Monday, May 2, 2011

It's all about LOVE

In years past, I wouldn't lie we have had a hard time balancing out the commercialized side of Easter and the true meaning of Easter. The area we live in makes it hard sometimes to keep all of the Easter celebrations under control. Every city and church offers a full range of activities from Easter egg hunts and carnivals. It's very easy to get caught up with all the fun activities and not enough emphasis on the true meaning of the holiday which is the Savior.

While I think it is really important that the true meaning of Easter (and of other religious holidays) be the focus of the day, I do think it is ok to have a little fun with holidays as well. Basically, there needs to be a balance. Leroy and I managed to make it back in time to celebrate Easter with the kids. We only had a few days before Easter to come up with our plan of action. The weather caused most of our plans to change at the last minute but to tell you the truth it really helped us to keep the holiday more simple and more spiritual.

Here's what we did to make the holiday more special with the kids plus grandma and grandpa Nichols were here to celebrate Easter as a whole family. We dyed Easter eggs, indoor Easter egg hunt, and we attended a very nice Easter egg hunt at Landon's friend church which was really nice plus it had a good balance between learning about the atonement and the fun side.

My mom made Resurrection rolls with the kids. Everyone really enjoyed this activity and they taste good as well.

One can of crescent roll dough
8 large marshmallows (or one for each roll you’ll be making)
Melted butter
Cinnamon sugar
Bible or Easter storybook
Assemble rolls and read the story:
1. Read John 19 while the oven is pre-heating according to the package directions. If you’re really on top of things, spend the week before reading John 12-18 with your kids.
2. Unroll the crescent rolls. Explain that this is like the cloth they wrapped Jesus in.
3. Give your child a marshmallow and explain that it represents Jesus… all white and pure because He was without sin.
4. Roll the marshmallows in the melted butter. This symbolizes the embalming oils.
5. Roll the marshmallows in the cinnamon sugar. This is like the spices used to prepare his body for burial.
6. Wrap the marshmallow in the crescent roll cloth, pinching the dough together securely. Don’t worry about the shape so much, they’ll taste the same no matter how you roll or bundle them. This represents how they would have wrapped Jesus’ body. I like to brush them with more melted butter, but it’s not necessary.
7. Put the rolls in the oven (symbolizing the tomb) and bake for the amount of time specified on the
8. While the rolls are baking, read John 20:1-18.
9. Open the tomb and remove the rolls. When they’re cool enough to handle, break one open and discover what happened to the marshmallow. Jesus is risen! At this point, I also read 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18. Jesus is coming again!

Several years ago, a good friend gave me this Easter bunny cake pan. She told me that every year she would make this cake for her kids and it was a special tradition and she was going to pass it onto me. I made it one time, several years ago. Every year, I would feel the guilt of not making the cake. So, this year I decided to stop making excuses and I whipped up this really cute Easter cake.

The final three activities:
1.) Easter baskets that contained only candy no gifts. I'm really surprised how many people give their kids bikes and all kinds of material gifts. This I used to give the kids bubbles and kites in their baskets but I wouldn't be doing that anymore. I don't want the holiday to turn into a huge production plus I don't want it to be so commericalized.
2.) Several years ago, I put together my own set of Resurrection rolls. I just googled it and made one that fits our family. The kids love this lesson and I just have the older kids read each strip of paper. The set contains twelve eggs with a message and symbol that tells the Easter story.
3.) I pulled out all of the pictures from my gospel picture kids. I had the kids take turns telling the story about the Resurrection. I'm super surprised that Landon knew every picture and story. This was the last activity we did on Easter which was followed up with Easter Bunny Cake!

Oh my, I'm not sure if any one is still reading this post but I just have one more thing to say about celebrating the Easter holiday. I love getting the kids new clothes to wear for Easter Sunday. While in Hawaii, I was able to pick up my mom and the kids matching Hawaiian dresses.

I know that the Savior lives and he made it possible for us to return to him because of the Atonement and Resurrections. The greatest gift he gave us was LOVE so we would be able to return to him and Heavenly Father in Heaven. So, it's all about Love.

1 comment:

Emily Larkin said...

Excellent post! I feel the exact same way about Easter. I do need to make it more religious though. I love that no matter what we have regular church on Easter. I have always been sad that we don't have a special Christmas service, and that when Christmas is on Sunday they cut it short. Seems so backwards. Anyhoo. Love the Hawaii dresses. You are such a good mom.