If you celebrate Easter, Passover or any kind of holiday during this time, I hope it was a fulfilling, festive time for you. For this week’s blog, I was torn about what to write. Part of me would like to blog about a heartfelt, spiritual way to celebrate this time of year, and the other part would like to focus on celebrating in a simple, natural way. Hey, at least I don’t have to worry about writer’s block! So I have chosen to write about both – only that the former will have to wait until next week.
With all that goes on, is it possible to pull the reigns and simplify our celebrations? Can we have a loving, bonding time with our children as we prepare for our holidays? I always have to ask myself this, because I can easily get caught up in all that I am involved in. I do usually take time to breathe in the holidays, but this year it didn’t work out as smoothly – and I am okay with that. If one year is not perfect, I give myself permission to let go of my ideals. We did get a few beautiful days where my family and I soaked up the warmth of the year and each other, and I absorbed it all. So how do we make the best of everything?
Pick something that you would like to do – or can do. Then, find at least one day where you can spend time on that chosen event. How about an hour dying eggs with your family. You can do this naturally, in the same way people have done it for hundreds of years – take color from nature. This is the time, when you want that red beet juice all over your eggs! I’ve included ways to dye naturally in my weekly tips tab. Your kids will probably cherish that moment with you, and may also look back as they are adults, and cherish it even more. The reason why I now dye eggs with my children, is because it reminds me of the warm, cozy moments during Spring and the holidays when I enjoyed this with my parents, and extended family. In a way, I am passing down this warm feeling to my children.
If it is in your tradition to bake, pick a day when you can do this with your children. A close friend of mine, texted me that she will be baking Passover cakes with her college graduate daughter. That was a sweet reflection of the bond they created for themselves throughout the years. If you are baking with a 2 year old however, there is a good chance that your kitchen will be a mess, you will have a lot more clean up, and the whole process can take double the time – but ask yourself if it is worth the investment. These are the only years you will have to create these rituals with them. When children are young, it is the best time to introduce your traditions. That is how they will remain with them forever, and this is how they will continue these traditions with you when they are adults.
If you will make baskets for loved ones, you can buy some fake grass, cut real grass and let it dry in the basket, or you can paper shred a paper bag and recycle it as grass in your basket. Add a few of your colored eggs in there, a few chocolates (organic ones contain a lot less guilt when eaten), and maybe even a little felted animal. Needle felting is easy and fun. A little chic and its eggs can be felted in just a few minutes. You can also needle felt flowers by using cookie cutters to shape them in. You can pull up ways to do this on YouTube. It’s fast, cute and very inexpensive. My son loves doing this. My good friend, melted crayons into shapes with her 2 yr. old daughter, as their craft and included it in our basket. You can really get creative on how to fill your basket beautifully, for just a few dollars each.
If you like to decorate for the holidays, spend about an hour on making the inside or outside of your home festive. I LOVE this (since I was very little).
You can begin prayers with your child from from as young as you would like. We are still cultivating faith in our family by integrating spirituality and religions. Stay tuned for next week’s blog on that topic though.
Whatever you choose to incorporate into your family celebrations and rituals, always make sure it is true to you. If it doesn’t make sense, or if it doesn’t work with your schedule and life, try out a few things to find out what does. And start by bringing in at least one of those things. Who knows, you may find out that you have time to introduce a second ritual, and so on. Inviting in the warmth and rituals of holidays, and seasons has soothed humanity for ages. You will notice that as your children grow, they will look forward to each season with joy and excitement. And as they grow into adults, they will cherish and honor the seasons in their own way … as a result of what you offered to them when they were growing up. And when they are sharing these with their own little ones, you will somehow be present with them in a very special way.
Always remember, to add a dash of Love, into all that you do. It will be carried on for many years to come.