Yes the ground is covered with many inches of snow, but the spring sun is melting it quickly, so all the eggs can be hidden for Easter in about a month from now. I don’t hide the eggs anymore. I would if the teens and young adults were into it! But three years ago, they had to break it to me that they were too old. The youngest three were 15. I get it, but not really. I may have to bring in an adult Easter egg hunt this year.
Easter is at the top of my list for favorite holidays. It’s a time of new beginnings, growth, and hope. I’ve always hosted Easter, and I loved filling the plastic eggs with treats. I would literally have bags and bags of candy and hundreds of empty eggs surrounding me a couple nights before. As long as the weather permitted, the entire backyard would be the hunting area. The candy is always great, but the bonus was the clues found in certain eggs. Sometimes these would be a riddle that the kids would have to decipher in order to find out where the basket of goodies were hidden. The basket has been in the dryer, the car, shower, pretty much anywhere (even the neighbor’s house). I’ve done hidden word puzzles, trivia questions, a scavenger hunt, basically anything to drive the kids nuts and then hopefully be really excited at the end of their adventure.
Before the cousins came, I always had a separate hunt for my boys. The Easter bunny would leave white fur and remnants of the carrots we left out for him. Their eggs would be filled with coins and candy.
When I was a kid, the Easter eggs we colored were the ones hidden around the house. That usually worked out pretty well, unless an egg was forgotten or couldn’t be found. One year there was an awful stench in the living room. A stray hard-boiled egg was found months later in the couch. Yes, pretty nasty! We also dressed up in beautiful dresses, bonnets, and white gloves. We would go to church and then come home for the hunt. When my kids were younger, I tried dressing them up, but that didn’t last too long!
We always colored eggs one or two nights before Easter. It was usually a family event, and we would write family member’s names on the eggs to give to them when they visited.
Food has always been a big deal at Easter. I usually make some Italian dish like spaghetti and meatballs or chicken parm, but my mom makes Pastichio, which is Greek macaroni. There is chopmeat at the bottom browned in butter and other ingredients and then tons of eggs and cheese baked with the ziti. It’s a seriously long process and quite a heavy dish, but fantastic.
My sister, Michele, is adventurous with recipes and last year made bread that my Yaya use to make, except Yaya would put quarters in the bread before baking. You really wanted to make sure that you checked it before taking a bite!
Over the last couple years, it’s been harder and harder to get the family together as everyone’s own families grow. But the Easter celebration will always continue. Our friends come over for dessert, and we treasure any time with family and friends. Stephen will hopefully be able to come home or else Easter may just have to come to him.
Being flexible with tradition allows it to continue. Yes there are the staple traditions that keep holidays feeling like hot cocoa on a cold winter day. Soothing, comforting and filled with love. It’s what make coming home for any holiday so precious. Keeping it simple and realizing that being together is the reason for any season.