Holy Week Eggs
As a family we tend to be of the “all days holy” variety. We don’t do Easter Bunnies or Tooth Fairies, Santa Claus or Leprechauns out of personal conviction. Instead we have a few small traditions that make holy days holy and they are enough. One of our traditions is to celebrate the first day of spring with the colored eggs and whatnot instead of doing all that on Easter Sunday. I hide a few spring things around the house for the kids to find (usually seed packs and some other assorted small items). This is when the grandparents get to give their gifts of bunnies and chicks. If they want to give an Easter gift we ask that they stick to lambs and new clothes as symbols of Easter. It all works out.
One of the thing we have been doing for over 5 years is celebrate holy week with wooden eggs. Back when Rachel was a baby and we had not yet convinced the grandparents that huge baskets full of goodies were not our preferred means of celebrating Resurrection Sunday my grandfather gave me 18 wooden eggs. I had for some time had an urge to find a tradition that would suit our convictions about the Easter holiday. I had recently read “No Ordinary Home” by Carol Brazo and attempted to make 40 days of Lent ornaments but with little money and no real conviction that this was the right thing for our family it didn’t go so well. I made them and they traveled to several houses with us but they never really worked for us. I could never remember to start when Lent started, could never find a suitable branch to make a tree out of, and well, it just never worked out.
A few years and several moves later I found those 18 eggs and had an idea. I got out my Bible and did a study of holy week. I pulled out 20 major events or parables that occurred during that week and designed symbols that would remind me and the kids of those stories. I then painted the symbols on each egg (several have two images that go together time wise.) Each egg tells a story and there are several eggs for each day of holy week that correspond to what happened on that day, except for Saturday where there is only one. On the bottom of each egg the corresponding verses are written and they are numbered so I could keep track of when each happened. Each gets hidden and found on its special day then we tell the stories that go with each egg.
This week the kids reminded me of the eggs. We had to go to the attic to find them. The kids each have their favorite and love our tradition more than typical Easter egg hunts (they have voiced this opinion many times in a “I pity the poor children who don’t get to find OUR eggs” sort of way–I find this rather humorous. They have spent the last few days hiding the eggs themselves and finding them.
We start today, on Palm Sunday. The kids know and can’t wait. I agree with the kids–there is something appealing about holding these eggs– the texture of them is different that real eggs. The paint is starting to wear–throughout the year the kids search them out and play with them. The paintings themselves are simple and from a time when I was not doing much in the way of art. I can’t bring myself to redo them though, there is something solid and truthful about them as they are.