Saturday, April 19, 2014

A Twist On Easter

So, this is mostly a re-post of last year's post but it's good to get up before Easter if any of y'all are looking for any ideas. If you recall, last year the Easter Bunny did not pay us a visit. Preston's old nuance of rummaging through the whole house in search of treats had re-surfaced not to mention that I was just plain tired of every holiday revolving around food - especially candy. Just walk the holiday aisle at your grocery store and there is candy made special for that event. Then I started to wonder where in the world the candy tradition for Easter came from anyway - the Easter Bunny and the resurrection of Christ don't seem to have a common thread. So I did a little research and it wasn't super insightful.

There really isn't a connection that I could find. I found that the origins of Easter MAY have started in 16th century Germany when the Oster Haws (hare) would bring colored eggs to the well-behaved children. I'm guessing this was the Christmas version of Christ's death and resurrection as Santa had a naughty and nice list for those kids during the season of Christ's birth. The eggs bit came from the symbolism of eggs for fertility and spring. So, I started searching online for Easter traditions that I could use to replace the candy garbage and focus more on Christ. Three traditions that I found and will be adding to my repertoire are as follows:

1) Placing a scrap of paper in an empty plastic Easter egg and each day reading a scripture pertaining to the death and resurrection of Christ. The twelfth egg will be empty signifying the empty tomb.
2) Easter egg hunt that consists of decorated eggs, plastic eggs with a five or ten dollar bill inside, a fluffy chick (fake of course), a packet of gummy bunnies, a game or small gift and an assortment of cookies, browines and homemade truffles. I figure they can take one of these treats to school in their lunch and it won't last the week.
3) Resurrection rolls. I found the recipe for these on pintrest and they were fun, easy and quite tasty. You start with a marshmallow that represents Christ. You dip the marshmallow first in butter and then in a cinnamon sugar mixture (3 T sugar, 2 T cinnamon) and this represents preparing Christ's body for burial as they used oil and spices. The marshmallow is then wrapped in a crescent roll triangle (pinching all the sides to make sure it is sealed) which represents the linens/shroud. Then into the oven (or tomb) and closing the entrance to the tomb (oven door) and waiting three days (or 12-14 minutes in this case) before opening the tomb. When you cut into the roll, the marshmallow is gone - He has risen! It was fun and kept all my kids engaged. We enjoyed the rolls with my delicious scrambled eggs and some bacon and Barnyard Cocktail (see recipes page).
4) And of course - the viewing of The Ten Commandments with Charlton Heston - that's pretty much a must.

With moderation as my mantra, I felt like those were pretty decent substitutions without driving my kids into a either a sugar-induced coma or frothing-at-the-mouth-hyperactive-frenzy. Not to mention, a good focus on what Easter is really all about. Do you have any neat traditions that diverge from the norm?

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