Being Intentional with Easter
I love Easter. It’s such a bright and loving occasion. For Christians, Easter is not about the Easter bunny, the baskets or the colored eggs (although those things are fun). It's about the promise that God has saved his people from an eternity without him, through Jesus Christ. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and was buried after his crucifixion. He rose from the grave on the 3rd day (1 Corinthians 15:4), and that is why we celebrate Easter. Because He ROSE. Death could not hold Jesus. What bigger declaration of love could you ask for? When’s the last time someone sacrificed their life for yours? I can’t think of a single instance. This is a holiday of thankfulness and remembrance for what Jesus has sacrificed and accomplished for us.
If you believe this, it only makes sense that you’d want to share this special day with your loved ones and children. I know Jesus’ resurrection is a tough concept for many adults to accept; it’s got to be hard for your kids to understand. I think our modern day Easter baskets can be the perfect transition in helping you talk about the bigger picture. Or, they can be. This is our first Easter really celebrating with Silas. Last year he was only 10 months old and I didn't feel he would truly appreciate a basket. He did get a sweet Jesus Easter book from my mom though, which brings me to my point. I believe we should be very intentional with the items we chose to put in our children’s Easter baskets.
Do you know why we even give Easter baskets? I've broken down the origin of the Easter basket and what you can fill them with, in my blog post for Columbia SC Moms Blog. Which will be available soon. Once we’re clear on why we celebrate Easter and why we give baskets in the first place, I think it will help you decide what is important enough to put in this special little basket. This is what Silas' Easter basket is composed of and why.
I chose this particular style, because it can double as a toy holder when he is finished using it as an Easter basket. It will go with any style and it’s deep enough to hold a lot of things. I also knew he wouldn’t care about what kind of basket I chose, so I picked something neutral and practical. I may not do this every year, but it worked this time around.
I actually ended up using some packing paper for the main filler of this basket, to raise the items to the top. Then I layered this crinkly green “grass” over that, to give it a more fun “spring” vibe. I chose this multi toned green because it’s fun and resembles real grass. There isn’t any significance to picking out your grass filler, just whatever is fun and will make your child happy.
For my “intentional” items, I chose a stuffed lamb and a book. I chose the lamb because I want to explain how Jesus is like a lamb that was sacrificed for our sins, when he was pure and blameless. I’m sure he won't understand a word of it, but you’ve got to start somewhere. I’d rather give him a toy that has some significance rather than one that has none. Also, it’s cute and fuzzy and I know he can at least appreciate that! As for the book, I wanted to get him something that shows God’s love in a way he can understand and relate too. This little Precious Moments book was the perfect example of that, and it even has scripture in it to go with all the little prayers/sayings. I was not happy about that price tag, but if you’re going to spend money on something, it might as well be the important things
In my post about the origin of the Easter basket, I mentioned that you should also include items that help your children create, learn and have fun. That’s why I have also included a coloring book with crayons and stickers in Silas’ basket. This was like a 3 for 1 kind of deal for me, which I could not pass up. I also chose some little goodies that I know he will love and play with all the time. He has been talking nonstop for the past few weeks about airplanes; so when I saw these wind up jets, I had to get them. As a parent, I personally LOVE these kinds of toys because they move, but don’t require any batteries, therefore they never die. The little basketball goal will be a fun way for him to learn some coordination and throwing skills. And he is obsessed with bubbles. The ones I’ve chosen are cool because you blow them through a straw, so hopefully he will enjoy chasing those around.
The final item I added to Silas’ basket is candy. I chose these Reese’s eggs because they were an appropriate size for him, and he loves peanut butter and chocolate. I will not give him the whole bag because he does not need that much sugar. Also though, because we like Reese’s too, so they will not go to waste. It’s just a little taste of something sweet for our sweet little boy.
You don't have to spend a fortune on these baskets. The goal is to celebrate Easter with your children and show them a tangible way that you care. But you also want to remember what the true meaning of Easter is about, and not get hung up on all the “stuff”. Your kids don't need a huge basket full of junk, you could get them that stuff at any point in the year. What they need are parents who are willing to take a stand against a materialistic world and point them towards Jesus. Because after all, Jesus is the reason for the season.