i might as well start with one of our more recent ones: easter.
to tell you the truth, we didn't do any background study on the origins and background of easter except for the fact that it's the time when we celebrate jesus' resurrection. maybe next year, i'll get my act together and we can do a bit more discussion on the origins of easter.
we did however, address the topic of lent, and why some folks choose to participate in lent and the reason why it was created in the first place. we made a very simple lent lapbook. nothing elaborate, but just enough for the season.
the cover page i made myself. inside, there's a countdown to easter/lenten calendar sheet which i printed from here. i printed out stations of the cross cards (you can find those here) to look through and discuss. the right side of the lapbook provides some basic information on lent (you can google "lent" or "lent traditions" and you'll find lots of information on it).
no one in our family gave up anything for lent, but we did collect change through out lent for remember nhu, an organization based out of akron, ohio which helps prevent girls from entering the sex trade. [sexual exploitation/sexual abuse of young girls is more prevalent than i realized, and it breaks my heart reading about it. especially since i have a sweet girl of my own.] we still have to count out the money, but after we do we'll send that amount (in check form) to the organization. in addition to remember nhu, check out mtv exit and love146 if you are interested in finding out more about human trafficking and how you can help make a difference.
this year, we started a "jesus tree." it's quite similar to the jesse tree that we do for christmas, but it's for easter. you can make your own simple jesus tree by going here or purchase a more detailed version here.
i did a DIY version of the resurrection eggs this year. i had been meaning to try that last year, but didn't end up getting around to it. this is where i found some great directions on how to put together your very own resurrection eggs.
the only thing i had to buy were the plastic eggs, and everything else i managed to put together from stuff around the house, including the die which i made out of paper from this source. of course you can always purchase them if you're not feeling so crafty (or simply short on time).
we had planned to do the resurrection cookies again this year like we did last year...
but time slipped by us so quickly saturday night that we didn't get around to it. emma suggested that we should make them anyway...and i have to say that i agree with her. it's not like easter is the only time you should learn about the resurrection. i received the recipe and bible verses that go along with making the cookies from a friend, but i think this site is pretty much the same as my recipe.
as for egg dyeing (which has been a staple activity in our household each year)...ummm...we kind of forgot to do that too. i even bought extra eggs and more food coloring. oh well. next year, i won't be spending the extra time putting together the resurrection eggs and the jesus tree ornaments, so we i should have more prep time for the cookies and the eggs. should being the operative word here.
i felt convicted after reading this post a while back, and realized we intentionally do more activities and such for christmas than we do for easter. both are equally important. without the birth we would have no resurrection. without the resurrection we would not have eternal life. quite frankly, the only thing we've really done each year is dye eggs, make resurrection cookies on saturday night, and give the kiddos some sweet treats sunday morning. compared to the thought and preparation of our christmas "traditions" i think that's pretty Lame with a capital L.
i'm hoping that some of the new easter traditions we started this year will be something that we do every year. they are simple, (hopefully) timeless and helps prepare our hearts for the most amazing thing God has ever done for his people.