Easter traditions included treasure hunt

Easter traditions included treasure hunt

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Easter traditions

Does your family have any Easter traditions? Good Friday is tomorrow, and Easter Sunday or Resurrection Sunday lands on April 4. Last Easter looked different. In fact as children grow up, celebrations change, but some traditions remain.

Easter traditions often involve eggs, candy, flowers, new, spring outfits, church services, and family gatherings. My family incorporates some of these, but over the years some have fallen away.

Since my children were small, I prioritized keeping Jesus Christ as the focus of the celebration. Coloring eggs entertained my children for a time, but when it came to eating them Easter morning—well, they complained about eating hard boiled eggs. But what did coloring and decorating eggs have to do with the Resurrection, anyway? So, I let that activity fall away.

Easter treasure hunt points to Jesus

My children anticipated eating their chocolate bunnies. Again, I asked, what do bunnies have to do with the Resurrection? I suppose they represent new life. Rather than depriving my children of receiving candy like their cousins, neighbors, and friends, we decided to keep the candy but give it to them in a different way. We challenged them with a treasure hunt, so they followed clues to find their hidden basket. The basket contained candy and sometimes a book or other small present that reminded them of Jesus’ sacrifice or that encouraged them in their faith walk. To keep the focus on Jesus, we held the treasure hunt late on Good Friday or Saturday afternoon. This way on Sunday, the focus was on the Good News and not chocolate bunnies.

Each day, beginning on Palm Sunday, we read the applicable Scriptures. This led up to the treasure hunt. Hiding the ten or more clues and a basket for each of my five children promised me a good workout, running up and down stairs and finding new spots each year and making the clues harder as they aged. When they found their prize, they read their last message which referenced that Jesus is risen and the hope found therein.

When my sons attended college, I figured hiding their basket ended. Not so. They came home to find their candy on their beds. Disappointment registered on their faces. What was this? Why didn’t they get to race through the house with their siblings in search of their treasure? Fine. I made them leave the house while I hid their baskets. That mistake occurred just once. To make the hunt more exciting, they became timed. If they found someone else’s basket by mistake, they had to keep the secret and move on.

Easter traditions change

But now, the kids are older. Last year, despite the protests of the younger kids, I ended the treasure hunt tradition. This year as I stood staring at the Easter candy, I wondered how long I would continue buying chocolate bunnies. I reasoned my parents stopped the gifts sooner, but their kids were spaced close together, not as many years apart as mine. In my heart, it grieves me to leave anyone out, so I still buy the boys treats. This might be the last year for treats though until grandchildren appear. We have so many holidays that include hyping us up on sugar, which really isn’t the focus of the holiday.

Attending church, joining our relatives for a ham dinner with all the fixings, and pointing everyone to the reason for the holiday—the Resurrection—remain the most important Easter traditions in my family.

I love flowers and sometimes purchase an Easter lily, but then I have to fight the cats who want to eat it. No, Easter is the time to remember the powerful message of Christ’s resurrection.

What Easter traditions do you keep alive? How do you help others remember Jesus is the real prize?

Happy Resurrection Day, friends!

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4 Replies to “Easter traditions included treasure hunt”

  1. Great ideas, Michelle. We did most of them with our children when they were small, but I think you did a better job of pointing them to Jesus and the meaning of the day. Thanks for the memories.

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