Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Easter Traditions

Roo watching for Peter Cottontail hopping down the bunny trail...

Three years ago, my first child celebrated her first Easter. I took countless pictures. And anyone not related to her would probably say I took too much video footage. But there is something about celebrating holidays once children come along (and, especially, each child's "first" Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc.), that puts more "oomph" into the spirit and mood of the season.

As it was done for me, so I want to do for my children: I want to steep the holidays with as much tradition as possible. While I was making plans this week for Easter, I realized that we do not have as many traditions for this holiday as we do for Christmas and birthdays.

I thought back to what I remember about Easter when I as young. The standouts for me are:

*Coloring eggs: this was a family affair. Even my dad got involved and he is the farthest thing from artsy/craftsy. I recall using the same white china cups to mix the vinegar and fizzy color tablets every single year. Why did we use my mom's fancy dishes to dye eggs? I didn't wonder back then, but as a mom, I do wonder now. White, fine bone china, for dyeing eggs? Seriously?

My parents moved from the East coast to the Midwest, both leaving their large families behind, to raise us. All holidays were spent with just us, our small family unit. Perhaps since my mom was no longer able to use her fine china to entertain her large family, she put it to use in a new way. The only time I can remember those beautiful white cups seeing the light of day was when it was time to dye eggs.

*Making Hot Cross Buns: I remember my sister and I getting to lick the icing bowl after helping my mom drizzle the cross on each bun. I also remember picking out the raisins because I didn't care for raisins in my food (I still don't).

*Hunting for our Easter baskets: they were never just out in the open, we always had to search for them on Easter morning.

*Countless rounds of hiding and searching for eggs: as we got older and became better "hiders," my parents started limiting the egg hunts to one room only. Otherwise, the hunt could go on all day. I remember one year, we had to encourage our dog to sniff out one lone egg, as my dad had forgotten where he hid it.

*Easter outfits: my mom can sew amazingly well and often made our Easter dresses. Prior to Easter, we went shopping for new white shoes or sandals and, some years, hats. I have seen pictures of my sister and me with little purses and white gloves too. I have always loved dressing up and I think it got its start with Easter.

So, those are my top 5 associations with Easter. I have proceeded to incorporate these traditions with my little ones, but I'm looking for more. I like having options! If any readers would care to share their ideas, I'd love to hear. What Easter tradition do you recall from your youth or what new traditions have you created with your family now that you're all grown up? :)

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