How to use Holiday decorations to teach religious traditions that matter

Photos of the week…

Easter Edition

Like Christmas, Easter has its octave because a big celebration requires more than just one day of celebrating. After the octave, the Easter season lasts until Pentecost.


Last year, I planned my Easter decorations while I sat beside Peter’s hospital crib. The fulfillment was more than just some decor decisions. It was the sign of the promise that “a time would come when God would fill what he had emptied.”


Easter felt quieter this year. The emptiness of a child gone held its own against the joys of togetherness and our salvation. I felt at home in the cross. Still, I decorated. Regardless of how I feel in grief, the importance of the day remains and it is my duty to show it to my children.

I show it through bunting.


Our traditions emerge. With Dollar Tree flowers, ribbon and colored elastic from Rainbow Fabrics the children decorate their own baskets. We’ve learned tricks here and there to not destroy the baskets in the process.


Last year, the idea came to me to give them each a color to search for. The miraculous thing is these greedy little imps help each other. The fun is in finding.


Peter in his two-year-old glory is a hospital baby no more. He is part of a tribe, hunting for eggs, even if he will not eat their contents.


His two-year-old willfulness shows the strength of his health…and my patience.

God, it’s good.


Those who grieve know the grief grows quieter but does not disappear. I thought I would feel a rousing joy at Easter like I once did, but the season of life has changed. And that’s okay.

Good things run deeper than emotion. God’s grace, his faithfulness, the gift of his Son, Christ’s self-emptying for our sake to show us the way…even at the Resurrection, the scars remained.

Christ showed us the way, perfectly.

For that, I am grateful.


Easter Plans

We have such a day planned! I spent Holy Saturday in a delicious frenzy putting into motion plans that had been swimming in my mind for months. Early this year I made bunting using a stained thrift-store crocheted table cloth, cut into triangles and sewn by machine to two-inch baby pink grosgrain ribbon. I made two, one for the fireplace mantle and one for the bay window behind our dining table.


I went to the garage and carried in the dusty box of Easter decorations. Inside I found a mess or artificial flowers, some ceramic Pottery Barn rabbits and bird’s nests, lots of bird’s nests!

Inspired by Pinterest and Pottery Barn I used the longer flowers to create a wreath around the dining table chandelier.


I placed our newly-made table cloth (courtesy of my mother’s surging machine and dedication to making endless supplies of table clothes and napkins for everyone she knows), and covered the seam with a table runner bought on a whim in my first year of marriage. My father supplied disks of almond wood from his orchard and the flowers came from Kelley Flower Farm in Modesto. With this plan it came together quickly and beautifully.




After decorating the house, we decorated Easter baskets using ribbon, hot glue and artificial flowers from the dollar store. They call the shots, I stick and glue. The children set them out at night and find them filled in the morning.


I anticipate the kids will wake, discover the Easter Baskets and ravage the poor things. Bowls of cereal will await the hunter-gatherers. Then we’ll head to mass and return for egg hunting. To eat, we’ll start with Easter Brunch at our house.

Brunch Menu

Cucumber and tomato salad

Berry citrus Fruit Salad

Breakfast strata

Italian Easter bread

Raspberry Sorbet

After naps we’ll move to my parents house, where my introverted husband will prepare dinner.

Dinner Menu

Deviled eggs

Carrot Ginger soup

Roasted Green beans with caramelized pecans

Rack of Lamb with pomogranete and fennel glaze served with St. Francis Cabernet Sauvignon

Farmer’s Market Strawberries and three-year aged cheese

Crème Brulee