Monday, March 17, 2008

quiet preparations

This past Christmas was a particularly special one for our family. We, as Christians, fully recognize that Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Christ, and the salvation that He brings to humankind.

In addition to keeping "our eyes on the stable", we also took our time to enjoy the season, spend time with friends and family, lay our lessons aside and really take time to decorate our house for Christmas.

I had a vow- I wanted everything that we decorated with to be handmade or (at least) not a generic, store-bought, mass-produced item. Some of the items that really added the cozy-factor to my house were fabric-covered wreaths, stackable fabric "Christmas trees", real pine garland, gingerbread mobiles and dozens of cookies and treats.

I know may seem superficial and, perhaps, a waste of time for some. But to me, it really helped me quiet my spirit, bring my focus on the important parts of life (family, homelife, fellowship and reaching out to others) and make some really unforgettable memories with my children and husband.

Since this is Holy Week and Easter is just a few days away, I wanted to share a few ways that we are planning on recreating the same bonding and peacefulness that we all experienced at Christmas-time this week:

Resurrection Cookies: I made these with Sophia and Nicolas last year for the first time. I wanted to wait until they were old enough to grasp the fullness (will any of us ever be able to fully grasp this truth?) of Jesus' death and resurrection. Amazing experience. We most definitely make this a family tradition.

Reading the "Easter Story" all this week. The children and I have been reading from Matthew for the past several months (yes, at a snail's pace so that we can really take time to focus and remember what we've read), so I decided that we would read Matthew's account of the Crucifixion/Resurrection. {Matthew 26-28}

Coloring Eggs: This year we may try naturally coloring the eggs using things like vegetable peels and fruit juices. One of my favorite "additions" to the eggs is stamping the eggs that each child made with their own fingerprint.
{I use a washable ink pad that is made for rubber stamping}

I just LOVE these Eggshell Votives! Are they a practical centerpiece for a table seated by a six, four and almost-two year old? Probably not. But then again, I am currently sporting a white chair in the corner of my living room. Clearly, I'm not going for the "practical" right now.

What sorts of Easter preparations are you making? Do you have any family traditions surrounding this most-holy day?

1 comment:

Karen said...

wow, Jill, that's pretty amazing. I too love the look of those votives. This week is a bit odd as we have both Purim and Good Friday on the same day. We will add the book of Esther to our Easter reading this year - who knows what pre-reflection of Jesus' saving love we will find - it's in there to be sure. At my mother's the children will make hot cross buns - any lesson that involves yeast & ends in icing is one that sticks with them a while. My mom usually dies eggs in onion skins. We wrap herbs in stockings, tie them off so that you get a pale herb imprint on the egg and the rest is colored a gorgeous red-brown - much like brown eggs, but deeper. I wonder what we'd get if we started with brown eggs.
In any case, I wish you all mysterious joy in this season!