Sunday, March 23, 2008

Hoppy Easter

When you think about it, it's interesting how two people, when they decide to make a life together, combine their traditions, especially when it comes to holidays. In our household it's pretty much my way, basically because Doug isn't into holidays. Start asking him things like, "When's Valentines?" and he'll get mad.

Bottom line, they never made a big deal about holidays in Doug's family. I knew they did "practical" Christmas gifts, and Doug only got to trick 'n treat a couple of times because he had to keep lookout that the house of two teachers (his parents) weren't tricked. But I was floored last night when Doug said he never received an Easter basket or went Easter egg hunting. He remembers coloring eggs once, but never the hiding or finding of them. So I snuck out early this morning, went to the grocery store, bought a basket, filled it with candies and hid a half dozen candy-filled eggs. At 44, Doug went on his first Easter egg hunt this morning.

Funny how we remember things like holidays. When I was little, I always felt left out because I didn't have a cool, store-packed Easter basket or a plastic orange pumpkin candy holder on Halloween. All the Halloween costumes were from the attic, not the store, and Christmas gifts were saved until Christmas morning. Now that I look back, none of that matters. I think store-bought costumes and baskets look cheap and Christmas Eve is for a party with friends and family, not for opening presents. The traditions of my mom, lives through me.

I remember the first time I knew someone who didn't celebrate Easter. It was my good friend from junior high, Sandy. We were going on a day trip to some cavern in the Ozarks and we stopped at Wal-Mart. All the Easter goodies were on sale. She mentioned she wished she would get something for Easter and I questioned what she meant. Sandy said she was a Jehovah's Witness and they didn't celebrate Easter. I was sad for her. I think our friends got her a stuffed bunny that year.

When I think of Easter, I remember the smell of vinegar and watching the Paas color tablet dissolve in it. I remember how for the week before coloring eggs, we'd poke holes in our egg shells and blow out the yolks so we'd have enough eggs to color. I remember the three baskets on the coffee table waiting for my sisters and I. Obviously, as an adult, Easter memories are a little different, but they are never as fun as the ones from childhood.

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