Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Traditions

While Sven and I have done a pretty good job compromising between our wildly different native traditions, Easter is the holiday that has given us the most issues.

My parents viewed Easter as the most sacred of holidays and basically refused to participate in any sort of "commercial" aspect.  No Easter baskets in my house growing up!  I remember participating in the occasional egg hunt and dyeing hard-boiled eggs a few times, but beyond that we focused exclusively on the religious aspect of the holiday.

Sven's mom bought them chicks.  These chicks, contrary to conventional wisdom, did not die, but lived for years tormenting neighbor's cats and befouling the backyard.  The occasional fresh eggs were apparently not worth it to my mother-in-law, who slaughtered them all in a fit of pique and did not tell the children whom they were dining upon until the pets had been consumed.

Somewhere between these poles is where we must find our way.  Here are the traditions we have established:

1. Easter eggs: even before we had children, Sven and I colored Easter eggs most years.  It was not until recently that I realized this was Sven's way of presenting me with hard-boiled eggs that would go to waste unless I learned to devil them, which I did.

2. Deviled eggs: see above.

3. Easter baskets: We do get our children Easter baskets.  They aren't huge or lavish, but we do get them a little something.

4. New clothes: This is my favorite part of the secular side of Easter.  This year, for the first time, I bought myself a new Easter dress as well as new outfits for Dexy and Princess.  I love the idea of new clothes and white shoes as a part of the celebration of rebirth.

5. New jewelry: I'm still trying to get this one off the ground.

6. Church for all: Sven can usually be prevailed upon to come to church on any occasion in which I am speaking or singing, the children are speaking or singing, and major holidays.

7. Easter Story: We do spend a lot of time talking about the atonement and resurrection.  This year we made a set of a dozen eggs, each with a scripture and an object representative of parts of the events surrounding Easter.  It worked well; Princess woke Sven up this morning with a dramatic, "Daddy, the twelfth egg?  You know, the last one?  It was EMPTY!  Because Jesus wasn't there anymore!  He had RESURRECTED!"  Sven blearily acknowledged that the eggs had done their work, though he prefers that they work a little later in the day.  (I'm pretty sure Princess knows that the egg represents the tomb; I hope she doesn't think Jesus was supposed to be in the egg.)

I hope everyone has a happy Easter and a great spring.