What can you put in an Easter Basket that actually represents what you believe about the holiday?
Because I consider my faith in Christ precious and an integral part of my every day life, I don’t like it when it’s implied that I celebrate religious holidays like a pagan. Like references that Easter eggs came from pagan celebrations of spring long before Christ’s time and therefore don’t really have anything to do with his resurrection. I enjoy our Easter basket traditions, eggs, treats, and all that. But I want the experience of Easter to go beyond a celebration of springtime, as grateful as I am that’s it’s finally here, and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
One way we strive to remember the resurrection during Easter is by what we find in our Easter Basket. At our house, we find our Easter baskets on Easter morning similar to finding stockings on Christmas morning–a family processional down the stairs from our bedrooms, only when we’ve got appropriate music on, breakfast in the oven, the teenagers have miraculously been woken from the dead, and the camera’s rolling.
There’s still a bit of Easter candy there, but rather than fill up a whole basket with that stuff, I try to think of other small gifts that represent Easter in a more religious and edifying way. Here are some of the things I have come up with, some more for small children, some for older kids.
A copy of the scriptures. Little kids that can’t even read still like those little copies of the New Testament to have for their very own.
Uplifting music. On CD, sheet music to play, or a small hymnal or children’s songbook.
Recorded religious talks.
A new tie for the boys or pretty hair accessory for girls to wear to church.
Flashlights. Christ is the light of the world. And the little ones love having their own. With batteries.
Sunglasses. Because of the brightness of the Son. And because they want a new pair.
A watch. Because they have been given time as a gift, and what they do with it is a gift as well.
Seeds, gardening gloves or small tools. Christ taught the law of the harvest, and we all love to see the miracle of seeds sprouting. And for those of us living in the northern hemisphere, it’s spring!
Swim goggles. Because summer is coming and they’ll need them. You could say things about the symbols of water and seeing too. And exercise, taking care of the bodies God has given us.
A good book. The glory of God is intelligence–read. And because getting a nice new book is a special occasion. Last year I got my 7 year old a nicely bound copy of The Secret Garden by Frances Hogson Burnett, planning on reading it to her. She enjoyed so much carrying it back and forth to school each day and showing it off, that she read the whole thing herself. I’m thinking Anne of Green Gables this year…
For my teenagers I’ve got my eye on an audio CD performance of C.S. Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters for my kid that listens to recorded books every night, and for my older son C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, which I found both thought provoking and delightfully entertaining when I finally read it just a few years ago.
What beyond-the-bunny Easter Basket ideas do you have?