Every holiday we stay so very busy trying to fit in all the festivities. For the Fourth of July, we go to visit my family in West Virginia for the week. They have a huge celebration at the town park where we spend our whole day seeing everyone we know and love. Then we race over to Deep Creek, MD to watch the fireworks over the lake, grabbing a quick dinner on the way. We spend every day doing something different with part of the family, trying to see everyone and fit in everything in one week.
In the fall we stay busy with fall festivals and two special birthdays in October and pumpkin carving/painting and school festivities, and trick or trunk at church.
At Christmas time we have church gatherings and separate family gatherings, immediate family, then extend family on both sides. We have cookie making nights and town tree lighting events. Santa visits. Light sight-seeing. And we always try to do something special, something new each year. This past year it was going to see Tweetsie Railroad’s Christmas. So much jam packed into one month and it’s over before we know it.
Every Easter we are so busy throughout the week with school and work and our every day lives that we don’t even think about it being Holy Week. Easter egg hunt Saturday. Then it’s church Sunday morning and then family gatherings all day long. We get caught up in outfit searching and preparing and before we know it, it’s all over. Again.
Normal life is so hectic and chaotic that we get caught up in the planning and preparing. We forget to talk to our children about the meaning of the holiday we are celebrating. We get caught up in making it fun or trying to fulfill every obligation, volunteering here and there that we forget to make family time.
We forget to talk about what matters. We forget to share with our children. We forget to watch their faces light up when they open a gift or a basket or a piece of candy because we are so worried about getting to our next place.
If quarantine has done anything positive for me it’s this- I’ve learned to make more of the time we spend together. I’ve learned to make the best of the situation laid before us. I’ve learned to slow down and focus on what matters the most.
This year, with all the free time on my hands, I decided to make the best of this holiday with my boys. I made a point to tell them about Palm Sunday, Holy Week, Good Friday, and Easter. What it’s all about. I’ve quizzed them every day to make sure they don’t forget that Christ is risen!
We’ve done activities every day. We’ve had a fun filled, educational, spiritual, eventful week.
We started off with a simple discussion on Palm Sunday- we talked about what this holiday is about and what happened on Palm Sunday.
Monday we talked about Holy Week and we painted our front door for the week, as a symbol of hope in this sad time, as a reminder of what we believe and Who we believe in, and as a mark of beauty in a trying time.
Tuesday we did more Easter trivia.
Wednesday we watched two of the Veggie Tales Easter movies.
Thursday we talked about why we spend time with family on holidays and the boys slept over at Nana’s with their cousin. Play time for them! Rest time for mommy. After being cooped up for almost four weeks we all needed a break from each other and nana was missing her babies.
Friday, mommy did some secret Easter shopping while boys were still at Nana’s. We had a family movie night and watched The Greatest Showman, totally un-Easter related but such a good movie and one of our favorites!
Saturday we did a lot. We got a new chicken coop with one chicken. It was given to us by some friends and yes we plan to get more chickens. The boys learned a lot about eggs and where they come from and how they have nothing to do with the true meaning of Easter but they are fun! Then we planted jelly beans, because on the fun side of things, the night before Easter is a magical night. Not only does the Easter bunny come, but the jelly beans grow into lollipops! (This is a new thing we started this year and I’m a bit skeptical- when the Easter bunny went out to replace the jelly beans with lollipops, they were covered in ants. Relocating would raise a red flag to our oldest. Living out in the boonies, I felt like the lollipops would be stolen by our country critters overnight but we gave it a shot!) I wrapped the lollipops tightly in clear plastic wrap and yay!! No bugs this morning! We then boiled some of our new chicken eggs and colored them for a Easter. We did “galaxy eggs” this year and it was so easy and so fun! Then off to bed so the Easter bunny could get to work.
One of my favorite traditions as a child was waking up to find my Easter basket. Yes- you read that right! I had to FIND it. The Easter bunny always hid it from us and we had to hunt for it. It was so much fun and so exciting. I’ve kept this tradition with my boys and it’s so funny watching them search. I even made David look for his basket! A manly basket of course. The joy in their faces is worth it all. I’ve laughed so hard at these boys today! Laughter does my heart good. The Easter bunny knew they have had a thing for digging up worms and playing with bugs lately so he got them critter boxes! We let the boys see their grandparents. We wrapped it up with and Easter egg hunt inside this evening at home.
We’ve had such a wonderful Holy Week and Easter- even in quarantine! I believe my children not only enjoyed the slow pace but also have also had an awesome understanding of what Easter really is- more than ever before. I think they are leaning to cherish time spent together! We’ve made the best of our circumstances and we’ve had a phenomenal time celebrating the Risen King!
I saw a post on Facebook that really moved me:
How can you not be excited about that? It is sad that church doors had to be closed today, but instead of focusing on the sad, let it represent the empty tomb!! Christ lives. He lives in me. He saved me.
On a Friday, Satan thought he had won, but he soon found out that he was wrong! The tomb was as empty as our church today! That’s pretty empty! We can’t wait to get back to church but I’m choosing to use this moment as a reminder that Christ rose from the dead to save me from my sins and now he sits at the right hand of the Father to intercede for me and you! CHILLS!
HE LIVES!!! Happy Easter to you all. No matter the circumstance, there is hope in the man that died and raised three days later!!