By Jamie Kahm
Celebrating the Easter SEASON is something new to me. For the first time last year, we decorated for LENT instead of Easter on Ash Wednesday. Lent decor included purple cloths, vases with rocks, and coloring pages of Stations of the Cross hanging around our house. On Good Friday, we covered all of our crucifixes with purple cloth. On Easter Sunday, we removed those cloths, hung a sign that says “Alleluia” and decorated for Easter.
Although a new tradition, I love this switch in our family to make Lent more of a period of waiting and hoping. Following that, we get to celebrate the JOY of Easter for not just one day, but 50 whole days! Yes- the Easter season is 50 days- starting on Easter Sunday and ending on the Pentecost- the birthday of our Catholic church! Maybe you knew this already, but I became more aware of this last year by celebrating with my kids. I think this year, more than ever, it will be a gift to celebrate this time in the mist of not being able to celebrate and do daily life in our normal way.
I’m sure you have some wonderful ideas of how you celebrate this Easter time, and would love to hear them below (please post your ideas in the comment section!). We thought we’d share a few we’ve done or heard about.
50 Day Calendar Count-Downs:
First- here are some ideas if you want to do some sort of countdown to make celebrating the Easter season a VISIBLE sign for your kids. Pick one that works best for you if you are interested.
- 50 Days of Easter Countdown: Find some clip-art eggs, Print 50 eggs, label with date, tape on door and take one down each day.
- Hang 50 plastic eggs, 1 for each day of Easter: This could be on an Easter tree, on an egg garland, or however else you can imagine it. (Find Easter mantel ideas on catholicicing.com)
- Printable Easter DIY Bundle: This is an $8 digital download; cut, order and tape up (plus other items in bundle). Find bundle at catholicallyear.com.
- Easter Countdown Coloring Sheet: free; just print with the link below.
- Color in each day as it passes
- OR add a sticker each day.
Your Home as a Sanctuary
Next, there are other visible ways to keep the Easter celebration going in your home. If your family is your domestic church, then your home is your sanctuary and you are the head of the alter society! Considering the spiritual icons, symbols, and decorations with in your home is particularly important during this season when you cannot go inside our church. Here are some examples:
- Lighting a special candle each night at dinner
- Keeping fresh (or decorative/craft) flowers around
- Draping your crucifixes with a white cloth
- Making cross or other “He is Risen” type crafts
Replacing “Fast” with “Feast”
For Lent, we planned one sacrifice, prayer, or act of kindness to focus on for each week of Lent as a family. For Easter, we are going to plan a fun family activity to celebrate for every week. Examples include:
- Flying a kite
- Having a picnic
- Planting a garden (or fairy garden)
- Water balloons
- Movie night
- Making Easter shaped cookies
- Camping in the backyard
- Painting rocks with messages of joy and leaving them around walking trails
- Making a scrapbook of your stay-at-home time
- Having a bonfire and making s’mores.
The Grand Finale: Pentecost
And finally, we plan to end with a big celebration at the end of the Easter season for Pentecost! I will share some ideas again, but I think having a birthday cake with red icing or sprinkles or drawing flames with icing for the birthday of our Catholic church is a good and fun one to start with. Other ideas:
- Make a fire /flame craft
- Make a dove craft
- Play “pin the tongues of fire” on the apostles
- Pray “Come Holy Spirit”
- Recite the “Veni Creator Spiritus” for plenary indulgence
Maybe you are like me and have been Catholic all your life, but celebrating the liturgical year is more of a new thing to you. No matter where you are at, celebrating these seasons and feast days are powerful memories for your family. My kids already remember the new things we tried out last year during the Easter season are looking forward to them!
For more ideas, I recommend checking out www.catholicicing.com or getting this book, “The Catholic All Year Compendium: Liturgical Living for Real Life” by Kendra Tierney. Those two places, as well as inspiration from some awesome Catholic families and the Ascension Family Life Ministry have been my go-tos for ideas on how to create a holy and fun way to learn and celebrate out Catholic faith throughout the year.
How do you celebrate the Easter Season with your family?