“I Love Easter”
I just love Easter. It is my favorite holiday. As it begins to approach, I start talking about it nearly everyday. My family frequently hears me say, “I just love Easter.” They smile and reply, “I know.” I love Easter with all its pretty colors and promise of winter being behind us. I love Easter with its assurance that new life is coming as I see brown turn to green. I love Easter with its vow of a fresh beginning.
Two weeks before Easter, I dig out the decorations. I fill the house with ceramic white bunnies and a beautiful pale-blue ceramic basket overflowing with spotted eggs all made by my Nana. The Easter baskets are plump with fake grass, just waiting to be filled. In my foyer, a huge paper colored egg hangs from a chandelier. There is even a small white tabletop tree decorated with Easter ornaments. Oh, I can’t forget the bowl of jellybeans that sit on my kitchen counter, which I constantly refill. Somehow they disappear and I never see anyone eat them. My very favorite decorations are the hand-painted wooden Polish eggs. They remind me of my trip to Poland with my Nana a long time ago. If I am lucky enough, it is at this time of year, I begin to hear the familiar ribbit and croaking of the peepers. Their sound is so loud that some people who have visited me in the evening were actually frightened by the noise. For me, however, I love the sound because I know that spring is making its magical annual appearance when I hear the musical sound of those frogs.
On the day of Easter, a trail of eggs lead from my children’s door, down the hall and steps, through the living room to the family room where the trail ends at the Easter baskets. The baskets are promptly dug into. My grown-up children find in them their love of m&m’s (mine too!), the best chocolate, more jelly beans, and a wonderfully appreciated gift card to one of their favorite stores. Even though they are grown-up, I still like this tradition. I think they do, too. Once this ritual is complete, we head off to church.
After church and upon arriving home, I put on my Easter apron. Yes, I wear an apron. I feel like each holiday deserves and requires me to wear an apron. It is special and it makes the holiday feel complete. I am also a little messy in the kitchen. Before you know it, as I begin to prepare the food, the rest of the family arrives. It is a wonderful mixture of ages, with grandparents and a new little baby girl this year who is only one month old. After much eating and talking, the day slips rapidly away. Once the dishes are cleaned, the food put away, and everyone leaves, just the four of us remain.
We then bring out the colored hard-boiled Easter eggs for our annual egg fight. This is how the egg fight works. Each of two opponents holds a colored egg (one that they have decided is The Egg) with one end exposed. Then you try to hit the other person’s egg and crack their shell first.
Each participant stays in the competition as long as his or her egg has not cracked. There is some major strategy in staying in the game, much of it deals with how the egg is held. You really must hit the egg on the ends because if you hit it off center then it cracks. That is how you want to take down your opponent. You need to look for the opening where they have their egg unprotected and then sneak attack them on the side. No one in my family remembers how or why we started this tradition. I do remember, as a child, painstakingly picking out the perfect egg. I remember fondly one year, my Dad was winning and crushing everyone’s eggs. Little did we know, until sometime into the competition, that he was flexing his hand forward so that his knuckle was hitting our egg. My mother got so mad that she finally took her egg and smashed it right on top of his head. I warn you, this egg fight can get very heated. Well, I am sure you are wondering what the egg winner receives. They get bragging rights for the entire year for having the hardest shell, and they get one year of good luck!
Every year at Easter, I feel such a sense of joy. It is a holiday to rejoice: in the celebration of Easter, the coming of spring, and in the newness of the season. It is a time when anything seems possible; a time to start anew.
I wish you a very Happy Easter! I wish that you find something new and fresh to give yourself a sense of happiness. I wish you joy in the coming of spring. I wish you the promise of new beginnings. When you find what it is that you are going to start new, please let me know. I would love to hear because I love Easter!