5 Ways Parents Can Put a Christian Spin on Secular Easter Traditions

Alicia Searl

Contributing Writer
Updated Mar 19, 2024
5 Ways Parents Can Put a Christian Spin on Secular Easter Traditions

As believers, our primary focus should be to honor Jesus and what His life and death meant for all of us. However, as we head into this Easter season, maybe you are wondering if there is a place where the good 'ole Easter Bunny fits in. Can we still hide eggs, pose for picks in the bluebonnets (is that just a Texas thing?), and place out those cute, weaved baskets for the "Bunny" to fill with tons of chocolate candies?

Fortunately, I believe we can! While the days leading up to Easter can be filled with solemn reminders of the forty days Jesus fasted, prayed, and prepared for His final fate, Good Friday gives us a chance to pause and reflect on the power of the cross. As believers, we still have hope that Sunday is upon us!

That means that Easter Sunday is a cause for celebration! It's a time to rejoice - Jesus has risen! He is alive! And friend, there is most certainly a way to have a Christ-centered Easter that can bring forth a bounty of fun, all while making it purposeful and filled with biblical meaning.

So, with that, let's hop to it and find simple ways to add a Christian spin to some of your Easter traditions this year!

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1. Give Meaning Behind the Egg

1. Give Meaning Behind the Egg

The notorious easter egg! Whether they are candy eggs, chocolate eggs, or just plain old-fashioned plastic eggs that find their way into your home and sneakily hide in places you find months later, you may be wondering what the meaning behind them is.

The egg, in and of itself, holds significant meaning. For one, it symbolizes rebirth. Yet, for Christians, it holds an even deeper meaning as its open cavity represents the empty tomb.

We can share the history of "the easter egg" with our children and how the tradition of using them in decoration and for hunting began in the 16th century. Martin Luther, a Protestant monk who led the Protestant Reformation in Europe in the 1500s, started the first egg hunts. It was said that the men would hide eggs for the women and children to find. This was a means to represent the women who discovered the empty tomb. It may be worth reading Luke 24:1-25 or John 20:1-10 and sharing the story of finding the empty tomb.

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Child with a bunny and eggs

2. How to Explain the Easter Bunny

It is said that the Easter Bunny first arrived in America along with many early European settlers back in the 1700s. In Europe, the bunny is known as the Easter hare, so that tradition "hopped over the pond," as the saying goes, and was brought to America.

While it is important to note that the origins of the Easter Bunny, along with the baskets, candies, and even eggs, were rooted in pagan traditions, a huge transformation has evolved over time into the customs we carry out today.

We can explain that the egg represents rebirth, but bunnies represent life. Bunnies are known for fertility but are also very inquisitive and highly intelligent animals. They have a powerful way of escaping and defeating all odds. I can attest this to be true, as I have helped my neighbor hunt down her "escape artist" bunny rabbits quite a few times!

Jesus, while not exactly like a bunny, is known to be the giver of "new life" and fresh beginnings (Ephesians 2:1-10). He also was very inquisitive and intuitive. He was able to defeat many odds and was bold in His teaching while He was alive, even though many of the religious leaders rejected Him and were essentially out to "get Him." Jesus always found a way to share the good news and deliver a message to the people.

Maybe that is why the Easter Bunny quickly drops off eggs to symbolize the rebirth of Jesus and then quickly hops away.

Related Content:

Santa, The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy and Halloween: Can Christian Families Embrace These? [Podcast]

How to Explain Easter to Your Kids

Should I Let My Kids Believe in the Easter Bunny?

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The Lord's Supper

3. Introduce a "Last Supper"

The Last Supper is commemorated on Maundy Thursday. This would have been the night before Good Friday, marking Thursday the capture and arrest of Jesus (Mark 14:12). We can discuss the importance of this meal with our children and act it out with them in a very real and relevant way.

Research indicates that the meal Jesus shared with His disciples could have consisted of bean stew, lamb, bread, fruit (such as dates and grapes), nuts, olives, and red wine. Depending on the liking of your family, you can choose to make a stew and bring out naan bread (which is our favorite), or opt for a simpler style and do something along the lines of a charcuterie tray with various meats, nuts, fruits, and olives. For the drink, you can use red grape juice or any sort of red drink to symbolize Jesus' blood.

It is also worth noting that at the Last Supper, Jesus gave instructions to love one another (John 13:35). This is why it is called "Maundy," which is Latin for "command." As He gave this command, Jesus washed each of the disciple's feet (John 13:6-12).

Before the meal, take turns washing each other's feet and discuss the compassion and love Jesus commands us to share. Then, as you sit down for the meal, read in the Bible how this Last Supper was shared among the disciples in Matthew 26:17-30.

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easter eggs in basket easter origins

4. Have a "Christ-Centered" Basket

It may be of no surprise that the Easter basket is notably one of the most exciting parts for our kiddos. After all, they are filled to the brim with goodies! But what if we took a different spin on the whole basket idea and used it as a way to bring in the story of Jesus?

Growing up, my sister and I used to go out into the fields of our grandparent's farm and pick bluebonnets (they generally blossom in March or April and bring such a beautiful blue hue to our Texas fields this time of year). Then, we would place it inside our baskets before the Easter Bunny came. It was as if we were giving something to him in return for his generosity and kindness.

Since Easter welcomes the beautiful time of spring and we share that Jesus brings and gives us life, it can give way for our children to partake in a similar activity. Our children can take their empty Easter baskets outside and look for beautiful flowers, rocks, or anything they see that strikes their fancy to "decorate" their baskets. We can explain that Jesus died for us on the cross to take away our sins, and we should be ever so grateful. So, these beautiful things we find in His creation remind us of His love, faithfulness, and goodness.

Then, they place Christ-centered goodies in their basket, such as chocolate crosses, stories about Jesus, stuffed lambs, or decorative Bible verses to recognize that the basket symbolizes Christ's bounty of blessings.

Photo credit: Annie Spratt

Happy grandma with grandchild on Easter

5. Create Crafts That Reflect Christ

Creating something together with your little people isn't just fun and a time to share special memories, but it can also open up a line of communication to share the story of Jesus.

While you can always hit up a local craft store and find organized crafts, or at least get some simple supplies to make cross necklaces or a paper mâché tomb, you may just want to make do with some of the supplies you have at home. So, below, you will find simple and easy-to-create crafts with supplies you most likely already have!

Penny Cross

Not sure what to do with all those extra pennies? Glue them down in the form of a cross on a small piece of wood or plaque. Take a marker and have your child write out John 3:16 or another verse that speaks to their heart.

Three Cross Garden

Take the bottom of a small plant pot (the tray/flat part) and have your child fill it with dirt. Then, take some sticks and make them into three crosses. You can tie them together with rubber bands or some twine. Stick them into the dirt and pat them down. Add grass or rocks for decoration. Then share the story of the three crosses in Luke 23:33, Matthew 27:38, Mark 15:27, or John 19:18).

New Creation Bookmark

Cut a piece of construction paper into a 2x6 inch (or so) rectangle to resemble a bookmark. Then write the Bible verse from 2 Corinthians 5:17. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! Discuss how Jesus gives us a new life when we believe in him and place our faith and trust in Him. Ask them what that means and how they think that may look to live a life of faith. You may be surprised by their answers as it may spur on more questions and lead to great conversations. Have them decorate the bookmark with things that make them think of that "new life." Then, punch a hole at the top and string a ribbon through.

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Easter Prayer

Easter Prayer

Father, we are so very grateful for this beautiful season and what Easter means to us as believers. We want to honor You with our time this sacred and holy time of year. Help us place the spotlight on You as we go about our Easter activities and traditions. Open the eyes of our children to see the love You displayed for them on the cross. We love you and are so humbled by the promise that Easter brings. Amen.

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Alicia SearlAlicia Searl is a devotional author, blogger, and speaker that is passionate about pouring out her heart and pointing ladies of all ages back to Jesus. She has an education background and master’s in literacy.  Her favorite people call her Mom, which is why much of her time is spent cheering them on at a softball game or dance class. She is married to her heartthrob (a tall, spiky-haired blond) who can whip up a mean latte. She sips that goodness while writing her heart on a page while her puppy licks her feet. Visit her website at aliciasearl.com and connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

Originally published Friday, 15 March 2024.