Creating an Easter Advent Calendar


Continuing the discussion of Easter traditions, we are going to take the “Resurrection Eggs” and use them to begin a new tradition.  In our house growing up, every Good Friday, we sat in the living room and opened a few plastic eggs that my mom had put together.  This helped us visualize the Easter Story.  A few years ago in a bookstore, I saw that someone had expounded on the idea my mom had while we were kids.  Because there are twelve eggs, it may take a while to go through all of them with your children in one sitting.  So what we are going to suggest that you open one egg a day leading up to Easter Sunday, and have an activity that will help explain the egg that was opened. They can be used as an Advent Calendar to Easter Sunday.  There is already a devotional written in each so we will provide the family activity over the next few days.

To have the last egg land on Easter Sunday, you need to begin the devotions and activities on March 24th.  That will give you a week ahead to plan.  That will also give you a set of activity ideas for the break.

Along the way if you have any creative activity ideas, please let us know!

Creating an Easter Advent Calendar2010-03-13T13:14:10-04:00

Easter Traditions


What are some fun Easter family traditions?   There are many fun traditions that we can start as families to prepare families for the Easter Holiday.   Parents can explain the standard tradition of dyeing eggs by sitting around the table together.  There are varying theories as to why we dye eggs, but it is a tradition in Greece and Syria to give eggs dyed red as gifts to represent Jesus death and resurrection.  Families today can use the egg dyeing experience to share the gospel, that we receive beautiful new life in Christ. The eggshell also represents the “cracking open” of Christ’s tomb to bring out our new life.  Ask the children what they think the eggs mean concerning the Easter story.

Continuing on with that tradition, hosting a neighborhood Easter egg hunt is another fun activity that allows the gospel to be presented.

Baking and decorating cookies is also a very fun memory maker.  You can also easily make fun candy, as well.  A great tradition to start is wrapping up all of your homemade baked goods and taking them to a nursing facility on Easter weekend.  On holidays that can become centered on what I get, it is a great reminder to be able to give.  That helps us to focus on the true meaning behind Easter and the amazing gift we were given- Eternal Life.

Easter Traditions2010-03-13T13:10:46-04:00

Focusing on Easter


Easter can’t be treated like just another holiday.  It is the foundation for our faith.  Our churches spend countless hours preparing for a ministry opportunity to reach out to the lost.  Why don’t we do this as families? An incredible amount of time is spent leading up to and preparing for Christmas.  Easter should be the same… or even bigger.

Some use a “Lent season” to prepare for Easter. A time when a family chooses to give up something to prepare your focus and heart in the weeks leading up to Easter.  The challenge is to transfer this lesson to children in a way they can understand?

There are many traditions that can be started around the Easter season to help bring the Easter story to a level children can understand.  We will be discussing a few of them over the next few days.

Something to think about as a family is, how do we share the Easter story with those around us?  Is there something that you can do in your community to honor Jesus, and be His ambassador as a family during this holiday season?

Focusing on Easter2010-03-13T13:05:01-04:00

Making Evenings Count


With the economy the way it is, it is difficult for families to make ends meet.  Many families have to work as hard as they can, so the thought of a break adds even more stress. Younger children are at camps or daycare during the day.  To parents that have to work, this may add extra guilt because they would rather be home enjoying their child’s time off.

Choose to make your evenings count.  Like we talked about yesterday, choose to not allow your TV to dominate your family entertainment.  Because it’s a break, allow your kids to stay up a little bit later so you can take full advantage of those evenings home.   Take some added stress off of your plate by allowing each child to take a night and choose the family’s activity.   This allows each child not only the experience of planning and feeling important, but also the lesson of choosing to be excited about doing something they may not completely want to do.

On this break, break the school year rules. Let them stay up later and have fun.

Making Evenings Count2010-03-06T14:30:05-04:00

Family Fun


Does your family depend on TV for entertainment?  What would happen if you turned off your TV?  Like many others, your family may not even know how to talk to each other let alone have fun together. Use this break.  A break is a great time to try something new. Turn your TV off for at least 24 hrs.  Have a family TV fast.  If you use your TV a lot, be prepared for some whining and complaining but have no fear, this is where the plan comes into play.

You can sit with your family the night before the TV fast, and if your children are older, take a family vote for creative ideas for family night.  Kids that have a piece of the planning tend to be more excited and invested.

If your kids are younger be creative and be sure to communicate excitement.  Family game nights or tournaments, complete with snacks, are always fun.  Make your own ice cream creation.  Family picnics are also great memory makers.  If you get off work to late to go out for a picnic, you can always create a family picnic right there on the floor of your living room.

These kinds of simple family events are the things they remember!

Family Fun2010-03-06T14:26:27-04:00

The Family Missions Trip


Breaks can be a wonderful time to accomplish things as a family, but that doesn’t always have to mean work.  Consider spending a day doing a mini missions trip as a family.  Many churches use breaks to offer international missions trips but a family missions trip doesn’t have to leave the city around you.   There are many opportunities to teach your kids to be selfless right in your back yard.  What a good tradition to start teaching that every break from school, at least one day will be given to help those around us in need.

You could take your family to volunteer at a homeless shelter or soup kitchen.  Nursing facilities are also a wonderful place to give of your time.  Older people love to see children and many of them don’t have family close to visit.  You can also check with your church to see if there are any people who need a meal taken to them or their house cleaned.  You can spend the day cooking with your kids making and delivering a meal.  Creating this experience for your children may take some time to plan but it is a lesson worth teaching.  You can even get your children involved in ideas and planning to get them even more excited about it.  Spend some time around the table tonight bouncing ideas off your children, You may be surprised at how creative they can be. Remember that excitement is contagious so if you want your kids to be excited about helping others you have to communicate your excitement!!

Let us know what ideas you come up with, your creativity may help spark ideas for another family!

The Family Missions Trip2010-02-26T15:11:52-04:00

What do we do with Easter?


We’re focusing on two areas for March, the first is making the most of your spring break with your children.  Breaks can be a very valuable time with our children but we have to plan ahead to make the most of them.   To invest in your children you don’t want to waste these moments simply as dead time.

The second focal point for March will be Easter.  As a society, we seem to spend an enormous amount of time preparing for Christmas.  Why not even more preparation for Easter? This is the holiday that lays the very foundation for the Christian faith.  So for the two weeks leading up to Easter, we will go through a daily devotional for Easter, using a prop called the “Resurrection Eggs”.  They can be found online or in your local Christian Bookstore if you would like to get them and go through these with us.

What do we do with Easter?2010-02-26T15:12:42-04:00

Make a memory, have some fun!


Fun … Remember fun? … That part of a family that everyone remembers.  Family fun is very important and it can’t be rented or bought.  It doesn’t have to be a ski trip,  a cruise, or any other expensive vacation.  It’s a time when all the pressure is off and the family does something together that makes everyone laugh.

Family fun is the most hilarious and most remembered when it’s at Dad’s expense … When everyone is laughing at something that dad did.

As we head into this holiday season there are many incredible opportunities to turn the tv off and celebrate family.  It could be the annual family pumpkin carving contest.

For thirty- five years I have had the privilege of working at Sheridan House Family Ministries. Among other things, we have five children’s homes. This is the time of year we have our pumpkin carving contest. One adult and one child working on a pumpkin.

I never win but I always make a big deal about my pumpkin being overlooked and that it should be obvious to any intelligent person that mine is best. The only thing I seem to win is to get the most pumpkin gook thrown on me by the children.

Each year there are sullen teenagers that say they don’t want to do it … But they do. The prize is to watch them burst out laughing and to become children again.

I know it works because I did this with my own children. Fun is what they remember and the stories they want to talk about. “Remember when Dad …!”

It’s time for fun but you have to schedule it in.

Make a memory, have some fun!2009-10-20T22:45:11-04:00