Decorating Easter trees is another festive holiday custom that traces its roots back to Germany.
The traditional "trees" were branches in a vase hung with brightly colored eggs. Today many homes hang the painted or dyed Easter eggs and other decorations on real trees in their front yards to add a colorful touch and a festive spirit to the whole neighborhood.
A variation on the Easter tree tradition takes its inspiration from the Bible, with families creating ornaments based on scripture -- starting with Genesis and ending with the Resurrection.
During Lent, one ornament per day is added for the 40 days of Lent, or just one per week until Holy Week when an egg is added counting down to Easter. The ornaments are usually hand made as kids help to decide what Biblical symbols would make appropriate decorations for the Easter tree.
Whichever idea suits your family best, you'll have lots of fun with this holiday tree trimming custom.
Besides a tree, those in urban areas can find a branch from a local park and decorate indoors! Be sure to choose a branch with many small limbs and wipe it clean before decorating. You can paint the branch in any color you please, or leave it in its natural state.
Place the branch in a large vase or flower pot, and add sand or small pebbles around the base of the branch to keep it upright.
Next, you'll want to get your Easter eggs ready for decorating.
First, use the tip of a sharp knife (or use a large needle) to make two small holes in each end of a raw egg. Very carefully blow out the inside of the eggs until the shell is hollow. Decorate as desired.
When eggs are dry, thread a large needle with a piece of thin ribbon or string. Push the needle through the bottom of the egg and pull through the top. Make a loop at the top (for hanging) then tie a knot at the bottom to anchor your egg.
Now your eggs are ready to hang!
Around the Web, visit top guides will give you a bit of the background and history of this charming tradition and some great ideas for decorating your own Easter tree...