Image credit: Pixabay.com (2018), CC0/PD[/caption] One of the hardest things about raising Catholic kids in secular society is our culture’s tendency to frontload holiday celebrations. Halloween decorations in August. Thanksgiving in September. Christmas in October. Easter in February. How in the world are we supposed to continue celebrating major feast days -- like Easter -- when there’s nothing left on the store shelves? Fortunately, Catholics are nothing if not counter cultural. We don’t need the decorations and trinkets so often sold in stores. Rather, there is a host of ways we can celebrate the Easter season through to its traditional completion. Here are 19 ideas to continue your Easter celebration, courtesy of Catholic moms just like you. 19 Catholic Ways to Celebrate Easter all Season Long • For Easter Sunday, our kids get a Hershey's chocolate cross and a Jesus/Easter storybook or DVD. We also have our Easter meal as a picnic lunch at a park or beach. Simple: cold ham, potato salad, and asparagus and/or carrots. Neither of us has family local, so it’s a nice day with the two of us and the kids. • Some years we hunt for the hard-boiled eggs to be colored! Less sugary candy = less meltdowns but still the hunting fun and reward of coloring the eggs. We still have a small Easter basket with a little candy though. We just don’'t want buckets full! • I put coins in plastic eggs to hunt for instead of candy. I usually put in a couple of coins, in varying amounts, and one egg has a dollar in it. Each kid gets the same amount of eggs and we make sure they both have the same amount of money at the end. We give them an Easter basket with some candy but more non-candy treats: sidewalk chalk, bubbles, stuffed animal, art supplies, and so on. • My daughter loves hunting for eggs so she will usually fill them with random things and hide them for the rest of us. (My kids are 10 and 6.) • We attended a special-needs egg hunt last year that was FABULOUS. They had a silent hunt for those with sound sensitivity, a chirping egg hunt for the blind, eggs with balloons for kids with mobility issues, and a sensory hunt in bins of colored rice and beans. I’d also suggest doing an allergy-friendly hunt for those who can’t have the candy. There was no sign of the Easter bunny anywhere, so my kid wasn’t terrified to go find eggs. • We attend as many of the Triduum activities as possible. Many at our parish come for the 3 PM celebration of the passion and stay for events that begin at 5 PM. In between, several families have made it a tradition to have PB&J for their Good Friday meal. I love our parish’s Easter Vigil Mass; it begins with a bonfire and the lighting of the Easter candle outside, and there is a massive feast after Mass that lasts well into the wee hours of the night. (JC) • I go to Pinterest and find riddle clues for a scavenger hunt. The kids have to figure out the answers, which eventually leads them to their baskets. • Plastic eggs around the house and at church. We try to dye eggs too; then dinner and Easter baskets. (M) • We had a neighbor surprise us with eggs dyed with our children’s names hidden on our lawn eight years ago. On our way to Mass the kids were so joyful of the surprise that I began our own tradition. We made candy gift bags for the neighborhood kids and delivered them on Easter. We have continued to do this in our new neighborhood, dropping off wrapped goodies to surprise others. We prepare them on Holy Saturday in anticipation of Easter. (H) • Mass is THE most important, of course! After Mass we have a big meal with extended family. A favorite treat we like are called "resurrection rolls" - they help kids imagine.
Copyright 2019 Ginny Kochis
- Roll marshmallows in a cinnamon/sugar mixture, which represents the spices they put on Jesus before burial.
- Wrap each marshmallow in a crescent roll, which represents wrapping Jesus in the shroud.
- Place all on baking sheet and put in the oven (bake according to crescent roll directions) -- this represents Jesus being placed in the tomb.
- When they are done, the marshmallows have melted and can't be seen -- Jesus isn't there, He is risen! (Elizabeth P., upstate New York)
Copyright 2019 Ginny Kochis