Can I start with a confession? I have not been very good at celebrating the Easter season. I know that Easter is a season, running the 50 days from Easter to Pentecost, but I have never done anything to really fully celebrate it. I feel like there is a good framework in place for observing Lent…fast, pray, give…but them Easter comes and we’re all…ALLELUIA!!.. now what? We do our best to fully enter into Lent, and now we should fully celebrate the joy of Easter!
I think there are two things that trip me, and maybe others, up when it comes to celebrating Liturgical Seasons:
1. It’s countercultural. Culture (in America at least) tends to observe Easter as just a day…or it is celebrated earlier (throughout Lent) and wrapped up on Easter Sunday. You know…we brunched, we wore pastel, the bunny came…and now we are done. It’s hard to hang on to the spirit of the season when everybody else is moving on.
2. It takes some intention. I get it. 50 days is a long time, and life keeps going. There’s school and work and sports and laundry, always laundry. We really have to be intentional to keep Easter at the front of our minds and center of our homes. It’s easy to clear a schedule for Easter Sunday, but we can’t pause day to day life for 50 days!
So, how do we make it feel like Easter beyond the brunches and gatherings? We don’t have any traditions for this season, so I went on a hunt to find some simple ideas for keeping the celebration going in our homes. I found some really fun ideas, that I am excited to try this year, and, of course, I felt it my duty to share some with you! Just in case you are looking for some special traditions for the beautiful SEASON of Easter, too!
Here are some ideas that might make celebrating the Easter season possible in your home. Like always, it’s a round-up of ideas…hopefully you find something that you might like to try, do not try to do them all. The best traditions are ones that you can actually do, and enjoy! Ones that fit with your family schedule and life style. If the full 50 days feels overwhelming start by trying to observe the Easter Octave (Easter Sunday-Divine Mercy Sunday). Or pick a few activities that sound fun and scatter them throughout the season to extend the celebrating all the way to Pentecost.
Easter Meal Prayer. This is one of the easiest ways that I have found to live out a liturgical season. Switch up your meal time prayer to one that is tied to the current liturgical season. I really like this prayer from Our Sunday Visitor and made a prayer card to display on our dining room table.
Decorate for the Season. I will swap out our Lent decorations for Easter decorations when we return from visiting family on Easter Monday. Keeping your decorations up is a great visual reminder of the liturgical season.
Display an Alleluia. Speaking of decorations, if you buried the Alleluia on Mardi Gras dig that baby up and display it! If not make an alleluia banner or poster to display and discuss how the Alleluia is back in Mass. Here is an alleluia coloring page.
Do Easter traditions during Easter season. Hold off on egg decorating and other Easter themed activities and do them throughout the season. It is actually kind of nice to not feel like you have to squeeze it all in before Easter! You could even plan an Easter egg hunt with friends!
Egg some friends. The nice kind of egging–where you surprise them with 11 eggs stuffed with goodies and a 12th egg that is empty as a reminder of the empty tomb. (You can find a printable below). This is a great way to remind your family and another family that Easter isn’t over, and a great way to off load some Easter candy.
Use Fresh Flowers. Lent is a barren season that always reminds me of the desert. Easter on the other hand is a joyous, springtime of our soul. Flowers are a great symbol of Easter, and think it would be very fitting to use flowers to continue your Easter observance. Get an Easter Lily or fresh flowers to decorate your home. Maybe keep a small bouquet in your home throughout the season, replacing as needed. You could also gift flowers, potted or cut, to friends with a note to wish them a Happy Easter Season. If budget allows you could pick one recipient for each week of Easter to give the gift flowers. You could also include a spiritual bouquet of prayers. (Download Below)
Sacrifice “Jelly Beans”. If you placed sacrifice beans out during Lent, it’s time to turn them into jelly beans. Encourage your kids to enjoy a jelly bean when they make a sacrifice, such as doing something they would rather not (without complaining), serving others, or sharing.
Read Easter Books. If you have Easter books wait until Easter morning to pull them out and enjoy them all season long. If you do not own your own collection put some on hold at the library, you shouldn’t have to wait to long since everyone else will be returning them! You can have a special reading time by taking a stack outside on a nice day to enjoy in the sunshine, maybe with a special treat. I love these sweet (and easy) donut tombs. Cut donuts in half and add a donut hole, vanilla wafer or Oreo as the rock rolled away. I used toothpicks, tape and a little paper for the signs.
Set Sundays Apart. There are 8 Sundays in Easter, if you don’t feel like you can add anything into your day to day routines, consider making the Sundays of Easter Season special. Plan to do special activities or have a special dessert to remind yourself that Easter is not over yet! Inspired by Catholic Icing, I made a fun Sunday banner you can download below. Doing one special activity each Sunday would be a great reminder of the season.
Easter Bingo. Play Easter bingo together as a family, it would be a great Sunday activity. I think this is a fun way to remind kiddos of the different parts of the Easter story. This one is a few dollars, but it is my favorite. Here is a free version as well.
Make resurrection rolls. Resurrection rolls always look like a fun activity and treat, but we never seem to make it happen Easter morning. I think they are perfect for any day during Easter. Here is a recipe for resurrection rolls.
Make an Easter playlist. One of my new favorite ways to get into the spirit of a liturgical season is a themed playlist. You can create your own or search for other Easter playlists with the free Spotify app. I love to play mine when I start cooking dinner, if the chaos will allow!
Make a Family Paschal Candle. Decorate your own paschal candle to light in your home during the Easter, or paschal, season. I followed this tutorial to make ours. You can light it during dinner or evening prayer as a reminder of the Easter season. We may even ask our priest to bless ours.
Pray The Way of Light. Many of us are familiar with The Way of the Cross or Stations of the Cross that we often pray during Lent, but did you know about The Way of Light or Stations of the Resurrection? I didn’t!!! I’m excited to swap out our Friday Stations to pray the way of light stations that follow Jesus from resurrection to Pentecost. Look to Him and Be Radiant has a super cute mini coloring book for the stations. Here is a printable prayer book for the stations.
Pray the Joyful Mysteries. While we are swapping prayers, swap the sorrowful mysteries used during Lent for the joyful mysteries during Eastertide! Here are the Joyful Mysteries,
Make a Count Down. Make a paperchain or garland or egg tree to mark the 50 days of Easter. I grabbed 50 cheap plastic eggs to place in a jar. The plan is to take one out each day of Easter. I may or may not place jelly beans in the eggs…we shall see.
Celebrate Special Feast Days. There are several special feast days during the Easter Season: Divine Mercy Sunday, Good Shepherd Sunday, Ascension Thursday (or Sunday depending on where you live), Pentecost. They are all great days to observe, and since several of them fall on Sunday it fits well with setting Sundays apart. For Divine Mercy Sunday we enjoy praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet and eating Divine Mercy Sundaes. I think Shepherd’s pie would be perfect for Good Shepherd Sunday. Here’s a post about celebrating Pentecost.
Easter Themed Nature Walk. Another great activity for a Sunday. Head out for a nature walk and discuss different symbols that represent Easter. Learn more about an Easter walk here.
Have a sunrise picnic. Make special memories by watching the sunrise and enjoying a picnic breakfast. Discuss how darkness comes at night when the sun sets, but that the light returns each morning when the sun rises. You can also discuss how dark it must have been for Jesus’s followers while he was in the tomb, and how much joy they must have felt when he rose! This would be tricky for us to pull off Easter morning before Mass, but we might be able to pull it off sometime during the Easter Octave. A simple spread of fruit and muffins or donuts in the backyard with sun could make a very memorable tradition.
Host an Easter Rosary. We always spend Easter Sunday with family, but I think it would fun to host a little Easter celebration with friends. Gather some friends to pray the Joyful mysteries and enjoy some fellowship. Intentionally call it an Easter rosary, serve some Easter treats, have a small egg hunt or Easter coloring pages for kids. It could become a great tradition…maybe you will start hosting an annual event!
I hope there is something in this mix that you might want to try out. Check out all the downloads below, I hope they will make celebrating the Easter season in your home just a little bit easier!