It's no secret that the Duggars do things a bit differently than the average American family. Their rules about dating and relationships center on the idea of courtship — where two people get to know each other with the goal of marriage in mind, and while in the company of a chaperone at all times. Aside from side hugs, there is no physical contact allowed until engagement. Even then, hand-holding is about as hot and heavy as it gets because the couple has agreed to save the physical aspects of their relationship until marriage. The rules concerning purity, modesty, clothing, and even how they wear their hair are extremely conservative, too. (For the women, at least.) And holidays are no exception when it comes to upholding the Duggars' devout independent Baptist values. But how do the Duggars celebrate Easter? You won't find any Easter baskets, that's for sure.
During the era of 19 Kids & Counting, viewers of the TLC series got an in-depth look at how the Duggars' religion and values dictate their lives. As far as Easter is concerned, Michelle and Jim Bob prefer to highlight the religious nature of the holiday — and not the cultural festivities. "Instead of doing the typical egg hunt and candy, we've made our own way of celebrating Easter. We call it Resurrection Sunday because we really want the children to know why we're celebrating Easter," Michelle explained in a 2013 Q&A on TLC's website. "We like to explain to the children that this is a celebration of the resurrection of Christ. Jim Bob and I really wanted the kids to understand the true meaning of Easter, that it isn't about all the candy and eggs."
Taking their ultra-conservative Christian tendencies into account, this probably isn't too surprising for fans of 19 Kids & Counting and Counting On. But if there aren't any bunnies, eggs, or candy, how do the Duggars celebrate Easter Sunday? Michelle explained:
The day before Easter, we get ready and baking cookies. One of our favorite projects involves writing the gospel message from scripture on paper that the kids can decorate. We laminate them with contact paper so they last for years. Every year, we pull out the old ones and you can really see the transition from year to year as the kids get older and their art changes.
According to the Duggar Family Blog, the family makes special treat-filled bags for each person in the family in lieu of Easter baskets. These bags are decorated with a cross on the outside and then filled with snacks like canned potato chips, beef jerky, and of course, a Duggar favorite — pickles! "Then, on Easter Sunday, we go to church and have fellowship dinner, and it's just such a special time," Michelle explained. "For us, it's all about Resurrection Sunday and what that means, and about those sweet memories that you choose to make for your family and your kids."
As far as other holidays are concerned, some of them the Duggars flat-out skip — like Halloween, for example. In a 2011 TLC blog post, Michelle Duggar explained why she and her husband decided to opt-out of this holiday in particular. She wrote:
While we do go to pumpkin patches and corn mazes, we don't do the Halloween thing. From the beginning of our marriage we just kind of felt like we didn't want to celebrate that holiday. But we enjoy the harvest celebration. Our church fellowship has had different celebrations through the years that we've been a part of, ones where the children can play games and receive candy and toys and do all kinds of fun things, like a cake walk.
For the record, Valentine's Day seems to be in, though.
And of course, Christmas is a pretty big deal to the Duggars — it's the birth of Christ, after all — but don't expect to find a Christmas tree, according to the Daily Mail.
Except, there is totally a Christmas tree in this video Jessa Duggar posted on Dec. 25, 2016. Hmm... Perhaps the family has loosened up on this rule over the years?
Of course, all of these thoughts on holidays come from Michelle and Jim Bob — and half of their children have entered adulthood by now. So they could very well be developing their own traditions with their spouses and switching things up a bit. (Like many of the Duggar daughters who now wear pants, for example.) So although the Duggar children who are still living at home likely won't wake up to candy-filled baskets left by the Easter Bunny, the Duggar grandchildren just might.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.