This past Sunday was Easter. In recent years, Easter has started to nudge Thanksgiving out of it’s place as my favorite holiday. Sure, Thanksgiving has the good feelings, the official start of the holiday season and all the excitement and anticipation that comes with that. It has family gatherings and a time to reflect on all of the ways in which we are blessed.
But lately, Easter has more of my favorite things. Most importantly, it has Spring. I live all year long for the first days of spring, the first cherry blossoms and lilac blooms. I’m also a sucker for chocolate wrapped in pretty, pastel colors. The spiritual side of me has always loved Easter. I love the sacrifices tied to Lent (though my annual chocolate sacrifice gets harder each year). I love the drama and mysticism behind the death and resurrection. And I love taking the time to reflect and start again.
I also love the fact that Easter seems to sort of fly under the radar. Christmas and Thanksgiving are holidays to be spent with family. There is pressure to do that, both internal and external. Easter comes with a lot less pressure and that has let M and I make some of our own traditions for the holiday. Before Baby, we would attend mass at the National Cathedral and then head to brunch. We’d usually try to finish our weekend errands the day before so that we could spend the rest of the day relaxing.
Now I’m trying to figure out what traditions we should start with Baby. This year we dyed eggs and did an egg hunt (which turned out to be not so much of a hunt as a parent-led walk around the house to find strategically placed eggs. “Oh look! The Easter Bunny left an egg in your highchair!”). This year and last we went to church and filled an Easter basket with goodies for Baby. But I feel like something is missing. Maybe it is because Baby is still just a bit too young this year to really get into the holiday. Maybe because I know she is just a bit too young, I don’t really feel the pressure yet to be on my game for the holidays. We talked about the bunny, but did not visit him to take a photo. We hunted for and delighted in opening pretty, plastic Easter eggs, but I didn’t think to make sure she didn’t see them in the dishwasher the next day. We went to church, but I haven’t yet taken the time to explain that there is more to the holiday than bunnies, eggs, and toys.
Clearly, I need to step up my holiday game. How did you start your holiday traditions with your children?