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3/19/2012

Parent Through the Holidays

Easter baskets:

To do or not to do, that is the question.

I've contemplated doing Easter baskets every year.  And haven't done one with our kids yet.  For me, it's difficult enough keeping our Christian holidays focused on Christ while so much of our culture pushes false idols to celebrate/worship.  My children don't need a basket full of gifts for them to celebrate Easter, because Easter is not about them.

That being said, I do not believe it is wrong to have fun with holidays.  I just have to be very careful that my heart is centered on my Savior especially during these special times of reflection and celebration (Easter, Good Friday, Christmas).   And not just for my own heart, but for my children's as well.  Out of the overflow of the heart, the mouth speaks.  This goes for what we talk about, sing of, read about and share during these holidays.  As their parent, I do not want to be a distraction from the very God-man I long for them to love.

In Noel Pipers' book, Treasuring God in Our Traditions, she talks of this very thing... the reason her and John chose not to include Santa in their Christmas traditions.  She says, "We want our children to understand God as fully as they’re able, at whatever age they are." (pg. 75)  She explains further reasoning which I FULLY suggest you read.  Noel also deals with Easter, the Lenten season, and Good Friday in her book. (Link to free PDF copy at the bottom)  I was deeply impacted when I read this book at the beginning of parenthood (although I still feel like I'm not much further past the beginning). 

Since Easter is fast approaching, I've begun having conversations with our sons asking if they know why we celebrate Easter and Good Friday.  And do you think they mentioned Jesus, sin, nails, a cross, He's Alive!, resurrection, stone rolled away?  Nope.  The unanimous answer:  looking for eggs.  I wasn't shocked, even though we haven't done much egg hunting.  They are watching... and so as parents we have  to be intentional in our everyday moments, no less during holidays that center on Christ.

Center our conversations with our children on Jesus, His work on the cross, our sinfulness, our need for a Savior.  May God give you and I grace for these moments.  

FREE pdf of Noel Piper's book:  Treasuring God in Our Traditions

Do you have any suggestions or resources to pass along?  Leave a comment and I'll check it out and share it on my blog!

*Meghan