could play with their new toys Sunday morning. We had a big breakfast and then spent the day with extended family after their Easter Sunday services.
Keep It Going!
We replace the Lent decor with Easter decor on Easter Sunday. Since we gather around the table so frequently (and since we don’t have a mantle because Florida…not much need for a fireplace) the dining room is where we put our liturgical flare. And since I’m candle-obsessed, we use these adorable Easter Egg Votives from Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles to brighten up the table. Each of the kids gets one in his/her Easter basket (huge hit last year!) and then they get so excited about lighting them at the table!
I also go a little nuts with flowers around the house. Decor is pretty sparse during Lent, so the kids notice the change!
We try not to go crazy with sweets, but we do loosen things up in the treat department to celebrate. We say “yes” more often when the kids ask about making ice cream or going somewhere fun. The quiet Lent is past and the party begins!
Why not save some of the fun Easter-y activities for the Eastertide? For example, we don’t usually jump in with our parish Easter Egg Hunt because it’s always on Palm Sunday and I really don’t like starting to celebrate Easter before we’ve even gone through Holy Week. So, we do our own little egg hunt on Easter Sunday with family. But wouldn’t that be a great activity to do with friends during Eastertide to keep the party going!
And this year I think I’m going to jump in and actually dye eggs with my one-year-old, three-year-old, and six-year-old…..but maybe on the back porch because setting them loose with dye sounds potentially dangerous. 😉
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Win your own set of six of the beautiful Easter Egg Votives (in a cute egg carton with colored Easter grass, wrapped with cello and tied with a ribbon!) OR this gorgeous honeycomb pillar from Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles (your choice).
The honeycomb pillar is decorating my kitchen window right now and I can’t bear to light it yet, because it’s just soooo pretty.
What special Easter traditions do you have get the Eastertide party going?
This post is sponsored by Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles. Review and giveaway products were provided by Toadily Handmade Beeswax Candles. All opinions are my own and I only share about products I love.