Friday, April 22, 2011

Resurrection Rolls and other Easter Traditions for Kids

I love Holidays and love to do all sorts of things to celebrate them.  At Christmas we have scads of traditions that must happen or Christmas just isn't Christmas.  I have probably ruined my sons for any woman as keeping up with all of these things are just not fun unless you love it.  It has gotten to the point that my kids expect something grand and special every holiday.

"Good morning's Veterans Day!  Where are the Veterans Day decorations?"

"What?  Hm?  We don't decorate for Veterans Day.  We call our family who has served and thank them."

"But we have to have decorations!  Or a cake!  How about a cake?"

Last night before prayers Gabriel asked, "What are we going to do for Earth Day tomorrow?  Isn't it something that Earth Day and Good Friday are both tomorrow?  What are we going to do?"

"We are going to take our recyclables down to the fire station," Aaron said.  Thank goodness he had an idea because I had not planned on anything for Earth Day.  I did however have a plan for Good Friday.

Every Easter we always dye eggs and get a basket from the Easter Bunny (next to the leprechaun, one of the creepiest of Holiday characters if you ask me.)  We also have two other traditions that are not as widely practiced. 

One is the Easter Watermelon:

When Gabriel was about 2 (3?) we were talking up all of the things we would be doing for Easter.  We were at the grocery store and he saw a watermelon and thought, based on  my descriptions) that it was an Easter Egg.  I explained that it wasn't but then an idea struck me.  We bought the watermelon.  At home I stripped that baby boy down to his diaper and set out some paints.  He finger painted the watermelon to look like a very colorful Easter Egg.  Actually, it was a mess.  Most years it is.  A few times the boys have mixed the colors into this disgusting brown color. : / 

Every year I hope it will look like an Easter Egg with beautiful color and design.  Last years was very nice.  Looked like an impressionist painting.  There was lots of color but not too blended.  This year, the boys got a little help from a friend, 13 year old Erik.  I could just kiss Erik because he got the boys to do what I have never been able to do: a REAL Easter Watermelon!  (Erik, I may have to have you do the gingerbread house with them next year.  Those are never very attractive either...)  But seriously, part of the fun is seeing what their own creative genius comes up with. 

Our other fun (and yummy) tradition is the Resurrection Roll:

This is a demonstration for the kids of the death and Resurrection of Christ.  You start with large marshmallows, sugar, cinnamon, melted butter, and crescent rolls.  (Mix the sugar and cinnamon together.)  Read the directions on the crescent roll container.  Preheat your oven for the temperature given.

The marshmallow represents Christ.

"Why is Jesus the marshmallow?"  Drew asked me today.

"Because it's all white and Jesus was pure and without the mark of sin."

Then you take your Jesus-mallow and prepare it for burial.  First He is dipped in the butter.  This represents the oils that were used to prepare His body.

Next, roll Him in the sugar and cinnamon mix.  These represent the spices that were also used to prepare a body for burial.

Then you roll your prepared mallow in crescent roll dough.

Finally seal the tomb.  This is crucial.  If you don't pinch the open ends of the dough well, then the demo won't work.

Ready for the oven! 

Just follow the baking instructions on the crescent roll container.  Ours said 12-15 min.  Go for the longer time.

Ideally, they will look like this:
But since baking is not my forte (even something as basic as this) ours turned out like this:

OK, this is not supposed to happen.  You do not want Jesus oozing out all over the place.  It ruins the surprise and it's very difficult to clean up.  FAIL!!!

However...the point still gets across.  Look inside:

The tomb is empty!!!  Hooray! 

Where'd He go?

To prevent Mallow Seepage I recommend using the large crescent roll dough and then seal, seal, seal it up really good.  There are some other resurrection cookies and stuff but they take a long time and are not as tasty as these.  These rolls taste a little like a cinnamon roll but not nearly as sugary sweet.

So that is what we did for Good Friday.  Tomorrow we will dye our Easter Eggs.  Sunday we will wake up to Easter baskets and spend church and lunch with a dear friend. 

Oh I have to add one more idea because it really made us laugh!  This same friend that is hosting us for Easter called me last week.

"I need a creative idea," she said.  Her sons Christian Preschool was having an Easter party.  She signed up to do the games.  The school sent a reminder to the parents involved in the party planning to please keep the treat, crafts, games, and decorations Christ centered.  No bunnies, no eggs, etc. (Or as my friend put it "so that we are sure to really slap them upside the head with what the Holiday is really about." Ha!)  I do love making sure that our children know what Christmas, Easter, St. Patty's and the like are truly about but I am all for balance.  Anywhoo, she and I brainstormed various ideas.

"I know,"  I finally said, "how about instead of Pin the Tail on the Donkey you do Pin the Jesus on the Cross?  The kids can't go wrong!  If they miss the cross and Jesus is up in the clouds or walkin' about on the hill, it's still all good.  Everyone wins!  And we know how schools like to be sure and have a class full of winners."

We had a good laugh over this idea.  For some reason she didn't run with it.  I don't know...

I would love to hear your clever Easter traditions!  Feel free to share below in a comment.  In the mean time, my family and I are off to the recycling station!  Happy Earth Day, ya'll!

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