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Let the Easterlympic Games Begin!

When I ask what people do especially for Easter, I typically hear the normal stuff: family pictures at church, frozen yogurt outing, egg hunt in the backyard, family dinner together. These are amazing and solidifying activities for families. Still, in the spirit of making Easter extra special for each of us, I’ll share one of my favorite family traditions related to Easter: the annual Easterlympic Games.

It all started when my youngest sister received an unreasonably huge pack of water balloons as a gift. She kept them by her shoes, and every day she would come up with excuses to fill all 400 up and have a huge water balloon battle. Luckily for her, Easter was the perfect time to get my whole family in one place. Like the Lord humbly riding a mule victoriously into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, this CostCo-sized set of water balloons would ride the excuse of our Easter celebrations into the Kelley family itinerary.

That Sunday, we set up buckets of balloons all around the yard, and my family of six had it out in an epic and watery battle royale. We all had so much fun that we voted my sister the winner and thanked her for her activity-planning genius. At the dinner table, we unanimously agreed to organize something similar the following year, and thus the annual Easterlympic Games were born.

In the week leading up to Easter every year, my family finds one day to gather all together and “compete” in a lineup of both new and returning games. One year we’ll pull out nerf guns and take turns in a faux shooting gallery, and the next year we’ll set up an obstacle course at the neighborhood park and try for the fastest times. Now that my older sister has moved to Virginia, we’re already planning a slough of digital games and activities to get excited about.

We only keep score for some of the games, and even though the events vary wildly, every game ends up surprisingly close. There’s no prize for winning except temporary bragging rights (and a few well-earned Suzy bucks), and the games themselves are so random that it doesn’t hurt an ounce to lose. (And that says a lot in a family as competitive as mine!)

Over the years, we’ve included close friends and significant others, and although it’s a tradition for my family, we intentionally leave it open to our friends in case they don’t have Easter plans.

For me, the Easterlympics are something that attaches Easter to unique, joyful memories with my family (aside from our customary Suzy’s visit). Hopefully this little window into my family’s special flavor of fun inspires you to have a Swirling fun Easter with yours. After all, the real Olympics move every time. The Kelley household can’t be the only host every year!

“Then came the healing time, hearts started to shine, soul felt so fine, oh what a freeing time it was.”


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