One of the foxes asked us to explain how we celebrate Easter. In our family, as I’m sure it is with most families who observe it as a Christian holiday, the day has two distinct parts: worship and family mealtime. Through the years, each of these parts has been modified as family dynamics and social styles change. Other than observing these two parts of the day, there’s not much I would call a tradition.
While I was growing up, my parents always made sure I had a new dress and hat for church. I always had a dress coat, too, because at our conservative protestant church it was considered disrespectful to wear everyday clothing to services. My brothers wore jackets, ties, and dress shoes. We’d sit in our usual pew (up in the balcony) and watch things happen down at the front. For some reason, I don’t remember the Easter services being much different from the regular ones.
After church, we’d go home and have dinner. Since we had no other family members in the country, it was just the six of us (Mom, Dad, me, two little brothers, and grandma). It seems like we usually ate ham, a green vegetable, and rice (because a meal wasn’t a meal without rice).
As a mom, I saw to it that my daughters always wore new dresses for Easter (I actually made time to sew their dresses a few times), but wearing hats didn’t seem so popular by the time they reached elementary school. We always attended the Easter service, because I usually directed the children’s choir and/or performed in an instrumental ensemble of some sort.
I was fortunate to marry a man who likes to cook, so I’ve never made an entire meal in the almost forty years that I’ve known him. But that suits me just fine, because that leaves me free to concentrate on cleaning the house, which for me is a major undertaking. My parents would often join us, unless they went to visit one of my brothers, who both moved out-of-state. Once in a great while my husband’s three children would join us. I remember an occasional Easter egg hunt, when we’d fill plastic eggs with goodies and “hide” them around the yard.
Now that I’m a grandma, I have a lot less responsibility. I have no one to dress but myself. I’m often asked to play special music at other area churches, so I’m often attending a service at a church other than my own. And since there’s usually a rehearsal before the service begins, my day begins really early. I’m usually dressed in the traditional orchestra black clothing, so there’s no need to go out and buy a new outfit.
My daughter loves to cook, and since she has small children she insists it’s easier on her to provide the main course and host us at her home. My husband usually makes one or two side dishes, and our other daughter brings dessert and another dish.
This year, I wasn’t asked to perform anywhere, so I’ll probably attend the Easter service at my own church. My daughter and her family are heading out of state for a week-long vacation with her in-laws, so it will be just be hubby and me, our younger daughter, and perhaps her boyfriend, whose family lives several hours away. Depending on my mother’s plans, she may join us. There won’t be any small children around, so there won’t be an Easter egg hunt. Hubby will probably watch sports or cooking shows on the TV. I’ll probably have papers to grade, so I’ll put my headphones on and work.
So there you have it – worship and food traditions for Easter, as observed in our home. How do you celebrate the holiday?