Just like with Christmas, Easter is a bit of a tricky holiday for Emily and me to celebrate. We're really committed Mormons (i.e. Christians), who believe this time of year to be of critical importance to our entire existence. At the same time, we have young children, and we live in the real world. We walk through aisles and aisles of plasticky, sugary stuff at Target, and think hard about how to make Easter (/springtime) fun and magical for our kids, and teach them the deep importance of it at the same time.
This morning I'll show you some of my favorite ways to celebrate springtime and renewal in my home, and Emily will focus on the real stuff.I like to bring natural elements in when I decorate. I feel like spring is the season I feel the most naturally happy--like I don't even have to try. It's the warmer, longer days. It's the pink trees, full of blossoms, and the bulbs popping up everywhere. It makes my soul want to sing!
So, on my mantle I have my Easter tree (more info and how-to here). I love it. The colorful eggs and cheerful birds make me smile all day.
here is another tree I saw in BHG. My tree (also inspired by BHG) took a lot of time. This other one would be much simpler I think.
Speaking of trees, my mother let me lop a few branches off her blossoming plum tree to bring inside. I am crazy about it! The birdies have wire on their feet to wrap around the branches--I think you could find them at a craft store (my mother has a zillion of them--she liked birds before they were cool). Just make sure that you pull the blossoms off the part of the branch that's in the water so they don't get yucky.
The bottom line though, is that if you have time for all the decor and it adds something to your life, then great. But for us, it should only be symbolic of why we have Easter in the first place.
As I searched the internet for pastel colored images and clever Easter crafts, I felt amiss. This is all fluff, I thought, as I clicked through slide-shows at marthastewart.com; what I really want to share, is that the real beauty in all these pastel adornments, lies in what they represent. Renewal. New life. Redemption. And the possibility of eternity.
Many times with Easter, the things that are supposed to be symbols and reminders, become the whole affair. And the real meaning, the actual miracle, is lost in a cheap, plastic charade. That is sad.
I was reading back through the archives of my personal blog tonight and I came across this bit from last April:
"I have never loved Easter so much as I loved it this year. One of the most poignant feelings I have felt recently is that I need to teach my children why we celebrate Easter. While I listened to Elder Holland's words, it came to my heart like bricks, "my children have to understand this." I thought of the cross and the garden and all the associated suffering, and couldn't abide the thought of my children thinking Easter is just about candy and bunnies and chicks."
So, to draw this all together into some kind of coherent conclusion, I hope you use these ideas we've shared. I hope you make an Easter tree and have an egg&spoon relay and deck your tabletops with cut branches and birds. But I hope that in each of those things, you are reminded of the most beautiful reality of this season. And the possibilities for renewal and redemption that are real to us because of what happened in the Spring time, 2000 years ago.
** Don't forget to submit your Spring Photos by this evening. We'll post finalists tomorrow! **