For those who believe in Jesus Christ, Easter is the ultimate awakening. What I love about this holiday is that creation awakens to new life so that we can see the evidence of His touch “springing” forth all around us.
“He causes the grass to grow for the cattle, and vegetation for the labor of man, so that he may bring forth food from the earth.” Psalms 104:14
Dead things come back to life! I love watching the buds burst forth in every shade of green as they shout to the world that they are alive. This awakening deserves a gathering like nothing else I know.
In our home, Easter has always been a time to reflect on what we believe. Celebrating begins at daybreak as baskets filled with goodness arrive outside the recipient’s room or front door. Now that my adult children live in homes of their own, I have to budget in time for deliveries. I shop for the items that go inside a few weeks out (for the best selection). Traditionally, these baskets have been filled with small gifts that signal the coming of summer—flip flops, sunglasses, swim suits, cover-ups, water toys and more. Now I sometimes add the practical–tea towels, workout clothes, etc. As the kids have grown up, I also add some summer reading material for fun in the sun. And who could handle an Easter basket without candy? With health conscious adult kids now, this year I had to go with Kize bars and Trader Joe’s Organic Dark Chocolate. I was so sad to not be buying M&M’s, Baby Ruths and Reese’s.
Either Saturday night or Sunday morning, we all go to Watermark, our church, together to worship and remind ourselves of the hope and joy that awaits us after death. We believe physical death isn’t the end, but only the beginning of our new life. At midday, we host a brunch that features breakfast and lunch delectables. This year our table was laden with homemade cinnamon rolls, spinach quiche, Deliciously Organic’s grass fed lamb, ham and herb roasted turkey. Veggies abounded—sweet potatoes, parsnips, roasted brussel sprouts and broccolini. Family favorite dilly bread made an appearance and fun desserts rounded out the display.
Our guests included old and new friends. The “old” are family and folks that live with us. The “new” included the best spin instructor in town (shout out to The Ride House) as well as the best massage therapist in the Massage Envy national chain (she’s being honored in late April for this very thing) Our tables were arrayed in soft pastels reminiscent of Easter eggs, bursting with spring bouquets.
And speaking of eggs, no Easter would be complete without the thrill of the hunt. Eggs after all, a symbolize new life, fertility and rebirth—for Christians, this makes it the perfect symbol. Our hunters ranged from two years old to 42! Many had never hunted eggs before. The eggs were filled with chocolate candy, of course. But some had more in store and the pockets of several hunters were bulging as they walked out the door. Flushed and happy faces, full bellies—success on this Easter Day.
New to hosting or an old pro just looking for some new tips? Here are some Thompson Tips to make hosting easy and fun!
1) Plan Table Decor (2 weeks out)
I changed colors this year and went with pastels. I used a base of floor length round cloths to fit tables and then bought square “toppers” to layer the look. Because I change these often and have lots of events, I don’t spend much on these items. I buy them from Linen Table Cloth for less than $10 each. You can’t rent them for less, so may as well buy them for future use.
2) Set Menu (1 week out)
Audrey is great at listing everything we plan to serve. This helps limit food and keeps us from over-cooking. In the early years of my marriage, I made way too many items. Keep it simple. This also allows you to assign items to others in case they want to bring something.
3) Set Tables (1 day out)
I put out silverware, napkins and centerpieces (containing flowers and greenery foraged from our own backyard). To carry the Easter theme, we used eggs to in various colors and sizes to decorate the table tops. We also used “Resurrection Eggs” (we made our own 25 years ago) on each table. They creatively tell the Easter story so that all ages can understand.
4) Pre-Prep Food (1 day out)
I like to cook everything I can (that won’t affect the item’s flavor or presentation) a day ahead. Meats do well, as do homemade breads. I pre-cut and season veggies and then roast them the day of.
5) Buffet Style (party time!)
We serve food buffet-style due to the number of people. We set out serving platters and plates and arrange the buffet table for the best flow of food and people.