Since my girls have been old enough to equate pretty much any holiday with candy and toys, I've struggled with the dual meanings of holidays - the meaning the world puts on them and the meaning that we as Christians attach.
I have friends who go to the extreme of having no Easter baskets/eggs/jelly beans, but that isn't for us, and even if we tried it, the girls get mini Easter baskets in their Sunday School class. And truly, dyeing and hunting for hidden eggs is fun! Nothing inherently wrong with that, right? (Provided that the egg dye is homemade or purchased on sale with a coupon, of course!) In fact, I'm looking forward to heading over to Clifton Forge again this year for an Easter Egg-stravaganza (scroll to middle of the page for details) and parade the day before Easter....there's always free, fun things to do here in the Alleghany Highlands...check some of them out here.
But there is something that tugs at my spirit about the duality of holiday celebrations: is it OK to celebrate Easter with sugar? Christmas with wrapping paper? My answer (for now, anyways) lies in the answer to these questions:
Where are our hearts?
Are our hearts at the feet of Jesus when we think about the traditional meaning of the day?
Am I teaching my girls the whole story or just squeezing in a backhanded,
"oh yeah, Jesus rose on Easter"?
Throughout the year am I teaching them that Easter is the day we remember Christ's resurrection from the dead - the only way we could have received forgiveness from sin and freedom from death?
Is it only chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks? Because if that's what it is, its only empty calories - too quickly a memory and grass-stained knees from searching for eggs.
"Be careful, or you will be enticed to turn away and worship other gods and bow down to them." (Deuteronomy 11:16)
Hmmm....but read on:
But, if I (we) take the time to constantly -
"train up your children up in the way they should go"
"Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds....teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home, and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 11:18,19
Then I think there is room for eating chocolate bunny ears and a handful of Cadbury mini eggs (purchased with ECBs from CVS or with a Catalina from Kroger). I think that once that foundation is built and continually strengthened on a daily basis no matter what the season, you can add a little sugar and sprinkles and not risk that your family will be building an altar that the feet of the Easter Bunny.
I'm sure there are those who won't agree with me - who hold fast to having no involvement in the secular commercialization of the holiday - and there are those who could give a hoot less about the Real Meaning of The Holiday. But this is what is comfortable for our family, and what I have prayerfully considered.
I hope you'll read other perspectives from my 'bloggy friends,' like Nicki at Domestic Cents, above or Alyssa over at Keeping the Kingdom First , who is hosting the "Frugal Easter Eggstravaganza." Click through to the blogs linked to this post for great recipes and frugal ideas pertaining to Easter. In the spirit of the friendship topics of my recent posts, these are women who are valuable resources to me as I consider their ideas and perspectives.
Thanks for letting me share this piece of my heart with you!