How should Christians celebrate Easter?

Dodie - posted on 03/29/2010 ( 36 moms have responded )

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I am a new Christian and I have been thinking about how I used to view the world and old traditions that I never gave any thought to before now. For Christmas, my husband and I agreed that it is not about presents, but about the birth of Jesus, so I tried teaching my baby boy (turning 2 on Wed.), yeah that didn't work so well cause he doesn't understand much now. But I read him bible stories of baby Jesus. Now it is Easter and it seems to be all about candy and the Easter Bunny. I don't want my kids believing in these false Idols of the world! If anyone celebrates Easter in any way other than the "norm" can you give me some ideas for new traditions.?

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Cara - posted on 05/06/2010

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My girls are 11 & 13 and ever since they were born we knew that we wanted them to understand the real reason we were celebrating. Every Christmas and Easter we scaled back a bit more and put more focus on Jesus. The last few years both our girls started complaining that 'the holidays just don't seem meaningful' , 'even the church doesn't take them seriously' , 'neither of them are in the Bible' and the worst 'why don't we celebrate what Jesus celebrated?' which prompted a search on our part for how to celebrate Jesus' birth and death more meaningfully for our family. We went back to the Bible to see what God said about it. :)
This was our first year not celebrating Easter, but instead celebrating Passover and then Resurrection Sunday (which this year was on Easter) Our girls were thrilled and said this was the first time they really found something to celebrate.
We also made Resurrection cookies. They loved doing those. This is also the first year we have celebrated all the other holidays in the Bible.

Meredith - posted on 04/01/2010

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First of all, Congratulations and Welcome to the Family. Next I know its hard, but I think there is a fine line on how to deal with some of these holidays at times. I grew up in the church and enjoyed participating in some of these traditions as a child. But I always knew about the love of Jesus and the reason of the seasons. I think that is the main thing. We can still have fun and play with the eggs and the bunny as long as we maintain that it is all just for fun. I found this poem the other day and we used it with our pre-k and kindergarten kids at church last night.

Easter Is Really for Jesus

Easter is not just for the Bunny,
 
With goodies and treats that he brings,
 
Easter is when we must celebrate

And alleluia is the song that we sing!

Easter is really for Jesus, 

Who died and then rose from the dead.

We must always remember the love Jesus showed

And all of the things that He said.

So, remember this Easter when you go to Church, 

And this message you tell everyone. 

That Easter is all about Jesus,

The Bunny and treats are just fun!

My daughter is almost 2 as well. I know this year so far has been a blast. She doesn't understand much about what is going on yet, but we are laying the ground work now. Keep praying and the Lord will show you where he wants you to go.

Christa - posted on 03/29/2010

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I have been a Christian all my life. We have always celebrated the different religious holidays as most others do. However we have always known that Jesus is the reason for the celebrations. Church is always part of the day and then we get the gifts/candy, but always in moderation as they are not the focal point. I look at it as a child raised in a Christian home, there will come a time when your child will need to become a Christian on their own and not because mommy is. I feel like the more you "stifle" them with the religion the more they are going to want to pull away from it as they get older. I have seen this happen to friends of mine growing up. They start to build a resentment when they get to see all the other kids getting gifts/candy but they can't because they're a "dumb Christian". My parents never emphasized Santa or the Easter Bunny, in fact whenever I would ask who Santa was my mom would say she was, I would dismiss this as a ridiculous comment and move on. She never lied to me about his existence, I just didn't realize it until I was older. Anyway the point I'm trying to make is the focus was always God and Family, but we still got the fun stuff too. It is ok to have fun and be a Christian. :-)

DeAnne - posted on 03/15/2013

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I say, let the kids be kids. I strongly support showing, reading, and learning the true meanings of the special days that we celebrate, but in the long run - you, as a parent and a Christian know what is right. It may take a while for the young children to absorb the accurate meanings. My daughter goes to a Christrian preschool. At Christmas time, the teachers built up the holiday as being Jesus's birthday. They sang happy birthday to Jesus and shared small gifts. Now, my daughter, age 3 1/2, ties in Christmas with Jesus's birthday. For Easter, thus far, the school has shared projects all month long with the children relating Easter to the rise of Christ. They will spend 20 minutes on an Easter egg hunt, and all month on Christ's reserection. I feel as though if you can relate the meanings of the holidays with the day we celebrate by having fun, the kids are more likely to remember the true sense of Christ and the days selected to praise Him.

Kayla - posted on 03/12/2013

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My family and I are Christians and we have always celebrated as such. As kids my parents still did Santa and the Easter bunny but we knew that those holidays celebrated Jesus too. We always had church and family time too. Now that I have my own family we can do our own thing and we still are up in the air lol we dont wanna do santa or the easter bunny. For christmas i told my 4 yr old boy its lije going to Jesus's bday party and getting presents too lol and for easter i plan on saying celebration or ressurection baskets or something-

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Angela - posted on 03/20/2013

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Here’s a YouTube link which tells the story of the Three Trees in pictures:



But it goes better with the written story

Another YouTube video tells the story too:



And there are others:









So there are lots of YouTube clips that also tell the story!

Carla - posted on 03/20/2013

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It was wonderful, Angela, in fact, I copied it and will post it to FB. It's a great reminder to never think of what we do for the Lord as not being enough. HE has a plan ;)

Carla - posted on 03/20/2013

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I think that's just about the nicest story I've read in a long time, Angela. Thanks for finding it. Sometimes we don't think we matter and haven't done anything 'great' for Jesus--this story shows no matter WHAT we do, if we do it for Him, it IS great.

God bless

Angela - posted on 03/20/2013

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@ April Bateman – here is the story you spoke of:

The Three Trees
Once upon a mountain top, three little trees stood and dreamed of what they wanted to become when they grew up. The first little tree looked up at the stars and said: " I want to hold treasure. I want to be covered with gold and filled with precious stones. I'll be the most beautiful treasure chest in the world!" The second little tree looked out at the small stream trickling by on it's way to the ocean. " I want to be traveling mighty waters and carrying powerful kings. I'll be the strongest ship in the world! The third little tree looked down into the valley below where busy men and women worked in a busy town. I don't want to leave the mountain top at all. I want to grow so tall that when people stop to look at me they'll raise their eyes to heaven and think of God. I will be the tallest tree in the world.
Years, passed. The rain came, the sun shone and the little trees grew tall. One day three wood cutters climbed the mountain. The first wood cutter looked at the first tree and said, "This tree is beautiful. It is perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining ax, the first tree fell. "Now I shall make a beautiful chest, I shall hold wonderful treasure!" the first tree said.
The second wood cutter looked at the second tree and said, "This tree is strong. It's perfect for me." With a swoop of his shining axe, the second tree fell. "Now I shall sail mighty waters!" thought the second tree. " I shall be a strong ship for mighty kings!"
The third tree felt her heart sink when the last wood cutter looked her way. She stood straight and tall and pointed bravely to heaven. But the wood cutter never even looked up. "Any kind of tree will do for me." He muttered. With a swoop of his shining axe, the third tree fell.
The first tree rejoiced when the wood cutter brought her to a carpenter's shop. But the carpenter fashioned the tree into a feed box for animals. The once beautiful tree was not covered with gold, or treasure. She was coated with saw dust and filled with hay for hungry farm animals.

The second tree smiled when the wood cutter took her to a shipyard, but no mighty sailing ship was made that day. Instead the once strong tree was hammered and awed into a simple fishing boat. She was too small and too weak to sail to an ocean, or even a river, instead she was taken to a little lake.

The third tree was confused when the wood cutter cut her into strong beams and left her in a lumberyard. "What happened?" The once tall tree wondered. " All I ever wanted was to stay on the mountain top and point to God..."

Many days and nights passed. The three trees nearly forgot their dreams. But one night, golden starlight poured over the first tree as a young woman placed her newborn baby in the feed box. "I wish I could make a cradle for him." Her husband whispered. The mother squeezed his hand and smiled as the starlight shone on the smooth and sturdy wood. " This manger is beautiful." She said. And suddenly the first tree knew he was holding the greatest treasure in the world.

One evening a tired traveller and his friends crowded into the old fishing boat. The traveller fell asleep as the second tree quietly sailed out into the lake. Soon a thundering and a thrashing storm arose. The little tree shuddered. She knew she did not have the strength to carry so many passengers safely through the wind and the rain. The tired man awoke. He stood up, stretched out his hand, and said, "Peace." The storm stopped as quickly as it had begun. And suddenly the second tree knew she was carrying the king of heaven and earth.
One Friday morning, the third tree was startled when her beams were yanked from the forgotten wood pile. She flinched as she was carried through an angry jeering crowd. She shuddered when soldiers nailed a man's hand to her. She felt ugly and harsh and cruel. But on Sunday morning, when the sun rose and the earth trembled with joy beneath her, the third tree knew that God's love had changed everything. It had made the third tree strong. And every time people thought of the third tree, they would think of God. That was better than being the tallest tree in the world.

The next time you feel down because you didn't get what you wanted, sit tight and be happy because God is thinking of something better to give you ...

Ashley - posted on 03/19/2013

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I explain to my daughter whom is 9 that Jesus was crucified and on the third day he rose again,and by Jesus death,we have life and that is what Easter is all about.Im thinking about no easter baskets this year.I bought her 2 new dresses for Easter(its a surprise)My twins are only 20 months and even though I read them a picture bible for toddlers,they have no idea what I am really talking about.However we are very active in church so my dd has some knowledge on the importance of Easter.

April - posted on 08/02/2010

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There is a children's book called The Three Trees that is all about why we celebrate Christmas and Easter. You could read it to your little one to help him learn about Jesus as he grows. I can't remember who the author is, though. In my family, we do the easter baskets and we also talk about Jesus and his death and resurrection. We read the scriptures to our children, even though they may still be a little too young. But we think there is not such thing as too young where the Gospel of Jesus Christ is concerned. Teach them while they are young. You could take traditional easter symbols and teach your children the meanings as they relate to the Savior. You could even make it into a fun activity.

Candy - posted on 07/31/2010

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Oh yes Always!! As long as you make learning of Christ fun and interesting. Sometimes their minds will drift to just the basket but you can always get them back to the real reason for the celebration. Look for ways to explain everything in a Christian way. Soon you will be able to explain everything that way. I stared explain things like Snow White and Cinderella with a Christian twist. My kids learn a good leson from an old classic.I had to learn to look at things in a Christian light,but soon everything was easy to explain it in kid friendly way and in a Christian way. Good luck

Carla - posted on 07/31/2010

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Very definitely, Candy. Our celebrations were always all about Jesus. My main premise was that children can have the fun and still understand WHY we delebrate.

Candy - posted on 07/31/2010

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Anyway they want. We have an Easter basket but it is from us not a gaint bunny. We tell the story of Christ life and death. I tell the symbols of Christ as well. Eggs the symbol of life and new begining. You have to keep Christ in Easter.

Elizabeth - posted on 07/30/2010

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For Easter we have a big meal, have a day of devotions, go to church and our girls get a few items. Visiting friends & family they see all their friends and cousins getting gifts so the get an outfit and maybe a small toy. As for Christmas we do get the girls gifts not a lot but a few and they too know the true meaning of Christmas. At the same time they are not really old enough to understand it to the fullest. When they do get older they will get 3 gifts each. 3 gifts was enough for Jesus, and it is more than enough for them. But again I want them older so they understand this completely

Amy - posted on 07/28/2010

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we do the easter basket and with not much candy and 1 small gift, we go to church and hear about the wonderful resurrection. we do not do the easter bunny. we did color eggs and we used a Jesus based decorating kit. for christmas we do the christmas tree and gifts, but no santa. people think i'm crazy for not but i'm not lying to my kids about some fat man when my children should be hearing about Jesus' birth. i got upset this year when my daughter was in kindergarten because the school does the whole santa thing. if we could afford to we would send our kids to a christian academy in the area. we go to church faithfully and they hear about Jesus, i think that is the most important thing. i think you can do some things with each holiday but make sure the focus is on Jesus.

Jennifer - posted on 04/24/2010

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I know this is way past Easter, but maybe you can use it next year. We celebrate the holidays just as others do. But we have always taught our children the true reason why we celebrate Easter and Christmas. They have experience with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny, those are just the fun side of life. They have been taught the we give gifts to each other because Jesus was a gift to us. Santa Clause is an example of how we should be to our neighbors, giving simply to give (no strings attached). At Easter, we teach the lesson first, then the kids get to have a small egg hunt in which they must each find a small egg to open. The small egg is empty, there is no candy....they then have to explain to us why the egg is empty. Like when the disciples looked into the tomb and found it empty. It gives them a visual example of the Jesus' rising.

I also have a friend who makes resurrection cookies, which I will do next year. Let me know if you'd like the recipe for those, it's another good visual to help children learn about Easter.

Yes, part about both of these holidays were/are pagan, but doesn't God give us a variety of tools to help bring people to Him?

Jessica - posted on 04/12/2010

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I was raised in a christian home and yet we still did the "normal" holiday stuff but we were heavy on what the holiday was really about also. My mother would read us books on the true meaning of the holiday's and then we would get presents or Easter baskets also but she would also put candy crosses and praying hands and books with bible stories in there. And for Christmas we would get presents and stuff but we would also read the bible story of Christs birth the night before Christmas along with the Book the night before Christmas. so i think you have to balance it out and make sure they know the true meaning as i am doing with my 2 children and my mother did before me.

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Instead of celebrating Easter this year (which is named after and uses all the rituals of worship to the pagan goddess of fertility) we celebrated passover (which is way more symbolic of Christ's death, resurrection and sacrifice). I allowed chocolate eggs because at this point it is still impossible to completely eliminate them from every one I meet. Granted, I may be getting a bit extreme in this, but I experienced a deeper connection and my soul rejoiced like it never had going to sunrise services. If you'd like to read up on this I can send you a link. But like I say, this isn't for everyone and I've encountered a lot of resistance from the most surprising sources

Maria - posted on 04/11/2010

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On Christmas...as goofy as it sounds...we will sometimes make a Birthday cake for Jesus...it is really fun for the kids. Easter we spend with family and do what would be considered normal for celebrating Easter. It is not so much how you celebrate...but why you celebrate.

Amy - posted on 04/06/2010

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We celebrate using both traditions. It's impossible to remove the hype over Santa and the Easter Bunny, so we do have fun with that. There's a magic about childhood where these things are possible... personally, I don't want to quash it. We teach the boys that these figures help us to celebrate, that they are so happy about the holidays that they want to give gifts to share with others.

We also do bible readings specific to the holidays. For Christmas, we look at and touch the Nativity scene every night, and we pray "thank you, God, for sending Jesus." At easter, we watch "the Passion of the Christ." My boys are 4 and 8. This is the first year we all watched it, and it was amazing to see the impact it had on my boys. Some might think this isn't appropriate for children, but it's REAL. While Jesus was being whipped, I told them that every time we sinned, broke rules, acted in anger... we were beating him. That Jesus took all the punishment FOR us because he loves us so much.

It was one of the best parenting decisions I've ever made.

Quita - posted on 04/06/2010

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I know this is late but maybe you can use it for next year.we do a lot of fun stuff for Easter.I am really big on making memories for my kids. We dye eggs and talk about just as the egg was white when it dyed it became a new egg. just as us Christians die to our sins we become a new creation in Christ. we make Resurrection cookies which is a cookie you make with the kids and it goes through the story of Christ beating,the cross,and resurrection. I make Resurrection buns for the kids and we eat them at our sunrise service.as we watch the sun rise as Jesus did. We do an Easter egg hunt for the kids. I also show my little ones MS Patty Cake Egg-travaganza. hope this helps.My plan for next year is to go to the Holy City to see the live presentation of the Passion. hope you get some ideas.once again sorry for being so late.

Cherie - posted on 04/03/2010

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I have just finished "The Truth Project" from Focus on the Family...it's on Facebook, too...I highly recommend it.. being new to Christianity, it is easy to start to fall back Remember, that a lot of what is in traditions is pagan, too
I'd recommend also going to a bookstore and seeing what videos they have about Christ, or books about the story of his resurrection...it's what Easter is about

Evelyn - posted on 04/03/2010

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Hi Dodie, please visit kositamadu.blogspot.com for a very interesting read, I'm sure this will help you.

Rachel - posted on 04/02/2010

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I think it is a very good idea for you to read the easter story of jesus to your children. that is one of the best things you can do for your child is to share the immense love that jesus has for them and that he loved them so much that he died on the cross to save them from their sins. tell them when they are old enough to understand that the easter bunny is false and a cover up for what is really true. They then wont be fooled when they see all the commercialism and such for the easter bunny. I think instilling your own christian faith and staying strong in that is the best thing you can do for your child. I am so happy to hear that you are a new believer in the lord. Be strong. The lord is so amazing. God Bless

Jenn - posted on 04/02/2010

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I think it is great that you are trying to implement ways for your family to recognize the man made holidays through a Christian perspective. That is what my husband and I do too. For Easter our church walks the children in Sunday School through what Jesus did for us and last Sunday they all even participated in a Seder meal. Our children go to a Christian School which also walks them through the events that lead up to Resurrection Sunday (Easter). We don't get all caught up in Easter baskets, chocolate bunnies or eggs, but for fun we have hid eggs in our yard and mention to them that eggs represent new life and that is what Jesus wants for us and has given to us, so by asking Him into our hearts and continually seeking Him that is His gift to us because He loves us that much. The Resurrection eggs are also a neat tool that you can use.

Mayra - posted on 04/01/2010

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Well,everyone has there own way of viewing things.At our church we always tell the story of Jesus Christ resurection and of course have the kids talk about God and what he has done for us!We think that children are innocent and we still do the easter hunt after their bible study as a game for them to have fun.They are well taught the significance of that day(although no-one knows FOR SURE)what day it was...it's nice to remember this special day and celebrate CHRIST.

Sheila - posted on 04/01/2010

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I am a christian and I have 2 kids, On easter I'm planning to surprise them with egg hunt and fellowshipping with other christians...being a christian is fun! Of course, I told them stories why we do that.

Jackie - posted on 03/31/2010

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Easter and Christmas is all about Jesus Christ. However as a grandmother and a mother of four I knew I could not shut out the Easter eggs and baskets nor could I shut out Santa Clause and presents. When my children went to school they were faced with other children telling of parties, gifts and all that goes with these Holy days. I told my children that Santa represents the spirit of giving as God wraped Jesus in flesh and Mary wraped Him in a blanket as a gift to the world so we too wrape presents and give them in love and blessings in honar of what God gave to us.

I never indulged my children in thiking there was an Easter Bunny. We did color eggs and made Easter Baskets (The children was a psrt of that) Easter and Christmas are not pagen holidays, they started out as Holy Days, the world made them that. Point your children to what these days really mean. Than they will grow up with the truth and enjoy the fun part of it as well.

Carla - posted on 03/31/2010

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A lot of the old ways are fun, and if celebrated along with Easter sunrise service and child-friendly stories of the Resurrection, your children will grow up knowing Jesus is the Reason for the Season, and the candy and Easter egg hunt are just fringe benes. My parents, my grandparents, all Christians, fully celebrated Easter service, then it was over to Gramas for Easter egg hunt, ham with all the trimmings! Our children are serving the Lord, and not remembering the traditions as being pagan.



We have to live in the world, and as such, our children are going to find out about these fun things and are going to wonder why they don't get to share in the same. We control the circumstances, tho, and as long as Jesus is the focal point, there should be no problem.

Patsy - posted on 03/31/2010

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Dear Dodie, Don't be afraid to let your little one to see Jesus on the cross! I know i'ts hard for him to understand that He died and arose and ascended to Heaven, but NOW is the time to start teaching him. Recently, my five-year old grandson who has cerebal palsey , but is very smart was saying his God Blesses at the end of his bedtime prayers and asked me if he could God Bless Jesus, because they "tied Him to the tree"? Of course I told Bobby it was ok and was amazed that he understood that much. The whole experinece brought tears to my eyes. So even if you think your children are not listening or learning, just wait and see what pops of of those adorable little mouths. Also there is no place like church to learn, and childrens bible stories on dvd. God Bless you and yours and Happy Easter

Iysha - posted on 03/29/2010

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Well, I am going to church then meeting for lunch with some friends and family...mostly friends though (my side of the family and most of my fiancé's family are way far away). I am thinking maybe a pot luck so no one person does the cooking. I still want to do an easter egg hunt...the kids would think it's fun.

Heather - posted on 03/29/2010

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We do not do the easter bunny thing at our house. We have a collection of videos that we watch at the time leading up to Easter. Veggie tails Easter Carol, the Jesus Film, and a film of a play that I did in high school called His Last Days. We read the story of Palm Sunday, and then on Thursday we read about Judas' betrayal, on Friday we read about Jesus' death, and on Sunday His resurrection. You can look on line at some cool ideas of things to do...
Here are a few sites that might help:
http://www.crivoice.org/cyholyweek.html
http://www.faithclipart.com/guide/Christ...

A friend of mine gave me a copy of an article with several ideas for things you can do. From celebrating Lent and fasting, Lenten candles and Resurrection trees, to making an Easter mountain out of play dough and adding to it each day (you could do the same with a resurrection tree).

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