Thursday, March 7, 2013

crown of thorns

A few years back, I became disenchanted with Easter and the traditions that often go with it.

My kids, interestingly enough, had never really cared about egg hunts.

When we tried to color Easter eggs, they didn't really like it and would disappear soon after we had started, leaving me with most of the work.

And as cute as they are, this is not really what Easter is all about...

What truly bothered me was when I was introduced to the pagan origins of Easter itself. Consider searching this out and reading about it, if you are interested. I had always wondered why baby animals and flowers were associated with this holiday, and now that I knew why, I couldn't bring myself to get into it anymore.

The holiday that I really cared about, I realized, was holy day of Resurrection.

Finding ways to incorporate the death and resurrection of Christ during what is the Jewish season of Passover seemed far more relevent to our family life. So I threw out my bunny decorations and began seeking out ideas to unite our activities around the Resurrection. Let me tell you, my kids didn't miss the old Easter stuff at all, they didn't even ask about it.

Last year, I read an article about this very topic, which suggested decorating your home's mantle with items pointing to the Resurrection, much like setting out a nativity scene. I went on a hunt for such items, only to find very little.

I have been collecting and making things here and there since last year, though, and this year I feel I have come up with a good collection. Here are a few ideas for you:

palm branches
donkey figure
plaque or sign with a message about the Resurrection
wooden goblet (for the Last Supper)
empty tomb figurine (tutorial for mine, shown in the mantle shot above, coming soon!)
crown of thorns

I made this crown from branches cut from a very scary looking wild bush we have here in Texas. I have no idea what it's called, probably because it is not often used in landscaping! My brave husband went on a hike with my kids and brought back a bunch of branches for me to use.

I soaked them in a bathtub full of water for a couple of days to soften the wood. Last night, I got to work, forming them into a wreath.

I had planned to take more photos as I went along, but this process proved to be very prickly, as I suppose should be expected. I have several painful scratches today on my hands. It was rather sobering, actually, thinking about how this is nothing compared to what Christ endured.

If you want to dare to try this yourself, I used the weaving techniques used for making a grapevine wreath. You can find basic directions for this here. I did some trimming when I was done with the shaping to remove excess buds and tiny branches.

Let me challenge you to find some new ways to focus on the Resurrection this year. There are a lot of creative ways out there to do this, they are just not as easy to find as hollow plastic eggs at the grocery store. But I promise it is far more satisfying than giving your kids a basket of pastel candies (which we still do, by the way!)


The Thompson Family said...

I love that you are taking back Resurrection day for your family! I love all your ideas. Sobering and yet such a beautiful picture of Christ's sacrifice for us!

efrank6422 said...

I have a bush like that called a pyracantha 0r firethorn which can be very painful, but thanks for the ideal.