Easter is a fun holiday, filled with celebration of spring renewal, color, and sweet things. But, more importantly, it is a celebration of the resurrection of the Savior.
We talk a lot about Christmas and traditions, but what about Easter? President Gordon B. Hinckley says, "There would be no Christmas if there had not been Easter. The babe Jesus of Bethlehem would be but another baby without the redeeming Christ of Gethsemane and Calvary, and the triumphant fact of the Resurrection."
After discussing it on our Facebook page and hearing some of your ideas (join us on Facebook), we decided to put together a list. Here are a few ideas for incorporating more of a celebration of Christ in your Easter this year:
Read the First Presidency Easter Message with your family or close friends. Click here to get it.
Watch some of the Church's new Bible videos. The Church has produced some beautiful new videos depicting events of the Bible. Watching the resurrection video, in particular, would be perfect for an Easter activity. Click here to see it.
Read through some of the resources in our article "Preparing for Easter: Ideas for Celebrating." The article contains an advent calendar for the weeks leading up to Easter; while it's too late to use it exactly as outlined, it has a great outline for a discussion of the final days of the Savior's life. To find out more about Eric Huntsman's book God So Loved the World: The Final Days of the Savior's Life, click here.
In addition, here are some of our own staff traditions – both fun and Christ-centered:
Alexa Justesen, Intern
In my family we did the standard Easter egg hunt, but my mom would do neat spiritual things with them. Most of the plastic eggs held candy or coins, but some would hold symbolic items such as thorns to represent the crown of thorns the Savior wore or nails to represent him being nailed to the cross, or white cloth to represent his resurrection. After we found all of the eggs we’d get together and talk about each of the symbols. I remember it being really neat.
Mandy Slack, Intern
When I was a kid, my parents hid the Easter baskets. I remember my dad used to make the baskets out of our plastic cereal bowls, which could seem pathetic but is actually a fun memory for me. I remember finding the bowls of candy in the microwave or weird places like that. Also, my grandparents hid little chocolate eggs in their yard and we would go look for as many as we could.
Kate Ensign-Lewis, Online Editor
My favorite thing growing up was the huge Easter egg hunt my grandma would have. Each of us had a big See's chocolate egg deviously hidden somewhere, like inside the peanut butter jar or the air conditioning vent. But since starting my own family, one of my favorite things is reading through the story of the resurrection with my husband. It's a small thing, but I think it's a perfect companion tradition to re-enacting the nativity, which we always do at Christmas.
Brad Hayes, Designer
One of our traditions takes place when we all dye Easter eggs. There is always a contest for the ugliest egg. We do this because in order to create beautiful eggs you need to not be afraid to mess one up.
Ruthann Cunningham, Circulation Director
When I was growing up, we always got church CDs and Mormon Ad posters in our Easter baskets instead of candy.
Kaela Worthen Gardner, Associate Editor
My family always does an Easter egg hunt in the morning with all the fun candies and goodies and such, but in the evening, we have a special Easter basket filled with numbered plastic eggs. Each one has a scripture and a small item that represents a part of the Easter story. The last egg is empty, with only the scripture “He is not here: for he is risen” (Matthew 28:6). It’s a great way to connect all the fun of the morning and the secular Easter traditions to the true meaning of what we’re celebrating—Christ’s Atonement for all of us.
Ashley Evanson, Online Editor
Growing up we didn't have many spiritual Easter traditions, but now that I'm grown, I've thought of a few I'd like to incorporate into my own family. One is baking Resurrection Rolls - an idea I got from a cousin. Here's how it works:
can crescent roll dough
8 large marshmallows
1. Preheat oven to 350 and read John 19 while it's heating.
2. Roll out the dough and explain how it is like the cloth they wrapped Jesus' body in.
3. Explain how a marshmallow is like Jesus, pure and white without sin, and it represents his body.
4. Roll the marshmallow in the melted butter and then cinnamon sugar, representing the oils and spices they placed on Jesus' body before burying him.
5. Roll the marshmallow in the dough, pinching the edges shut. Explain how this is like wrapping Jesus' body in the cloth.
6. Put the rolls in the oven, or the tomb, for 12 min.
7. While they bake, read John 20:1-18.
8. When baked, open up the rolls to discover the marshmallow is gone, just like Jesus' body was gone from the tomb because he was resurrected.
Your turn: What are some of your favorite Easter traditions? Let us know in the comments below.