There’s something about experiences and experiential teaching and learning that somehow sticks with kids on a deeper level than reading and listening.
Or at least it does for mine…
..and I’m seeing that more and more as they get older and we begin and continue yearly traditions.
For example, in December the simple act of lighting candles, singing Christmas carols, listening to a story, and moving Mary and her donkey around our advent wreath really affects our kids. They LOVE Christmas and advent, and can tell the story of Jesus’ birth forward and backward… they remember just about every detail! Much more so than if we were just to read the story and call it a night. And that’s not because of anything we’re doing right or wrong… But because of the action involved that makes it fun, makes them look forward to it, and makes it stick!
So when Easter rolls around, we all get super excited to get our Easter tree out!
Every family needs an Easter tree. It’s springy, and colorful, and most importantly - points to the reason we celebrate Easter. Because Christ is risen! And Easter baskets, hunting for candy filled plastic eggs, and a fairytale bunny that chases teenagers (if you’ve been a student at NCPC in the last eleven years) will never teach our kids the resurrection story! Those things are fun, and don’t get me wrong, we do them all… but we needed something they could experience that would help them remember what this holiday is really about.
We needed an Easter tree!
So we found this beauty on Amazon, and bought this AMAZING set of Resurrection eggs, and put the two together to create our Easter tradition.
Chris drilled a little hole in the top of each egg, tied them to strings and they hang from the tree. Each egg has an item in it that points to the death and resurrection of Christ. The booklet that comes with the set has scripture and an explanation written for a young audience explaining the significance of the item found in the egg. It’s short, and super easy for littles to keep up with and hang on to. There are twelve eggs, so for the eleven days before Easter Sunday, we open an egg and read the accompanying story. On Easter Sunday, we open the very last egg, the white one, to reveal…OH! I better not share! I don’t want to ruin the surprise!
What really blew our minds when we set up the tree this year was Mercy’s response…. she’s six years old. She started naming things that were in the eggs before we had opened a single one! After a little over a year she remembered several of the items and what they represented… things that even I didn’t remember! Then she told us which one is her favorite egg of all - the WHITE one! And she told us exactly what’s in it and exactly why she loves it.
There may have been a few tears in this mama’s eyes! Such a sweet and proud moment for me!
And totally why every family needs an Easter tree! Or something like it, something to engage your kids in the Easter story, something they’ll remember year after year and look forward to. Not just a bunny, presents, eggs, and candy - something real, meaningful, eternal. Because Christ is risen! He is risen indeed - and, friends, that is a gift far bigger and better than anything we could fit into an Easter basket!
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