Easter is a very important holiday to many. It is based on the Christian belief of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, it can be celebrated and enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians alike. Having family Easter traditions is the best way to celebrate.
The Importance of Traditions
A tradition is something you do repeatedly that holds importance to you. They are passed down between generations. A family tradition can be as simple as putting up a Christmas tree every year, going to church every sunday, or having a weekly family night.
We have several family traditions, some that we have started with our kids and others that were passed down from generations before us. Growing up we sat down for a family dinner almost every night. It was important. Having an evening family dinner is something my husband and I have continued. I can’t say we manage it every night, but we try to most nights. I don’t like when we have to eat in shifts even. It just isn’t the same.
On the other hand, there are traditions we have started in the last several years. For example, a few years back I saw an advent calendar activity for Christmas where a children’s book is wrapped up for each night of December leading up to Christmas. Beginning December 1st, the kids get to unwrap one book every night and we read that book. I began doing this every year and my kids love it. It’s a new family tradition that they would miss if we stopped it.
So traditions can be what you make them to be. Continuing past traditions is important. Making new traditions is equally important. It shows your family your values and the value they hold. It’s not just about doing something over and over. It’s the quality time spent doing it.
Ideas for New Easter Traditions
Easter is all about the gift on the cross and spending time with family. Here are ideas for spending time together and starting new family Easter traditions.
Have an Easter Egg hunt
Having an Easter Egg hunt is a great Easter tradition to start. Many people, Christians and non-Christians alike, celebrate with Easter Egg hunts. Egg hunts are comprised of plastic eggs filled with candy and sometimes real, hard-boiled eggs that have been colored. It just depends on your preference.
Once you have the eggs you plan to use gathered up, it’s time to hide them. This can be simply scattering them around a grassy area or hiding them to be found like a seek and find game. Then gather the kids. Make sure they have a basket, bucket or sack and let them have at it. Generally, starting them at the same time is the best. Wouldn’t want to hear “that’s not fair” would you?
If you don’t want to host an Easter egg hunt yourself be sure to check your area. Usually, several places put on public Easter egg hunts that you can take your kids to. Some even separate by age group so you don’t have to worry about your 2-year-old getting run over by a 10-year-old.
Easter egg hunts have been a huge tradition in my family since I was little. Every year my parents would hide Easter eggs for us to find. Even as a teen there would be an annual egg hunt. Now my children get that joy. On Easter morning I get up really early to beat them awake and head outside to hide eggs for them. When they wake up the hunt is on.
Color Easter Eggs
Dying or coloring Easter eggs is a yearly tradition in our family. Every year our family gets together a couple of days before Easter and dyes eggs. I have done this since I was little. It was always one of the highlights of the holiday.
Dying Easter eggs is simple really. You need to have hard boiled eggs or blown out eggs. Hard-boiled eggs are easy as they just need to be boiled and cooled so they aren’t as fragile as a raw egg. Once the eggs have been boiled its a matter of getting them colored. Hard-boiled eggs will last you through the holiday but not much longer.
Blown out eggs are more difficult but they can last for years. If you have never heard of this technique, you poke a hole at each end of the egg with a darning needle. The smaller the hole the better so it’s not conspicuous. Then “stir” the egg up inside the shell to break the yolk up.
After that, you literally blow in one hole so the egg comes out the other, being careful not to break the shell. Once all the egg white and yolk have been blown out, rinse it with water. Blown out eggs can keep for years.
After getting your eggs prepped, get the dye ready and go for it. There are many different dye kits on the market. So get a creative as you want.
As I kid I didn’t have the patience to sit with an egg for an hour. I would rip through a dozen faster than you could say “Bob’s your uncle”. Now I will use one egg and sit for half an hour. It’s almost therapeutic. There is nothing better than sitting spinning an egg in a cup of yellow dye while watching your kids have a blast using their imaginations.
Egg Houses for a Community Service Project
“Egging” houses is fun. This isn’t the house egging you might think though. Don’t buy eggs and go throw them at your neighbor’s house, please. House egging consists of surprising another family or organization with an Easter egg hunt. Get permission first of course.
You could reach out to a local homeless shelter that houses kids. Ask them for permission to egg their building. If they give the go ahead, find out roughly how many kids are at the shelter currently. Then fill eggs with candy. The night before Easter sneak to their location and hide the Easter eggs. On Easter morning all those kids will wake up to find a special surprise.
Last year my Girl Scout troop did a fundraiser “egging” people’s houses. We recently had a speaker from a local homeless shelter for families come to a meeting. The girls decided during our fundraiser to also give back by “egging” that particular shelter. We received permission to hide eggs on their property the night before Easter. We snuck over there after dark and the girls put eggs filled with candy all over their backyard. From there we continued on and did the houses that paid to be “egged”
After the event, all the girls could talk about was how fun it was to “egg” the homeless shelter. Immediately they said they wanted to do it again. They loved doing something for all those kids who may not get to wake up to a yard full of Easter eggs otherwise. So this year the girls are filling eggs to deliver once again. Egging the homeless shelter quickly became one of our troop’s Easter traditions.
Go to an Easter Church Service
Easter Sunday is all about what Jesus did on the cross and the gift of salvation he has given to every person that believes in him. Easter is the celebration of his death and resurrection. So going to church is one of the obvious Easter traditions to start with your family.
Many churches offer multiple services on Easter Sunday. The various times allow for families to celebrate at church while still holding family celebrations at home. You don’t have to pick between the two.
Every year we attend Easter services as a family. It’s one of our family Easter traditions. We will get up Easter morning and see what the Easter bunny left overnight. Then the kids will go on their annual Easter egg hunt left by that silly rabbit. Following the egg hunt, we all get in our nice clothes and head for church.
Have a Nice Family Dinner
Having a nice family dinner is one of the best Easter traditions. Pick out a family favorite or find a new Easter food online and prepare it for your family dinner. You don’t have to cook a ham just because it’s Easter. Ham is a traditional Easter food that families eat, but make what you like.
If you like grilled foods, make some hamburgers for this family dinner. Do you prefer Chinese food? Then make egg rolls with beef and broccoli. Here are a few family dinner favorites you might want to try:
- Smoked Pork Butt
- Smoked BBQ Ribs
Sides for each of these ranges from traditional deviled eggs and potato salad to fancy au gratin potatoes. Here again, make what you and your family like.
This year for our Easter family dinner we are having my in-laws, my brother and his family, and my mom over. We had a request for ribs so that is what is on the agenda. My husband has a Traeger we love to use so he’s going to smoke some ribs. With it, I’m planning my famous au gratin potatoes in the crockpot, some fruit and veggies, and an Easter dessert.
Make a Special Easter Dessert
Easter dinner wouldn’t be complete without a special Easter dessert. Picking out what dessert to have is fun for the whole family. Get the kids involved in making Easter egg cake balls, a Jello poke cake, or anything your heart desires.
Making an Easter dessert shows love. Desserts are the culmination of a family dinner. Yes, sugar isn’t healthy but there are healthy desserts out there. So if you rarely make desserts, Easter is a great time to make one. It makes a family dinner feel more elegant and complete.
One of my favorite Easter desserts is Easter egg cake balls. They take a little extra time to put together than other desserts but are super cute and fun. Plus they taste amazing. They can be made in so many different flavor combinations, the sky is the limit. But that is just my favorite.
Celebrate with the Easter Bunny
The Easter bunny is an icon. Most people recognize the Easter bunny the same way as Santa Claus. It’s one of the biggest Easter traditions for those who recognize the holiday.
The Easter bunny visits a house overnight between Easter Eve and Easter Sunday. He leaves an Easter basket filled with goodies for the child and hides Easter eggs. Then on Easter morning, the kids wake to see what is in their baskets.
When I was little the Easter bunny generally left lots of candy with a couple little toys. I have many fond memories of waking up to my favorite goodies. Once we had finished going through our baskets we would have to hunt all the eggs left strewn about by him. He would hide some plastic eggs filled with more goodies and he would hide the eggs that we dyed.
Nowadays, he seems to leave my kids a few more toys and a little less candy. The Easter bunny still fills the basket with plenty of goodies. Some things he likes to leave my kids:
- Fruit snacks
- Water guns
- Sidewalk chalk
- Outdoor game equipment like a kickball or bases
- Jump rope
- Card games
- Equipment for their favorite sport
Kids love waking up to a basket full of goodies, no matter what is in it. The Easter bunny is one of the many Easter traditions you won’t regret starting!
Use Resurrection Eggs to Tell the Easter Story
Resurrection Eggs are a set of plastic Easter eggs that contain a small item in each to help tell the Easter story. They can be hidden around the yard as part of an Easter egg hunt. Then when the kids go to open their eggs have them open each of the Resurrection Eggs in order. As they do, read out of the booklet that comes with them.
We invested in Resurrection Eggs a few years ago. They have become one of our family Easter traditions. Generally, we will have a couple of Egg hunts on Easter. At least one of them will have the Resurrection Eggs. Usually, we try and do it when we have my niece and nephew here as well. That way we can share the true meaning with all the kids. They love it because it’s a fun way to hear the story and they are a part of it.
Play Some Family Games
Family games are common around our house, whether it’s Easter or not. But what better way to spend Easter is there than playing games. You could take the game you like to play on Family Game Night and turn them into an Easter game marathon. Playing games allows everyone to have fun together.
My kids love playing games like Monopoly Gamer, Pit, and even Monopoly Cheater’s Edition. Lately, I’ve fallen in love with Villainous. I love the strategy behind it. Another fun way to spend Easter playing games is having a rousing game of kickball or basketball. Get outside and get active.
Put Up an Easter Tree and Other Decorations
Putting up an Easter tree and decorating is fun and creates lasting memories. You can find various decorations at the store, everything from crosses to Easter eggs to Easter bunnies. Decorating for Easter sets the tone for the holiday and puts everyone in the mood.
How often do celebrate Christmas without a single decoration up, especially a Christmas tree? So why not celebrate Easter with an Easter tree? An Easter tree can be store bought or homemade depending on which you prefer. When I was a kid my mom made her Easter tree. It was a stick from the yard that had a few branches on it. She painted it white and hung cute egg ornaments on it. It was one of our Easter traditions.
Just the other day my kids weren’t getting along the best. So I sent them on a mission to find a branch for an Easter tree. Their squabbling stopped and all of a sudden they were happy and having fun. Kids love an adventure and mine were no different. It didn’t take long and they were back home with a big beautiful stick. Now we just have to paint it, put it into a base, and hang ornaments on it.
If you aren’t into DIY decorating you can always buy an Easter tree. They can be just as cute as one you make and a bit simpler. They will still be somewhat twig shaped, a tree without green. But you can go straight to the ornament hanging once you put your tree up.
My other favorite type of Easter tree is one my dad does every year. It doesn’t fit the traditional twig style tree though. He uses one of the small artificial evergreen trees. On it, he has two black bears. The bears are never taken off the tree but he switches the theme of it for each coming holiday. So every Easter it becomes his Easter tree. The bears get bunny ears and Easter eggs are placed around it.
Implement New Easter Traditions…
So whether you already have a bunch of Easter traditions or plan to start new ones, they are a great way to show your family their value. Having a nice family dinner, enjoying a favorite Easter food, hiding Easter eggs, or just visiting are all great things to do.
Of all the holidays through the year, Easter is my second favorite, second only to Christmas. I love celebrating what Jesus did on the cross and enjoying my family. Watching my kids light up on Easter morning at the little things the Easter bunny brought is comparable to the way they are on Christmas morning.
Family is such an important part of everyone’s lives, whether you are a single parent, dating, married, have kids, or it’s an adoptive family. So start a new tradition or follow through with an old one this year.