The week of March 13, 2020 seemed somewhat normal, with most students preparing for the weekend. There had been rumors about this mysterious disease that was now coined the coronavirus. I’d heard lots of things about it starting in the beginning of January. On March 11, 2020, a couple days before, the World Health Organization (WHO) had called the COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic, and now there were cases spreading throughout the U.S. and the world.
I could see in the faces of my teachers dread and the absence of knowledge of what to come. I had no idea that fateful Friday the 13th that I wouldn’t be returning to school, not the next week, or the week after, not even a month after that. Over time, I was glued to the television, listening to the news, hoping for light in the mindset of darkness. Then Easter was coming up so officials, politicians, and just people in general were hoping that this pandemic would be behind us by then, so we could have a happy Easter, but that wasn’t the case.
We have all been through hard times in the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic. But now there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel, and for the first time in months, schools have reopened, with Middleton High School now using a hybrid model. In some states all COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted, and it seems like cases have been going down.
Where we live we still have a lot of restrictions, and there are still people who are vulnerable to COVID-19, so these are some tips on how to have a safe and happy Easter.
Watch an Easter Movie
I know a lot of you (okay, I mean most of you) have been binge-watching Netflix, but why not come together as a family this year and watch a fun Easter movie that will bring a smile to your face or tears to your eyes.
Some Easter Movies That You Should Watch (or Shouldn’t Watch…)
– Passion of the Christ (Rating: ☆☆☆☆)
This is like the original Easter movie to watch. I have a lot of nostalgia for this movie, which is also a reason why it has a higher rating, it’s a bit too gory for my taste, and I would advise children and parents who are squeamish to blood to run far away from this movie. It’s a very classic retelling of the crucifixion and the trials Christ endured.
– Prince of Egypt (Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆)
I know, some of you are thinking that this movie isn’t “really” an Easter movie, but it’s about Passover, which occurs around the same time as Easter. The story of Easter does connect to Passover, but the Easter story alludes to it. In general this is one of my favorite animated movies. The animation is superb (*chef’s kiss*) and Moses (the main character) seems very realistic and vulnerable, someone I can connect with. I like that the villain Ramses, the pharaoh who didn’t listen to Moses to free his people, has a backstory that makes me understand his intentions. The movie also does a great job showing their complicated relationship.
– Risen (Rating: ☆☆)
I recently watched this movie, and well, I hated it with a burning passion. I had high expectations, especially with its creative plot, but it just fell flat on so many levels I thought it would exceed. The plot synopsis and the beginning of the film tell us about the death of Christ and that he was buried. Then on the third day, Christ’s body vanished, and so this centurion’s job is to try to figure out what happened to the body before the believers claim he was resurrected. This sounds exciting, but the execution of this plot was quite dull, and the man playing the main character did a horrible job of showing any real emotions. He felt very stoic. Lastly, don’t get me started on the investigation that went nowhere (as well as being boring as heck) and the lame ending.
Read The Easter Story in the Bible
This is truly the key to understanding why people celebrate Easter and why your family might celebrate it. Without the story of Easter, Christianity has no basis or a strong foundation. Here is a quick summary of the story of Easter!
It was the first day of Passover, or the Festival of Unleavened Bread, and Jesus and his disciples came to Jerusalem to celebrate it. As they eat the meal, Jesus says to his disciples, “One of you will betray me.” Jesus is correct, because Judas, one of his disciples, goes to the religious leaders of that day, and is paid thirty pieces of silver to betray him. Jesus and his disciples (the remaining 11) go to the garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus then prays, knowing that he will be betrayed and death is waiting around the corner. Then Judas arrives with the soldiers and signals to the guards which one is Jesus by greeting Jesus with a kiss on the cheek. Then Jesus is taken to his first of the many trials that await him.
If you’ve enjoyed this little snippet, you can find the full story in a Bible that might be covered in dust by using the Table of Content to find the book and looking through the book to find the chapter and verses corresponding to the story. You can also just click on the link on the verses where you can read it online for free. Matthew 27:1-28:20; Mark 15:1-16:20; Luke 23:1-24:49; and John 19:1-21:25.
Feast with Your Family
One of the best parts of Easter is Sunday afternoon when there is a giant meal waiting on the table. This year you might not be able to have your extended family over, but you still can feast with your immediate family and just have more left over to eat. Maybe look online to find new recipes for your family to enjoy.
Recipes that I personally recommend for Easter Dinner
A really unique item for a classic Easter dinner would be lasagna. I am a HUGE fan of lasagna, and I know most people have ham or turkey as their main dish, but that’s always done for Christmas or Thanksgiving. Why not change it up a bit with lasagna? It will be a huge hit for the family, while still giving you the feeling of having a huge main dish.
This recipe I found online from Delish is one I use every time I make lasagna since it’s really simple, and I like that it asks for beef instead of pork, since my family and I don’t eat pork because of our culture.
Obviously Easter dinner needs to end in a blissful sugar high, and what better way to do this than through a sugary dessert that will make you glad that you have leftovers? A great dessert that I love to make that is really simple but always tastes super great is brownies.
They’re easy to make and great to decorate, so after finishing baking the brownies, you can add sprinkles, tiny chocolate eggs, or you could draw on top of the brownies a bunny or even a cross. The sky’s the limit!
A great recipe I found online that I actually started using when quarantine is this Chocolate Brownies Recipe that’s really simple and tastes great.
Stream or Go to Easter Service
Some churches are doing a hybrid model, so if you want to go, dress in your Sunday best and remember to follow all regulations. If you don’t feel comfortable going to church in person, stream your local church’s service. At least then you can listen to Easter Service in PJ’s!
Have an At-Home Easter Egg Hunt
Since we still have to stay safe, have an Easter egg hunt with your siblings and parents. Hide some Easter eggs and watch as your siblings or parents go look for them. Some ideas for this at-home Easter Egg Hunt are…
If it’s a rainy day or you want to add more hiding places, hide things in the house and try to find unique places in the house to hide them.
In the eggs, hide toys, candies, or even puzzle pieces so that you can work together to make a puzzle as a family. You can also hide clues in the eggs to find a treasure.
Hide the eggs in a sandbox or a kiddie pool filled with sand.
Create a list of items from the outdoors, and have your family try to go and fill the eggs with them. The person who gets all the eggs filled first wins.
Yes, 2020 was difficult, but my hope is that 2021 will be a great year. I hope my tips and ideas for this upcoming Easter will be helpful and give your family new ideas to celebrate Easter this year. Happy Easter!
Luke 24:6-7: “He is not here; he has risen!”
Thessalonians 4:14: “For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him.”