I've been trying to figure out whether or not we were going to do Easter baskets. I'm still not totally sold on the idea. I still want to look up the origin of the tradition, but I definitely have some ideas of what I would put in an Easter basket. So for now, here's my plan.
So here's the (tentative) plan. (It might change as we go along.)
I talked to Acorn about how Lent is a time of getting ready for the mystery of Easter (a la Godly Play or Young Children and Worship, which is what we've been doing for Sunday School). We talked about how we are waiting for the mystery of Easter and sometimes it can be hard to wait. I might also connect this to Jesus' time in the wilderness, which we learned about a few weeks ago. We talked about how Lent is a long time and asked if he would like to make a paper chain so we could see how long Lent was. He was pretty excited about that! So Acorn cut almost all of the paper strips himself, and glued many of them too, although that was my job at the end.
I think the next part of the plan might be a way to utilize the strips instead of just tossing them. I'm thinking on the purple strips we might write down something we are waiting for each day. And on the white strips we might write one of God's gifts that we are thankful for on each day. I'm not sure if we should write these together each day, or if I should write things on the strips ahead of time so we have something different each day. I'm not sure what we'll do with those strips. So far the only thing I can come up with is to paste them onto a cross. And at the end of Easter, all of the gifts we've been given (on white strips) will overwhelm all of our desires (on purple strips).
As for incorporating the Easter basket, I think we're going to go ahead of our plan of closing a "tomb" on Good Friday, and finding it open on Sunday with gifts inside. We'll talk about how God gave us the promise of eternal life through his son Jesus Christ. I thought I might drag out the Easter gifts, kind of like some families do for the twelve days of Christmas, but I don't want to do a gift on every day. So instead I think we'll do a gift on each Sunday. I'm hoping to come of with some clever connection to a Bible verse for each gift. For example, on Easter Sunday Acorn will find his roller skates with a note that reads something like, "Oh you can't get to Heaven on roller skates; you'll roll right by those pearly gates. Jesus said, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.' (John 14:6)" I might also include some elbow and knee pads with the verse, "God arms me with strength; he has made my way safe." (Psalm 18:32)
Other gift ideas include sunglasses, rainboots & umbrellas, eggs & cups, tools and garden supplies. I'd love to hear your thoughts on all of it!