Why It’s Time to Start Easter Planning

Following the culture’s and retailers’ lead Christians, like most everyone else, spend a lot of time and money preparing for Christmas with parties, presents, and elaborate decorations around our homes and communities. Twinkling lights, glowing fires, warm mugs full of cheer are enjoyed by bright-eyed hopefuls from 1 to 92.

By contrast, most of us give Easter little thought, time, or preparation. We take a minimalist approach to celebrating the greatest event of history.  We ignore what Jesus commanded us to do–remember His death (1 Corinthians 11:23-26). He never asked us to commemorate His birth.

Does the emphasis on Christmas far surpass what you do for Easter in your house? It certainly has in mine for most of my adult life. But what if that means we’re missing it?

Easter is the holiday that sneaks up on us and finds us unprepared. Why do we let that happen?

  • While Christmas has nearly six months of anticipation–decorative and gift items start appearing in late summer, calling to us months in advance–Easter gets little advance marketing support from the retail world.
  • Making Christmas meaningful and memorable for families is easier because schools close for two or more weeks.  In contrast, our children might get Good Friday off from school or in some years spring break coincides with Holy Week. Even its title, spring break instead of Easter break, doesn’t encourage a focus on celebrating this holy event.
  • Easter’s date changes on the calendar every year, making it more challenging to remember and plan ahead. It’s early this year: April 1. Time to mark your calendar and start planning.
  • Lent, for those who desire to use these six weeks as a way to prepare hearts for Easter, begins this year on February 14, a mere six weeks into the new year.  We’ve barely put away our Christmas things, and it’s suddenly time to prepare for another event. I wonder if we over celebrate Christmas and as a result have too little energy, desire, or emotion left for the most important holiday of the year?
  • And then there’s money. Too many of us spend a lot of money on Christmas; taking a ski trip, traveling to visit family, and of course buying big gifts year after year. We don’t budget money for Easter like we do for Christmas.
  • And last but not least we really don’t know how to celebrate Easter. We don’t have a vision for how to make much of this important holiday.

No matter what reason you identify with I want to implore you to rethink this holiday with me. Ask God to help you rightly balance your attention to His greatest miracle, Easter, with your attention to His birth, Christmas.

I invite you this year to intentionally make much of His resurrection so that you might know Him more, to become Easter people for whom the cross is everything.

And because I know making much of Easter is a little like swimming upstream, we have lots of ideas and helps prepared for you starting today.  In the next six to eight weeks watch for more ideas, videos, products, blog posts, photos and encouragement as you join us to Resurrect the Wonder of Easter! {If you want to join us, use #ResurrectTheWonderOfEaster}

Our first idea is this free planning calendar to print and post on your refrigerator, over your desk, wherever you can see it and be reminded what’s coming. Even though we automatically countdown the days to all kinds of events, birthdays, new baby due dates, end of school, and Christmas, we don’t have the same habit with Easter.

So read the calendar below and print! It starts with mental prep first of course and then in a few weeks with actual decisions.

Jan 29 – Feb 12 (8 weeks out): This is probably the most important step. In these two weeks think about what kind of Easter celebration you want to create. Do you want to start small or go big with your church. Here are questions to ask and ponder:

  • Do you want something cozy and intimate with your just immediate family? Do you want a big Easter lunch or dinner your extended family?
  • Do you want to go all out and plan something big with friends and neighbors, or with your church?
  • If you decide on a group celebration, start talking to friends who might want to join you and find a partner with whom to share the work and joy.
  • Will you want to include a grand lunch or dinner feast? Begin now to think about the location, menu, decorations, and responsibilities.
  • Back to your own family, decide if you want to lead your family in an Easter Advent during the weeks of Lent to prepare hearts for rejoicing in His miracles. Check out our Easter Advent banner.

Feb 12 – March 14 (4 weeks out):

  • Decorate 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! We will begin featuring our things soon but if you want to see them now go to here.
  • Watch for weekly idea posts starting February 16 and lasting till Holy Week. Make sure you’re subscribed to receive them in your inbox. 
  • Watch for new videos: The Joy of our family’s Easter feast last year, How to Set an Easter Table, and How to Celebrate Holy Week.
  • Watch for recipe ideas and decorating ideas on our Friday posts

March 14-28 (2 weeks out):

  • Make plans for Holy Week. Download our free Holy Week Advent calendar and candle wraps (available March 1). Buy inexpensive white pillar candles and add the decorative names of Jesus wraps. Decide where you will place them for Holy Week and what time of day you will walk through this daily devotion with your family.
  • If you plan to wear new or special clothes for Easter services, start making those decisions this week too.
  • Begin baking or cooking ahead and freezing so you’ll have less work to do on Easter weekend.

March 25-April 1 (Holy Week)

  • Holy Week begins on Palm Sunday, March 25th.  If you have our original Behold the Lamb cards plan a time to read those with your family, one each day. If you don’t have them, download our free Holy Week Advent cards to use one each day with your family. The content is similar so if you have one you aren’t missing a lot by not having both.
  • Finish preparing for food prep, clothes for church, making your Holy Week candles, getting fresh flowers, pulling out your best of everything for King Jesus!

By starting to get ready way in advance, you will build anticipation and you can create time, even very small amounts, to ponder the uncomfortable truths of Jesus’ death and burial. Allow yourself to feel just a hint of His agony, His suffering, His pain. Walk away from the cross with the disciples who were shocked at His death, whose hopes were dashed, whose fears were crippling; their despair and depression deep and debilitating.

This is VERY good for your faith! Don’t rush past thinking about 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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10 thoughts on “Why It’s Time to Start Easter Planning”

  1. Would like to know how to download the Easter print with seven candles. Would really like to use it with my family as to point them to Jesus and it is very important for them to know him Personally.

  2. Just gotta say… that’s why we have Lent. Lent is the penitential season which anticipates and prepares us for Easter. Somehow we’re losing that history and tradition. We don’t need consumer products – we need Christ & the Church. The Church has always reminded us and guided us through those seasons. If your church doesn’t, it may be time to consider why and find one that does.

    1. Thanks for your comment. We are excited to hear that there are others who value the importance of Lent as a way to prepare for Easter.

  3. Is there a way to still order just the “He is Risen” banner? Without young children in the house I have no need for the countdown portion.

    Thank you!

  4. I see a picture of the Easter advent calendar but I can’t seem to find a link as to how to purchase it….is it coming soon.

  5. Thank you for this!! I love Easter and it is by far my favorite holiday. I think it’s overlooked and rushed through by many fellow Christians. I am hoping and praying to slow down this year and celebrate and enjoy our risen Savior! Looking forward to your ideas on how to deepen my families love of this season. Thank you!

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