5 ways to share the joy of Easter with others

5 ways to share the joy of Easter with others

I wrote a blog on ideas to celebrate Easter in 2021 when churches were closed and Christians were limited in their options, but today I’d love to share ways to celebrate Easter and share the joy of the risen Christ with your own family and with others now that things are back to normal. These ideas are for adults and children alike and can easily be adapted to the age range in your family.

Happy Easter hand lettered sign with pussy willow and a painted egg.

1. Invite a neighbour to an Easter service or event.

Many churches and other organisations plan special services and events for Easter. When I lived in Edinburgh, each year a group put on a drama in Princes Street Gardens called The Easter Play. If you’re not in Edinburgh, there may well be a Passion Play near you.

See what your local church is putting on and drop round to a neighbour or friend’s house and ask if they’d like to come along with you. Our church is having a Good Friday service in the evening which will be somber and then an Easter Sunday service of rejoicing and celebrating.

2. Make an Easter goodies basket.

Why not drop round a few Easter goodies for a neighbour, a friend you are praying for, or someone you know could use a pick me up, is in hospital, has just had a hospital stay or is struggling in another way?

Easter basket filled with lovely Easter goodies to give to someone.

There are many things you can include in such a basket depending on what the demographic of the recipient is. An Easter basket for a single woman will look very different to one to give a family of 6, but here are a few ideas.

- a bunch of tulips or daffodils - nothing brightens a day like a bit of spring floral colour.
- a pack of chocolate or an Easter egg or two. You can get this from any supermarket, mini eggs are always welcome, or find some local options from independent shops on the high street. I love The Guillemot in Ballyhackamore in Belfast (there is also a branch in Bangor), or Indie Fude in Comber. These lovely shops stock local chocolate and sweet treat options as well as loads of other delicious delicatessen items.
- an Easter card which proclaims the truth and hope of Easter.
- an Easter themed giant colouring sheet for children aged 2-7 (though adults have been known to enjoy this activity too!)
- an Easter egg hunt pack from Julie Harron.
- an excellent Easter book. My favourites for children are Holy Week for ones ages 0-4 and The Garden, The Curtain and The Cross for older children. Rebecca McLaughlin has a fantastic short Easter book called Is Easter Unbelievable which is great for non-christian teens and adults.

Girl smelling daffodils

3. Have an Easter Garden competition with others on your street.

Easter Gardens are a lovely way to remember Easter and be out in nature to create this simple little symbol of the season. Why not text a couple of other mums on your street and join forces getting all the children to create these and meet up to share your creations.

You could also organise an Easter egg hunt, an Easter tree decorating event or an egg roll. There are so many lovely springy, Easter options of things you could do along with other mums to keep all of your children occupied and enjoying nature together.

If you’re not inspired by these ideas, have a look at what your local national trust properties are doing - they always have events organised that are fun for the kids and an opportunity for the parents to get together outside.

Of course, having a hot cross bun snack after being outside for a while is always welcome!

Easter garden or resurrection garden example

4. Read the Easter Story

From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, you could read a portion of scripture which corresponds to that day. This makes the story come alive even more than reading it all in one go. You can add in props for younger children, such as a craft of making palm branches, explaining what Hosanna means or getting a giant Holy Week colouring page for them to colour in as they listen. If they’re old enough, you can get them to only colour the part of the story they’re listening to. Seeing an image of what is being read can help it make sense in their brains.

If you want to read the Easter story with others in your neighbourhood, you could make this in to a play, having children play the main character parts while an adult reads the Bible.

Reading the Bible together as a family
Here is a brief outline of the readings of what happened day by day during Holy Week:

Palm Sunday (or palm leaf day as my 3-year-old calls it 🥰): the triumphal entry into Jerusalem
- MARK 11:1-11

Holy Monday: Jesus cleanses the temple in Jerusalem
- MARK 11:15-19

Holy Tuesday: The Sanhedrin challenge Jesus’ authority.
Jesus foretells destruction of the temple in Jerusalem and His return.
Mary anoints Jesus.
Judas bargains with Jewish leaders to betray Jesus.
- LUKE 20:1-8
- MATTHEW 24:25
- JOHN 12:2-8
- LUKE 22:3-6

Maundy Thursday: Jesus eats the Passover meal with his disciples and institutes the memorial supper we call Eucharist or communion.
Jesus prays in gethsemane for his disciples.
- JOHN 13:1-30
- MARK 14:22-26
- JOHN 17

Good Friday: (this is a big one - note there is a description of most of these events in all the gospels, but I’ve chopped and changed to show that this event is found in all the gospels and is of great importance).
Jesus’ betrayal by Judas and arrest. MARK 14:43-50
Jesus questioned by Annas. JOHN 18:12-24
Jesus condemned by Caiaphas. MARK 14:53-65
Peter denies Jesus 3 times. JOHN 18:15-27
Jesus condemned by the Sanhedrin. LUKE 22:66-71
Judas commits suicide. MATTHEW 27:3-10
Jesus’ trial before Pilate. LUKE 23:1-7
Jesus’ appearance before Herod. LUKE 23:8-12
Jesus is sentenced to death. LUKE 23:13-25
The walk to the place of the Skull. LUKE 23:26-32
Jesus is mocked and crucified. MARK 15:16-32
Jesus dies. MARK 15: 33-37
The veil of the temple tears from top to bottom as Jesus dies. MATTHEW 27:51-56
Jesus’ burial. JOHN 19:31-42

Easter Sunday:
Jesus is raised from the dead. LUKE 24:1-9; JOHN 20:1-23; MATTHEW 28: 1-15; MARK 16:1-11

5. Baking, cooking and feasting.

Baking Easter treats with children

This is a season of rejoicing and feasting in the Christian calendar. After 40 days of fasting, we now rejoice and remember Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection. Hallelujah indeed! He is risen! There are loads of options for baking and plenty which can be done with children of all ages. Here are just a few ideas.

- hot cross buns (or buy some from the shop and feast on them around the table, toasted with lashing of butter)

- a simnel cake

- an Easter Sunday roast with lamb to remember that Jesus is the Passover lamb, sacrificed in our place to give us life.

- a traditional Italian Colomba di pasqua cake - this is an Italian cake that is synonymous with easter just as panettone is synonymous with Christmas.

- you could also look up Jewish Passover recipes to have a sense of what people would have been eating on the night that Jesus was betrayed.

Hot cross buns with lashings of butter

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