5 Weeks till Easter, 5 Ways to Plan Ahead

Unless you saw people wearing smudges on their foreheads last week or you attend a liturgical church, you probably missed the start of the Easter 2020 season.  Most of us miss it every year.

While Christmas comes with nearly six months of anticipation–decorative and gift items start appearing in late summer, calling to us months in advance–Easter gets very little marketing support. 

Does your emphasis on Christmas far surpass what you do for Easter? Do you have multiple large plastic storage bins in your attic full of Christmas decorations? It’s true of me.  Easter is the holiday that sneaks up on us and finds us unprepared. 

This year I hope you will join me by asking God to help you rightly balance your celebration of His greatest miracle, Easter, with your celebration of His birth, Christmas.

I want to help you plan and make much of His resurrection, that you might know Him more and that your family might become #easterpeople for whom the cross is everything!

Lots of ideas are listed below by week.  You can also download and print a free Easter Checklist

Week One: March 2-8

The most important step is deciding in advance what kind of Easter celebration you want to create, host or share with others. Options include:

  • A cozy and intimate gathering with just your immediate family at home
  • A big Easter lunch or dinner with your extended family in your backyard or a beautiful nearby park with everyone contributing food and planning
  • A larger neighborhood or church-wide celebration
  • An all-day party starting with your church’s celebration, followed by an afternoon gathering with many friends, family, and “whosoever will may come,” ending with an evening of music, fireworks, and dancing!

Begin this week talking to friends, family, neighbors or your church staff who might want to join you. Then find one or more partners to share the dreaming, work, and joy. And don’t be surprised or discouraged if you don’t find many eager to help. Start small this year if necessary but keep your eyes on Jesus because this party-planning is all for Him.

Second, begin choosing the location, with a backup in case of rain. Three years ago I planned a big feast for our entire family; all 36 of us. Our house is way too small for everyone to eat together. I was imagining a long table with everyone around it as a foretaste of the marriage supper of the Lamb! My goal was to show my children and grands a glimpse of our future as the Bride of Christ. I rented a barn near our home, borrowed tables, and days before Easter began collecting chairs and everything needed for this grand occasion.

Third, start working on a menu. Will you want a lunch or a dinner feast? Maybe a potluck would be best? As you work on the menu begin listing those friends and family who can own certain dishes or tasks related to the meal. 

Fourth, it’s still early in the Lenten season, still time to order our Journey to Easter Collection which includes our Waiting on the Lamb banner and calendars for counting down the days to Easter. Using this will disciple your children, and I bet you will learn something too, plus hanging the banner is a start on decorating your home for Easter. 

Week Two: March 9-15

This week start decorating your house for Easter. Let’s prepare the way for remembering and worshipping Jesus by making our homes reflect, teach and focus on Him. This should be as important as decorating for Christmas! At everthinehome.com you can find our Easter 2020 catalog, several pages of beautiful biblical products, free downloads and more. Click here.

Watch for recipe ideas and more decorating ideas.

Next begin listing, then buying or collecting all you need for any celebration you plan away from your home; paper products, strings of patio lights, extension cords, candles, sparklers, pop-up tents, etc.  Locate chairs, tables, and anything you can borrow. Then assign one of your teens or a friend to be responsible for collecting and delivering them on Holy Saturday, beginning the set up at your chosen location. 

And P.S. Consider hiring a photographer! Doesn’t have to be expensive, but ask someone to capture the event just as you would a birthday party or a wedding celebration. Then make a photo book to record the memories of the day.

Week Three: March 16-March 22

Make plans for Holy Week. Download our free Holy Week candle templates and make the candles to go with Behold the Lamb, our Holy Week calendar in the Journey to Easter Collection. Decide where you will place these beautiful candles for Holy Week and what time of day you will walk through the daily devotions with your family.

Second. Begin baking or cooking ahead and freezing so you’ll have less work to do on Easter weekend. 

Week Four: March 23- 29

Easter is almost here. If you plan to wear new or special clothes for Easter services, start making those decisions this week. Watch for a new post coming soon on the meaning behind wearing all white and its biblical association.

Also review the details of your plans, making sure everyone and every decision is on track. Finish gathering everything for the meal, except fresh fruits and flowers; pulling out your best of everything for King Jesus!

Next week’s focus is finishing so you’ll be free to participate and enjoy Holy Week with your family.

Week Five: March 30-April 5

Holy Week begins this week on Sunday, April 5.  Those of you who have our Journey to Easter Collection already have the second calendar, Behold the Lamb, for your family to experience during Holy Week. 

It will be helpful for you to think ahead to Good Friday. Here are several options of ways to make this holy day:

  • Choose to attend services at your church
  • Set aside a time for your family to read the story of Good Friday from the Bible or in our Holy Week calendar 
  • Buy red Crayola finger paint, two yards of wide red ribbon or soft red fabric to hang over your front door
  • Buy one dozen red roses and with your children pull off all the petals and sprinkle them around your candles or your front porch to symbolize the blood of Jesus.
  • Light the candle for Good Friday and read the story of the first Passover in Exodus 12:1-13, especially emphasizing verse 13, “and when I see the blood, I will pass over you …”.

By starting to get ready for Easter way in advance, you will build anticipation. You can plan a little time to ponder the uncomfortable truths of Jesus’ death and burial, His suffering, His pain. Remember the disciples were shocked at His death, their hopes were dashed, their fears were crippling. 

Going to the agony of the cross is very good for your faith! Don’t rush past meditating on what Jesus did for you.

Then you will be ready for Sunday’s dawn. 

Then your joy on Resurrection Day will begin to match the disciples. 

Then the world will know that you have been with Jesus; that your life has been changed forever.

Join us in becoming #easterpeople for whom the cross is everything!

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