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How to keep Christ in the Easter basket along with the candy. By Bridget Seyer.
BY BRIDGET SEYER
When I was young, the two best things about Easter morning
were the Easter-basket hunt, with all six of us kids scurrying in every
direction, and, of course, the candy in our Easter baskets.
The usual candy classics overflowed — chocolate eggs and
bunnies swimming in a jellybean sea. I distinctly remember the year when the
Easter Bunny discovered Fannie May Meltaways: My own box of Fannie May candy —
now that was a slice of heaven.
So why now, decades later, has this special tradition lost
some of its magic for me?
Is it because Christmas, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day
and about a zillion kids’ birthdays all fall within a four-month period, to the
point where I begin wondering, “When is there not a week with some sort of
glorious surprise for my children?”
Perhaps that’s the point. Easter isn’t just the candyfest it
has become for many. Instead, it’s the most significant day of the year — the
day on which Our Lord rose from the dead.
Easter is bigger than Thanksgiving, bigger than Christmas.
But how many of us give it the importance it deserves?
Deeper reflection and a more thorough penitential course
during Lent would lead to a greater celebration on Easter.
Avoiding overindulgence on secondary celebrations would also
help to keep it special.
But don’t overlook those Easter baskets. They hold
opportunities to help make Easter a day to remember for both parents and kids.
If we start thinking outside the box — or the basket — we
can give these pastel containers a new purpose. Here are some ideas for each
• Construct a theme-based Easter basket. A nice way to
create one is to design a basket around a book. For example, gather a religious
book such as God’s Promises for Girls (Zonderkids), a saint’s medal, a rosary
and crucifix, and arrange them in the basket along with suitable sweets.
• Add a special card that contains written promises that
you, as parents, make to your child.
• Focus on what your child did for Lent. If he gave up
chocolate or soda, load his basket with forbidden fruit.
• Think beyond toys and goodies. Give a basketful of praise
that includes prize ribbons, a banner declaring, “You’re Great!” or an award
for the “World’s Greatest Brother.”
• Recognize what your family did to--gether during Lent.
Include information about the charity you donated to, a pho----to of your
family doing service together or a thank-you note to an organization for
letting you serve them.
• Add a letter, artwork, prayer card or other token that
shows how you grew spiritually during Lent. Next year, ask each family member
to place something describing his own Lenten journey in the rest of the
family’s Easter baskets.
• Give a framed picture of something your child did during
the previous year, such as performances in a school play or an activity on last
• Put a plain sheet of paper in each basket. The recipients
then write about an Easter-related topic. Some ideas: “What I did for Lent and
how it affected me.” “The best thing my sister did for me lately was ...” “If I
were the Easter Bunny, I would give my Dad ... in his basket because ...” After
the notes are written, don’t read them. Place them in the family Easter
notebook for next year. Read the ones from last year aloud this year.
• Although it’s traditional to pass on family heirlooms
after one’s death, why wait? Place a precious family treasure in the Easter
basket each year. But first make sure the child is old enough to appreciate (and
care for, and eventually pass on) the gift.
Easter baskets can brim with beautiful ways that your family
can connect spiritually and personally.
But don’t miss other chances to have fun on Easter morning.
Give out the baskets creatively.
Design a treasure hunt that uses clues only your family
Make something for the others and hide it for discovery
during the annual Easter-egg hunt.
But remember: Kids still need candy on Easter, and plenty of
it. So does the Easter Bunny.
Our Risen Lord, not so much. All he wants is our love.
A classic Register Easter treat
from our archive.