Spring brings unpredictable weather, so hedge your bets. If it's sunny, it'll probably be breezy, so take the crew out to the local park and go fly a kite! Making and customizing a homemade kite is fun for kids of all ages; there are a lot of online resources for kite-crafting, and you might already have the ingredients at home. Just make sure to run inside if the sky starts to threaten you with a thunderstorm, because you don't want to reenact Ben Franklin's electricity experiment! Stuck inside because it's pouring rain? Then bring on a little gospel karaoke! Rally the troops for a sing-along and pass the mic for solos. Crank up the speakers or, even better, recruit your nearest piano player and fire up that four-legged piece of furniture gathering dust in the corner of your living room. Add a "Hallelujah!" if you're feelin' it, along with a little tambourine, harmonica, forks on drink glasses—whatever makes a beautiful noise. Decades ago, before hi-fis, flat-screens, iPods and texting, this is how people spent most evenings.
Thoughts and Prayers
You've probably said it: "You're in my thoughts and prayers." Me too, but I never really focused so much on the "thoughts" part. But I've learned that thoughts are as powerful as words, so invite everyone to participate in a little positive thinking in celebration of Easter/spring/new beginnings—positive thoughts that your guests can take home with them as a little party favor and share out loud as a toast, the kind that last a long time. Give them a running start by printing out a thought and leave a blank space to fill in. For example: "We are drawn together to celebrate life and create happiness. When I think of the ___________ that I experience today, I will smile and spread the joy!" It's like one of those old Mad Libs, only, you know—happy.
The Family Photo Op
Be the family historian and herd your crew in front of the camera. The party activities will naturally lend themselves to photo and video-taking, especially if everyone's dressed in their Easter Sunday best. Also, decades from now, when hairstyles change, this will be awesome blackmail material. Recruit your local teens as camera crew, given that they usually have an electronic device in their hands at all times. Break the ice by submitting a question to each guest. For example, "What makes you sing?" The more story- and joke-telling, the better. Organize group photos: little kids sitting on dad's shoulder, bigger kids holding hands in a Ring Around the Rosie circle, generations of moms in one shot—grandmother, mother, daughter and generations of dads too!
Whatever you do, be sure to gather everyone around, smile and count your blessings!
More Brunch Ideas
• Check out Oprah's gospel brunch
• Get inspired by Southern chef Tyler Florence
• Try this bunny cake with white fluffy icing