Happy, glorious, Easter!!!!! It is such a joy and gift to be past Good Friday. I don’t know about you, but reaching Easter this year feels like sweet relief. Finally, the finish line! (only, just a taste of the true finish line, which of course is Heaven)
I know many of our families are still carrying heavy burdens, be it illness, or separation, or depression, or any other struggle. I pray for you daily. But Easter is hope and joy and a reminder that–God be praised–this isn’t all there is. Perfect life and happiness await us.
We feast now, after so many days of fasting. I ate more than my fill, for sure! Feasting can be, and should be, more than eating fancy brunches with family, and finally having that Cadbury egg! (though who doesn’t love the Cadbury eggs?!)
This year, my husband and I are going to try to celebrate the Octave of Easter–a whole eight days of Easter solemnity!–a bit more intentionally. Ok, I admit, one of the ways was a last-minute sort of plan, due to some miscommunication and mishaps with Easter baskets…but it is what it is and we’re going to extend the celebration through this week. Please do not feel obligated to make an extra shopping trip if it stresses you out. More than half of these ideas require no shopping whatsoever. (yea!) What follows are simple suggestions that came to me earlier today (not kidding, I’m that kind of planner) and I since I want to actually accomplish a few of them, I’m sharing my ideas with you for accountability. Hopefully, you’ll be inspired and able to do a few to help your family also enjoy the many days of feasting!
1-Fun and games
Egg hunts–just hide the empty plastic eggs! My kids are thrilled with the idea of hunting all over the house for eggs again. If you have kids in school, you don’t even have to make them hide in their room while you hide eggs around the house. Hide them while they are at school! Or, hide the eggs when they go to bed if you’d like a bit of chaos before breakfast. That’s always fun, right?
Extra game-time with the kids this week sounds fun, maybe make time for a quick card game or board game before dinner! And another exciting surprise we’re adding is special fun gifts from Daddy, as part of another egg hunt, later in the week.
Enjoy all those chocolates and treats. Maybe bake another sweet something or special dish one night this week. I have a few recipes saved on Pinterest that I didn’t make yet, and hope to bake one or two for an afternoon treat this week.
Wake up and spend some time in silence, with the stillness and beauty of a candle and the sunrise…and pray. Join me and the other women in the Blessed Is She community with the On the Way: The Road to Pentecost study. I’m eager to get started. There is also a FB group if you like online chats and accountability and sisterhood.
4-Stay in touch
Send some cards to friends. Print some pictures from the weekend and send them to faraway relatives or friends. We have friends all over the country, who we haven’t seen in years, and sending a card and updated photo now would definitely bring a smile to our elderly neighbors in other states. Or, send a note to a friend in need. Or (also!), give a note of appreciation to your priest!
5-Learn about Divine Mercy
Divine Mercy Sunday is the final day of the Octave of Easter, and such a great feast in its own right. I’m only now beginning to appreciate this feast, especially since I’ve been reading and praying through the personal retreat by Fr. Michael Gaitley 33 Days to Merciful Love. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy is a favorite prayer of my husband, and this year we’re praying the novena as a family. It’s beautiful. (well…one kiddo complains every night and hasn’t grasped why we’re praying it for nine days in a row, but he’s coming around). We’re learning the prayers, my husband invites the kids to lead a decade of the short prayers yearning for mercy on the world, and I hope to learn more about the feast this week together. The official website will be my starting point, and as I learn more, I hope to share about it in a few days.
6-Works of Mercy
What a great time to keep up with works of mercy! Our joy in the Resurrection should inspire us to live our faith more fully, and to spread the love of Christ in action. You can pray for the dead, buy food for the food bank, donate to a local Catholic charity (did you fill rice bowls for Catholic Relief Services?), send clothing and jackets your family isn’t using to a local shelter, and more.
7-Decorate your house for the season, with signs of life and joy
Fresh flowers, an “Alleluia” banner, or even brightly colored silk flowers make for a joyful addition to your home! Who says Christmas should have all the great decorations?
Happy Easter, my friends! May you be richly blessed and showered with His love and mercy this season.