Spring is in the Air

    "Spring in the world! And all things are made new!" -Richard Hovey

Finally. Spring is here!

Ahhh! Spring is in the air!

While it certainly hasn't left much evidence here in New England-no crocuses popping up, no morning birds waking me up, no T's and capri's showing up-there are sure signs that Spring has, indeed, arrived. The snow has melted. New life is on its way!

Spring celebrates, like no other season, all nature "rising again." It is the ultimate symbol of resurrection from death. Many of the traditional symbols that we accept as mere association to Spring have roots in the natural cycle of the earth, and as such it is helpful to appreciate their significance when we celebrate Easter.

Baby bunnies, chicks, and birds all symbolize newly born creatures and remind us of the new birth in Christ. The pastel colors of lavender, pink, yellow, and blue are traditional colors of springtime, but they also shout forth that "life springs eternal." Eggs are the quintessential symbol of new life: new life hides under a shell until it literally bursts onto the earth. In the Jewish tradition, eggs also symbolize a free-will offering, or of giving more than is demanded. And even the tradition of a new "Easter outfit" symbolizes the putting away of winter and the bringing forth of freshness and vitality. As Christ burst forth from the tomb, we too become "clothed" in newness.

If you finished spring cleaning your home, you should be ready to bring Spring's freshness and vitality into your home as you decorate for the season.

Bring Nature Inside

  • Celebrate Spring's glory with fresh flowers.

    Gather all your beautiful containers and load them with tulips, hyacinths, crocuses, and daffodils. Set them out all around your home. Put some in the living room, others in the kitchen, more in the front hallway, the children's bedrooms. And don't forget the powder room or most-used bathroom. They add an exuberant splash of color and an intoxicating aroma to your everyday world.

  • Treat yourself to a new wreath or a basket of flowers or your front door.

    The minute I put mine out, my whole house takes on a different look. Visit your local florist, or check out new arrivals from Williams-Sonoma (www.williams-sonoma.com) or Smith & Hawken (www.smithandhawken.com. Gorgeous wreaths and posies can be found for less than $50. Their freeze-dried flowers used on wreaths not only look fabulous; they will last for years even under the harshest of elements. And how about an ivy laced bunny topiary? Or pink hydrangeas in a watering can by your side door? Arrange them yourself, or buy online for wonderful splashes of Spring color and whimsy.

  • Plant flower boxes at your front windows.

    Have fun experimenting with different combinations of flowers and colors that not only bring you a visual kick, but with varieties that can withstand the heat and sunlight that hits your front yard.

  • Decorate an Easter tree.

    This year, I used pussy willows, whose buds make perfect nooks from which to hang miniature "ornaments." A dozen stems look fabulous in a tall, sleek glass vase. Typically, the kids and I go on a nature walk to find the perfect branch. We put into a pretty blue-and-white china container, cover it up with dirt, and sprinkle in a few rye seeds to grow real grass. Either way, it looks fresh and delightful decorated sparsely with tiny ornaments and with teensy yellow fuzzy chicks and baskets hung on the delicate branches. Surrounded by our family of Easter bunnies, each one named after a family member, the arrangement makes me smile every time I walk past it.

  • Dye eggs with your kids.

    Children of all ages love dyeing eggs. Whether you buy the dyeing kits from your drug store or you use imaginative painting techniques of your own, be sure to add this to your "must-do's" during the Easter season. Plant grass seeds in your loveliest container and let the kids water every couple of days. You should have grass tall enough to hold your dyed eggs by Easter. If that puts you into a panic, go to your local health food store and buy wheatgrass. It will look fabulous in your container. Or place some wheatgrass inside beautiful china teacups and, along with a few sprigs of fresh, delicate flowers, you will have gorgeous place settings for your Easter brunch. Add a tiny white chocolate bunny as a favor for your guests to take home.

  • Start planning a neighborhood Easter egg hunt now.

    Make up colorful invitations and let your children hand-deliver them to all of your neighbors and friends. Plan a simple brunch menu with plenty of coffee, tea, and OJ. Let your kids start stuffing plastic eggs now, so that by the time your hunt rolls around, you're all set.

    Editor's Note: Carolina Fernandez earned an M.B.A. and worked at IBM and as a stockbroker at Merrill Lynch before coming home to work as a wife and mother of four. She totally re-invented herself along the way. Strong convictions were born about the role of the arts in child development; ten years of home schooling and raising four kids provide fertile soil for devising creative parenting strategies. These are played out in ROCKET MOM! 7 Strategies To Blast You Into Brilliance. It is widely available online, in bookstores or through 888-476-2493. She writes extensively for a variety of parenting resources and teaches other moms via seminars, workshops, keynotes and monthly meetings of the ROCKET MOM SOCIETY, a sisterhood group she launched to “encourage, equip and empower moms for excellence.” Please visit http://www.rocketmom.com.