When I was a child, my siblings and I never had Easter baskets. Our sole focus was on Jesus’ resurrection and church events. We did get new Easter clothes, usually a dress, white sweater, white gloves, and a bonnet. We never felt like we were missing out on the Easter baskets. In fact, I didn’t know they existed until someone from church gave us one. We also colored Easter eggs and then gave them to people who might not otherwise have any, usually elderly people.
Fast forward to my children’s Easters. Like my parents, I wanted to keep the focus on Jesus, but I also wanted to give them baskets. What to do? I decided to try to fill their baskets with things that would remind them of new life and the resurrection. So in addition to candy, I often filled their baskets with gardening supplies. I’d buy seed packets, gardening gloves, spades and garden claws, kneeling pads, watering cans, and maybe a book about gardening. If I could find a religious activity or coloring book, I’d add that, too, along with new crayons or colored pencils. Today, many of these items can be found at dollar stores.
The last couple years at church I’ve organized an event where kids release helium-filled balloons while yelling, “Jesus is alive!” or “He is risen!” I explain that after Jesus was raised from the dead, He was seen by over 500 people before he ascended into heaven, just like our balloons. Soon, the adults wanted to get in on this balloon release, so now we include them, too.
Share an Easter memory from your own childhood in the comments below or tell how you celebrate Easter with the kids in your life.