Ecards

March 20, 2010

How to Have an Exciting Easter Every Year

Filed under: easter — Tags: , — ecards @ 10:25 am


OK. I’m done with winter. I am READY for it to make an exit. It’s been a pretty long and harsh few months and I can’t wait for warmer weather. Which, hopefully shouldn’t be too far away, considering Easter is around the corner. (April 4) So, have you thought about how to celebrate?

No. I don’t mean how much you’ll spend on each Easter basket, or new clothes and hats, or on travel or whether you’ll tell your kids the story of the Easter bunny. But – how will you actually celebrate this wonderful time of the year? After all, the onset of spring is one of nature’s most spectacular displays. It’s not only pleasant on the eyes and a great time to venture outdoors after months of bitter weather, but it’s also symbolic. To many, spring also represent new beginnings of a different kind.

Now, my family doesn’t really celebrate Easter. But, in my online travels I stumbled upon some really cool Easter activities, crafts and games that I just couldn’t help paying attention to.

I know that the usual Easter egg hunt is fascinating in itself, at least for little ones.  But sometimes, for us adults, doing the same things over and over again every year tends to get monotonous. Planning the same menu, cooking the same meals, the same shopping trips, the same gifts, the same holidays – sometimes you need to break away a little from tradition to value tradition. What do you think?

If you feel the same way and are game for some exciting new stuff to try this Easter, why not try to make up some your own traditions? After all – most of the customs and traditions associated with Easter and other holidays, including Christmas, revolve around the idea of making it appealing and fun for kids. Santa Claus, stockings, Easter bunny, basketful of treats…it’s all about getting the kids excited and to encourage their participation in the holiday.

So, what if you were to create new traditions based on your child’s individual personality or taste?

From making your own Easter basket or Easter bunny from an old sock (http://familyfun.go.com/easter/easter-bunny-crafts-recipes-printables/sock-hop-841022/), to paper crafts, to coming up with Easter games that the entire family could play- did you know that there are countless ways to personalize Easter? Or for that matter any holiday.

Age-old traditions are important and have their place.
However, sometimes, making up little traditions helps to keep the enthusiasm alive.

For example,
* Instead of sticking to the same menu, this year, why not experiment with a new dish to replace one of the usual items. Find a new recipe that you and your child could try out together.
* Or, instead of going for conventional Easter baskets and bunnies, why not spend a couple of afternoons making them from things readily available around your home. (http://familyfun.go.com/easter/easter-crafts/easter-baskets/bunny-basket-665124/). You could use the opportunity to talk about recycling and the environment, or simply have a good time ‘making’ something with your kids. It doesn’t matter how well the crafts turn out, as long as you both had a good time and keep the spirit of tradition alive.
* You could come up with an Easter game(http://www.garvick.com/annual/easter/easter-games.htm) and make it a tradition to play the game every year after Easter lunch.  Or even come up with a new game every year.
* Or take a walk around your neighborhood and identify the different kinds of plants and trees, paying attention to the ones that already show signs of life.
* You could read up on the different ways in which spring is welcomed and celebrated around the world(http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/03/25/spring-holidays-around-th_n_178955.html)and maybe add a few global customs to your Easter celebrations.
With just a little thought and effort, you can turn Easter and every holiday in the year into an exciting learning opportunity for everyone and a family bonding experience. Who knows, your kids may even grow up boasting to their friends that their mom’s holiday traditions were the coolest!

Oh! And don’t forget to add sending free Easter ecards and giving each other free Printable Easter cards to your list of new holiday traditions. That’s something you can do regardless of how you celebrate Easter!!

March 27, 2009

The Birth of the Easter Bunny

Filed under: Free Ecards, about holidays, easter — Tags: , , — ecards @ 11:14 am

 

 So, how did the Easter Bunny get its name…and what does a bunny have to do with Easter eggs anyway?

Legend has it that the rabbit (actually, the hare) was a symbol associated with the ancient festival of the Pagans, celebrated in honor of the Goddess Eastre or Eostre. She was the Goddess of fertility and the festival marked the birth of new life. It  also coincided with the arrival of spring. Understandably, rabbits and hares, became associated with this Pagan festival owing to their fertility. Later, Christian missionaries, in the process of popularizing the Christian faith, adopted this Pagan symbol of fertility and incorporated it into the occasion representing the resurrection of Jesus which occurred around the same time of the year. The two festivals merged – Eastre became Easter, and the fertile rabbit became the Easter Bunny. The rabbit became a symbol of innocence and sacrifice, very similar to the lamb.

There are a few other stories that tie the loose ends of this unforgettable Easter character together.

In Germany, in the 1500s children were raised to believe that a bunny would bring them colorful eggs as gifts, if they behaved well. This tradition found its way to America in the 1700s. According to another legend, a group of kids once found colorfully decorated eggs hidden in the garden outside their home. Snuggled close to the eggs, as if in a nest, was a bunny, appearing as if it had laid the eggs. This image somehow found its way into folklore and thus paved the way for the now popular Easer Bunny. All these legends combined with the fact that giving decorated eggs as gifts was already a popular custom in Europe, gave rise to the Easter Bunny traditions we know today.

So there you have it. A bunny. A basket of colorful eggs. And a spring festival of fertility. All coming together to symbolize one of the most important occasions for followers of Christianity – the resurrection of Jesus. Easter 2009 is almost here.

How will you be celebrating? Will you be joining your family or do you live too far away? Are you taking your kids on an egg hunt? Or will you be celebrating the arrival of spring in your own unique way? Tell us!

No matter how you mark this occasion and regardless of whether you celebrate spring or life or Easter, there is sure to be something in our Free Easter Ecards section that will make you smile.

Wishing you a Happy Easter and a very joyful spring! Here’s to new beginnings…

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