I grew up with nice memories of Easter egg hunts and always an impressive basket sitting on the fireplace in our living room. My sister and I would go through the baskets in the same way we would explore our Christmas stockings. The baskets had some candy in them, but Mom always had gifts in them as well. Jewelry, maybe a shirt, a CD perhaps, and other cool stuff that made Easter a holiday to really look forward to. I have taken those memories and added a couple of twists that keep the excitement of Easter alive, but moves the excitement of the gifts toward encouraging spiritual growth. As a result, Easter is probably my most favorite holiday of the whole year.
Here is what we do.
When the kids wake up there are baskets (buckets, actually) next to their door. They get to take their buckets and go on an egg hunt. The eggs have one or two jelly beans in each of them but the eggs the kids REALLY want to find are the ones with NO candy.
Its called "the empty tomb egg hunt." The real gift of Easter is the risen Jesus, right? That tomb was empty - which was the first sign of the ultimate gift: our risen savior! Candy is yummy and all, but when the kids find the empty eggs, they know they are very near the REAL gift: the family's easter basket
Rather than one basket for each member of the family, we do just one basket for the whole family. And each gift inside the basket is a means to the same end: spiritual growth. I save up a nice pile of cash and make some investments in great resources for the family. Last year, Davis received his first Bible cover (something he was SO excited about), Weston got his own set of not-yet-scratched-up CDs "The Word and Song Bible," Jackson got David and Goliath action figures. I bought myself and Ryan books that would encourage both of us in our quest to be godly parents.
I had so much fun online shopping this year. You wanna know what it is the basket?
The Children's Illustrated Bible
The Jim Elliot Story: The Torchlighters Series, DVD
Seeds Music CD (thanks for the recommendation, Ginger!)
I got myself an accessory so I can listen more easily to sermons on an MP3 player. I got something for my hubby, too, but I'll keep that quiet until Easter.