As Anton Ego put it in the movie Ratatouille, "... you know what I'm craving? A little perspective. That's it. I'd like some fresh, clear, well seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?"
Traditions do not have to make our world even more hectic! It's not about doing more... it's about doing less! It's about doing what matters!
Throughout the years I have come to have a deep respect for the role family rituals and traditions have on the healthy state of our family.
For many years I worked as a Family Consultant with Once Upon A Family and picked up a few ideas. Although traditions in our home have had seasons of success and seasons of rest or have had to be modified and/or changed to fit our family's needs, they still exist!
Each issue of 4 Traditions features ideas I have gathered and/or created that you can use or modify to fit your family's needs.
From the Heart...
One great way to celebrate Easter and to teach your children the virtues of giving, is to deliver Easter baskets to the elderly. This is a family project that everyone can take part in. You can make your own simple but beautiful baskets, by splattering pastel poster paint onto white construction paper. Once the paint is dry, roll the paper into a cone shape and staple along the joined edges. Attach a matching pastel ribbon as a handle, and fill your hand-made baskets with goodies. Everyone will enjoy delivering these pieces of art to a local nursing home, when they see what pleasure it brings to the recipients. Spending a little time with those who may not have anyone to share the holiday with will show your children how valuable family is.
In celebration of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ some families may enjoy planting seeds either for a garden, or just for some pretty flowers. Jesus talked about a seed needing to be planted and die so that it can rise again with multiplied life (John 12:24). This is a good object lesson you can use to teach your children about Easter.
Three Parts Can Make a Whole
Dissecting. . .
These days most egg hunts are with plastic eggs that open up to reveal little treasures like stickers and candy. For this tradition you will need at last one real hard boiled egg per person.
Each person gets to dissect their own egg. Before you start the process of disassembling and observing explain that Jesus would use examples to explain things and this activity helps explain that three parts can make a whole. A man can be a son to his parents, a husband to his wife and a father to his children and yet he is the same person with three different functions. An egg also helps us see that three parts can make a whole. Hold up your egg and ask what they are looking at. "An egg" Yes, it is a whole egg, let's figure out this egg's internal structure! As everyone peals their eggs ask them what they are removing from the egg. "The Shell" Yes it is used as the covering for the other parts. Next have them try to peal the white away from the yoke. Ask them what they just took off. "The Egg White" Yes, the white part of the egg has it's own structure and is even used separate from the other parts of the egg in many recipes. Ask what is left? "The Yoke" Yes, crumble it up and see how it feels and reacts differently from the other two parts of the egg. The ONE egg can serve three different functions.
As they get to eat their mess and/or help mush it up to be made into an egg salad sandwich let them know that we worship ONE God. This ONE God can be our heavenly Father, our savior Jesus Christ and can be spiritually active in our lives all at the same time. End with quoting 2 Corinthians 13:14, "May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all."
Follow the Ribbon
This is a simple tradition that doesn't take much preparation. All you need to do is buy some narrow inexpensive ribbon from a local craft store. Choose a different color for each member of the family (15 to 25 yards per person, depending on how crazy you want this to be). You can personalize this tradition by attaching a charm to the end of each ribbon; a soccer ball for Kevin, ballet slippers for Suzie, and a sewing thimble for grandma. Once the kids are in bed, tie a ribbon to each of their hidden Easter baskets and wind them in and out of the furniture and the other ribbons until you can't see where they began. Bring the ends with the charms to one central location (perhaps the kitchen table) as a place where your family can begin the entangled maze to find their baskets. On Easter morning exclaim, "The Bunny Bandits were at it again, trying to keep you from your basket so you can't pick up the eggs! But they left a trail of where they hid your basket." Before you know it, everyone will be tangled in ribbon and laughter.
A Poem about a little egg...
In closing here is a link to a poem about a seeker that found a treasure...