Jen on the Edge asked about Easter
hoppenings happenings around the blogosphere. At our house this year, it was a bit of a shock to realize Easter was coming. It shouldn’t have been a surprise; I work in a church. The boys and I had been attending handbell choir practice and the adult choir was busily preparing an Easter anthem (not to mention an anthem each week throughout Lent). I was extra busy during Holy Week because we also had a Tenebrae service for Good Friday. But Easter traditions for my own household were pushed to the back burner during that time.
Luckily, there was a good supply of eggs in the fridge. I boiled them on Saturday morning and at 8pm, SnakeMaster, H-J and his girlfriend were ready to decorate the eggs. I think they did a fabulous job (Wednesday’s post also has photos).
When I was a kid, we would dip our eggs in the water colored with food dye and apple cider vinegar (I prepare ours now the same way, in coffee cups on the counter). There were 4 of us and we had a limited number of eggs, perhaps as many as 6 eggs apiece to decorate.
I don’t recall any plastic eggs or chocolate bunnies. There would have been a small amount of candy — likely jelly beans — but I can’t remember it being a sugarfest. We’d go to church in the morning and drive home through some neighborhoods, looking for the Easter Bunny. I’m not sure why but sometimes we did see someone dressed up in a costume. Perhaps my mother knew something? Regardless, the Bunny had never been talked up as a big deal. we knew we’d go home and wait in our rooms until Dad got home (he was a minister) and hid our colorful hard-boiled eggs. That was the sole purpose of the Easter baskets with the plastic green grass: to collect the eggs. Since it nearly always rained on Easter where we lived, the hunt was nearly always in our living room, dining room, and den. And since we used real eggs, it was very important to find every single one of them! (Woe to the parent who forgot where all eggs were hidden, lest summer vacation boredom lead us to discover a forgotten egg!)
In the past 23 years of parenthood, SuperDad and I have merged traditions. I happily include chocolate, the hunts are nearly always held outdoors, and we use plastic eggs. Most of the time those plastic eggs are empty.
I could claim that we leave them empty to symbolize the empty tomb on the very first Easter morning, but I’d be putting effect before cause. Honestly, it’s because it is easiest that way for the mama. The boys have never believed in the Easter Bunny because we’ve never played up that part of it. One year in Germany, my husband’s sister and her husband came to visit us over Easter. She took the two oldest boys on a walk through the neighborhood to look for the Easter Bunny. They actually saw a real rabbit in someone’s yard (a pet) and turned to their aunt and announced that they wanted to “go home now and find the eggs that Daddy hid!”
This year, the lovely decorated eggs stayed safe in the refrigerator while the boys took care of their own egg hunt: the 18yo hid 20 eggs in the front yard and along one side of the house while the 14yo hid 20 eggs in the back yard and fenced side yard. Then they took turns watching the other search while timing him with a stopwatch.
There were rules: the egg couldn’t be higher than the boy could reach… it couldn’t be completely buried… and it had to be visible on at least one side.
Perhaps the best hidden egg of all this year was barely hidden at all:
As for the eggs I showed you on Wednesday:
The egg on the bottom right was dropped a few inches onto the counter by the person preparing to color it… which is how it ended up with a funny face and a cracked head.