I remember the Easter traditions of my childhood and how much I enjoyed them. Everyone was involved. All of the women made their “special dishes,” we got new clothes, colored eggs and went to church services. Afterwards we’d enjoy a feast. These traditions included the whole family, even those who were suffering from dementia. Here are a few ideas that may help your family enjoy Easter together.
Eggs: As a child, we colored eggs many different colors. When we grew up, we learned the tradition of making red eggs to represent the drops of blood. Dyeing eggs can be easy or complicated, depending on what the purpose is. We’ve blown them and painted the fragile shells to give as gifts and we’ve dunked them into Paas Easter Egg dye. This activity can involve everyone.
Baskets: You can buy premade baskets, but it’s a lot more fun to put them together yourself. Most craft stores have baskets (and if your house is like mine you probably have a ton from previous Easters). Fake grass is easy to find, and you can choose the treats you want to add. As with the eggs, everyone can participate. In fact, I remember the first year we kids made our mother an Easter basket.
Food: It may be tempting to shoo everyone out of the kitchen (except for a sous chef and a dishwasher) but it will mean more to the family if there is wider participation. Children can be taught proper table setting. If your family includes someone with memory issues, this is an activity they can participate in. Older children can begin to learn basics of cooking. If you live in a warm climate, you may even want to enlist the guys to man the barbecue.
Music: There are many beautiful Easter songs. Children are usually taught simple ones in Sunday school, while we adults can enjoy everything from Second Chapter of Acts’ Easter Song to the Hallelujah Chorus. Those who are not Christians may prefer music from movies such as Easter Parade.
Choosing a Service: This can be an important consideration. Children and older people may have difficulties with sunrise services due to the cold and the time. I’ve found that the very young and the very old do best at services that are not crowded. In our church, that’s the 11 o’clock service. Older children will be able to enjoy the pageantry of the 9 o’clock service. It usually has the hand bells, the choir and a brass ensemble. Talk to your pastor about which might be best for your family.
Easter is a glorious celebration for Christians. It can also be fun for those who do not follow the faith. Either way, I hope you have a good Easter.