As I’m looking ahead to Easter day, I think about some of our Easter traditions. When it comes to Easter traditions in my house, we have those that are carried down from Ryan’s family, my family, and those we made ourselves.
Ryan’s family always made Syrian food at Easter, and I love that he’s continued this tradition. Either at our family’s Easter dinner or the evening before just for us, Ryan makes lamb, rice, eggplant, and Syrian green beans. Since Ryan lost his parents at 19, carrying on this tradition is a way to honor them as well. I love everything about this meal and the man who makes it.
In my home growing up, we had a few traditions we still do today. One was decorating eggs. Of course, I know most families decorate eggs, but my dad makes the exact same egg every year. It features a cross, on a half blue half green egg and the words “He is Risen” are written below. I’m 43 and I don’t remember an Easter that didn’t include that egg. And it’s identical every year. If you know my dad, this doesn’t surprise you.
Another of my family’s traditions is an egg hunt. Of course, I mean one with all the kids. But the egg hunt the family really gets into is one between me and my sister. We’ve been duking it out hunting eggs for as long as I can remember. Now our husbands and dad hide them for us. And our husbands are maybe more competitive than we are about it. Well, probably not. But close. It’s an all-out fight to the finish and the hiding places are insane. (No eggs laying in the grass for us.) Usually, some of the eggs get cracked in this showdown. Sometimes even the extra special He is Risen egg. That’s the price of victory, which I should mention I rarely have. My sister wins almost every year -a stat that makes my blood boil.
I love Easter dinner with family. We have a list we check every year saying who brings what. You’d think we’d have this memorized by now, but usually a few days before Easter, someone texts it to everyone. My parents host and we fill their house with food, family, and laughter. I didn’t know how much I treasured this time until two years ago when we couldn’t gather together. We still shared food though. We made the same things we always do and divided them and delivered them to family members houses. It was great to have the food, but boy did we miss seeing everyone.
We have some traditions that are just ours. When the kids were little, I had a spur of the moment decision to hide the Easter baskets. We usually do some eggs filled with candy, a small chocolate bunny and one small gift. Since the whole affair of opening the baskets is super quick, I thought it might be fun to hide them. That was an easier feat when they were tiny. Now, we really have to think about hiding places so it’s actually a challenge. We have to rely on Ryan’s experience hiding eggs to really think outside he box.
One tradition that was mine, his, and ours is church. I think of Easter Sunday as the super bowl for churches. In fact, often in the pictures of Easter, you can see my brother-in-law dead asleep in the background because he’s the media/tech. director and he feels like he’s played the super bowl when all the services are over. I love how much care is taken for the music and media on Easter Sunday. We know people who don’t think of themselves as church people will wonder into a church that weekend for one reason or another. I remind myself all week leading up to Easter to pray for each and every person who attends a church on Easter Sunday.
Traditions aside, Easter is about Jesus. I enjoy all these traditions, but not one of them matters. What matters is that Jesus was crucified in front of a crowd on a Friday and by Sunday, the tomb was empty.
Join me and praying for those who don’t know that to be true. Let’s pray this is the Easter they meet that Jesus who, like my dad’s egg says, is Risen.