What do you love most about Easter?

Easter means a lot of different things in our house. Since we do not have any family around, we have been forced to make our own traditions over the years. Some of these traditions have been passed on from our own youth, others we acquired through friends and family. To me, Easter can be broken down into four main components: 
Religious:  We attend a rather laid back church which is rather unheard of here in the south! Most people wear jeans and occasionally you will even see flip flops. I draw the line at flip flops! But jeans and a collared shirt are usually okay…ACCEPT on Easter! On Easter Sunday, you pull out the button down dress shirts and ties for the boys (in pretty pastels of course!) and the pretty dresses and white shoes for the girls. It reminds me of getting dressed up for church when I was a little girl, although I don’t really think God cares too much what is on my feet! But, those fancy heels and little white sweater remind us all that THIS day is not just any Sunday service and we should take a moment to reflect on what Easter really means in Christian history.
Easter Bunny:  Into this category goes all things commercial…the Easter Bunny, the baskets, the egg hunt, the candy, etc. My kids get baskets full of candy and their joy at being able to eat Cadbury Cream Eggs at 7 AM is just amazing to behold! On this one day, mommy forgoes her usual nutrition requirements and they can eat Peeps until they turn yellow! We do an egg hunt in the back yard…now that they are older the eggs are filled with money rather than candy. My kids still believe in the Easter Bunny (at least, they SAY they do!) at 9 and 11 and I dread the year that I lose that. I will bask in their Easter Bunny awe for another year, I hope!
Welcoming of Spring:  Way back when, before the bunny, the basket, and maybe even Christianity, people took a few minutes during this season to give thanks for the new life springing up from the ground and the shedding of another harsh winter. It is very important to me that my children understand and accept this concept. As an avid gardener, I look forward to the first blooms of spring with a great amount of impatience! I try and take a quiet moment on Easter to give thanks for new life, in all it’s forms!
Food:  Yes, in my mind, food is a separate component of Easter Sunday and one that is the same, year after year! Always, there is a pork roast in the oven for Easter…as my mom cooked when I was a kid. Easter morning, after we are done gorging ourselves on Peeps and chocolate candies I insist on the traditional hot crossed buns for breakfast. I don’t think anyone really likes them but me! However, tradition demands that we eat them anyhow! It just wouldn’t be Easter without the hot crossed buns!
For me, Easter is about traditions (whether they are old or new!) and family. It is making sure my children understand the Easter message that Christianity teaches but also that they understand it is only one group’s belief. We are not right and other’s are not wrong…to each their own.
Easter is a celebration of life…our’s, Jesus’s and the plant’s sprouting out of the cold, hard ground.
I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.”

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