We made our crown of thorns today. This is a Lenten tradition we’ve been doing for years. It’s been a great way to teach the kids the concept that our actions now, good or bad, affected Christ then. We make a braided wreath out of salt dough and stick lots of toothpicks in, and then bake it. Then each day of Lent, whenever a child does any type of penance/sacrifice/good deed, they get to remove a “thorn.” In this way, they’ve just lessened the agony of Jesus, and offered Him consolation instead. The goal is to remove all the thorns by Easter, having gotten in the habit of behaving in a way that honors God, and shows His love to others. The crown of thorns becomes the centerpiece on our dinner table.
In the past, I made the wreath out of bread dough, which is nice because it rises and gets bigger, thus having room for more toothpicks for our large family. It is also easier to get the toothpicks out. However, by the end of 40 days, it tended to get moldy and dry, and even crack in half. So this year, I found this recipe for one made from salt dough: http://www.cuf.org/familyresources/saltdoughrecipe.asp
I also have a couple more links to share with you. I received a little postcard in the mail last week advertising “Holy Heroes Lenten Adventure,” a FREE resource with Lenten activities for kids. You just go to the website, plug in your email, and then you’ll receive emails three times a week. There are audio and video presentations, coloring pages and puzzles to print, and fun Lenten traditions. I’ve been doing it with my kids these last three days and they have all seemed to enjoy it. Even my “big kids” have been getting into the coloring. Here’s the website. Check it out: http://www.holyheroes.com/
And finally, we will be doing Ann Voskamp’s “Trail to the Tree,” which is similar to the Jesse Tree, but focuses on the life of Jesus, with beautiful artwork to meditate on. Ann is offering this beautiful booklet, complete with ornaments, for FREE download. I have been so blessed by Ann’s words — on her blog, in her Jesse Tree book, and in her best-selling “One Thousand Gifts.” I am so grateful to her. Please check out the richness at http://www.aholyexperience.com/2012/02/what-lent-really-means-free-easter-devotional-book-to-make-a-jesus-easter-tree/
Stay tuned for more traditions as we get closer to Easter, like our “Lamb of God” pinata.