I love holidays, but the over commercialization of Easter and Christmas make it hard for those of us who want our kids to understand the true, religious reasons for these holidays. While there’s something magical about Christmas morning, it’s really hard for kids to get past the “I’m getting tons of presents at every turn” excitement to even think about the Why of it all.
Easter is a little easier. While there is the a basket of candy and egg hunts, the hype pales in comparison to Christmas. In our home the kids get a few gifts and a reasonable amount of candy. We don’t attend tons of egg hunts because we have one at church on Easter Sunday, although we try to get another one in if we can. There’s not the same preparation that comes with Christmas, so it’s easier to focus on the religious aspect, especially with Lent leading up to Easter.
As I do every year, I asked the kids why we celebrate Easter. Buddy’s gotten good at this answer and understands that Jesus died and came back. Sass is still trying to remember, but being 4, I’m not surprised. Each year, however, I make sure to talk about it. It’s hard for kids to understand what happened to Jesus. Heck, it’s hard for adults to understand. I do find that having to explain something so complicated to the kids helps me understand it better by needing to break it down into something more simple.
If you struggle with trying to get your kids to focus on the religion instead of the goodies, my best advice is to keep talking about it. Bring it up for a few days prior, but also allow the kids to be excited about the Easter bunny and their baskets. There’s a balance, for sure, but it’s OK for the kids to enjoy those fun parts too. They’re only kids once, let them enjoy their childhood and have those magical moments. When they have positive experiences as children they’re more likely to want to continue to experience them as adults, and hopefully the religious aspects will be repeated as well.
Happy Easter! He is Risen indeed!