Every holiday in my family was a big deal. For each one, we had many traditions that I have continued with my own family. Easter was just as big as Christmas in our home growing up: Jesus resurrected from the dead and the Easter Bunny.
I recall my mum and aunts always asking, “When is Easter this year?” Since it can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25 each year, nobody could remember.
We would wake up in the morning at the crack of dawn. We had to sit and wait at the top of the stairs until mum and dad got their coffee and camera ready (yes…it was torture). Then my sisters and I would tear down the stairs to feverishly search for the baskets of goodies the bunny had brought us. Every year we had a huge (solid chocolate) bunny, malted eggs, jelly beans (including the disgusting black licorice ones), and my personal favorite, yellow Peeps!
Once we found our teeth-rotting treasures, my mum would want to get a picture of me sitting on the fireplace with my sister closest in age. By the looks on our faces in the picture above, the euphoric effects of the sugarcane comas had begun to take hold.
After a big breakfast of pancakes, eggs, bacon, and candy, it was off to Grandma and Pap’s house to meet up with all the extended family and friends. We would meet in the gardens on the south side of the farmhouse to take our traditional family photographs in front of the Easter egg tree and creepy blow-up plastic rabbits.
All of the grandkids would pose with my grandfather. As you can see, it was Easter, but my sister was rockin’ Christmas. She loved that dress.
We all spent time looking for four-leaf clovers and after the Easter egg hunt, the family would retire to the dining room for a lavish spread. We feasted on ham (cherries and pineapple included), mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, yams, ambrosia salad, deviled eggs, cranberry sauce, and grandma’s homemade bread.
After we ate, the adults would make drinks ,usually mixed cocktails, and proceed to play cards. The kids would be outside “messing around” or beating each other up in the living room. It was awesome.
I am so thankful for the upbringing I had and for the family time that I hold so dear. Many of the people that I shared these traditions with and love have gone to be with the Lord (including my mum). I miss these cherished memories so much, but I have embraced our traditions and now share them with my children, so hopefully they will one day say, “Gosh, we had the best childhood!”