For me, Easter has always been a time of comfort. The holiday is a time of family and friends — a time of rejuvenation and renewal. When I was growing up, my siblings and I would bundle in the back of the family station wagon and head to grandma’s house. The entire clan would gather for dinner, dressed in our Sunday best: aunts, uncles, cousins, and neighbors. There would be stories, games, and of course an Easter egg hunt for the children. The holiday has always had a special meaning for me, and I have a lifetime’s worth of good memories and traditions that I’m now actively passing on to my own children. If you’re looking to make this Easter truly special for your own family, here are a few simple ideas.
1. Make homemade Easter cards for the people you love. Like most holidays, Easter is a fabulous time to send cards to loved ones. The greeting card aisles are stocked with plenty to choose from, but to make this Easter truly special consider handcrafting cards of your very own. By no means do the cards have to be elaborate, and in fact the simplest cards that convey true, heartfelt sentiment will become instant family keepsakes. This is a great opportunity to work on a creative project with your children. Just be certain to have plenty of pastel construction paper, stickers, bits of ribbon, and glue. Your children will love to create and personalized their very own cards and the people in your life will appreciate the thoughtful gesture.
2. Create a special Easter basket. This family tradition was started by my aunt Susan when I was in my teens. She would hand out blank recipe cards to everyone before dinner and ask that we write a few cheerful sentences about what Easter and renewal means for them. For the young children, she would hand out crayons and paper and ask that they make special drawings about the holiday. After we ate, Aunt Susan would have everyone fill an Easter basket with their creations. We would then pass the basket around the room, each of us selecting a different card to read aloud while the children took turns displaying the drawings. This simple act of sharing truly was a remarkable bonding experience for the entire family.
3. Don’t forget the sweets. Easter has traditionally been a time for chocolate eggs, jellybeans and Easter bunnies. While these sweets are great for the kids and a time honored tradition, a gourmet treat will help make the holiday truly special for the adults in your life. This year I’m planning on surprising my mother with a dozen chocolate dipped strawberries from Shari’s Berries. The company offers an exclusive selection of upscale Easter gifts. To make the holiday even sweeter (pun intended!) I discovered that Shari’s Berries offers money saving coupon codes for their creations. An indulgence beyond the ordinary will definitely make this holiday special.
4. Practice random acts of kindness. To make Easter truly special, encourage your family to practice random acts of kindness this holiday. This is a great way to have your family focus on the needs of others. Some suggestions include taking the time to visit the elderly in a nursing home, or anonymously leaving a kind note or simple gift on the doorstep of a neighbor. One year my family made a list of people we’d lost touch with over the years. We then sent personalized letters in an effort to rejuvenate lost friendships.
5. Create an Easter time capsule. To help preserve memories, your family can create a personalized time capsule on Easter. One simple way to do this is to take a shoe box and wrap it in decorative paper. Each family member can then add one or more special things to the box: photos, personal notes, newspaper clippings, drawings, poems, a message to the future, etc. Keep the box somewhere safe to open on a future Easter day. This project will help build a connection to the past and is a wonderful way for families to preserve and share memories.