Back home Easter was nearly as big a holiday as Christmas. I was quite shocked when first moving to Utah to attend BYU at just how marginalized Easter was here. Part of that I figured was due to it typically coming near finals when no student had a lot of free time. Part was Conference Weekend so often falling on or near Easter. Once I graduated I realized that wasn’t the cause at all.
I still can’t quite understand why Easter is so minor in Utah. It’s not even a holiday! Schools could put spring break the week of Easter but rarely do. (Ours was last week) There are activities of course such as easter egg hunts. But by and large it doesn’t quite have the emphasis that Christmas does. While I love Christmas this seems quite wrong. After all while Christmas celebrates the birth of Christ, Easter commemorates the act Christ came to do. It was so important that prior to his coming the Law of Moses made it the most important day of the Jewish calendar: the Day of Atonement.
What I thought I’d do is list a few family activities we engage in. Both the fun and perhaps more secular kind as well as the religious. Please chime in with your own.
1. Easter egg hunt. OK, how could I not add this? This one is much easier when you don’t have 9:00 AM church of course. Because we were tied to the kids blood sugars getting all out of whack from eating too much candy we started putting coins in many of the eggs. I’ll confess Easter morning is nearly as much fun for me as Christmas morning is. The children awake to find eggs hidden throughout the house and have to find them.
2. Easter egg rolls. Hard boiled eggs are a must here. Each child gets a stick to push the egg and have to get it to the finish line.
3. Spring clothing. It’s an odd tradition, but usually we buy the kids new spring dresses and clothes for our son. If we remember to wash them first they can wear their new clothes to Church that day.
4. Handle’s Messiah. A classic and just makes Easter for me. I plan on having it blaring during the egg hunt.
5. Atonement Scriptures. I don’t always use the same scriptures. This year I plan on reading (haven’t decided the order) D&C 19:15-20, Luke 23, and Mosiah 15:1-12. We’ll probably read them as we color easter eggs.
7. Easter Egg Tree. I usually get a small set of sticks (pussy-willows are best but hard to find here in Utah) and make a tree out of them we put in the middle of the dining room table. We then hollow out eggs (making a German Pancake feast), dye them and decorate them. When dry we put ribbon in them and hang them from the tree. It’s sort of an Easter version of the Christmas tree.
Please let me know what you do. We’re doing the scripture reading and Easter tree tonight as an early Family Home Evening. (Note the picture isn’t my tree but one I found on Pinterest – pussy willows were much more common for Easter back in Nova Scotia but are hard to find here)