I’ve been asked by some close friends to tell about Easter celebrations in the Mastrantonio house, and to include a list of what I’m putting in baskets this year so that those who haven’t even taken their baskets out of the attic (you know who you are) can get some ideas. In this first part, I’ll tell about Easter dinner, Easter eggs, and organizing egg hunts.
This year we are all going in different directions so Easter is going to be sort of fragmented. I’m pre-making Easter dinner to take to my kids who are away in college. We were all feeling badly that they were going to miss out on my once-a-year great grandmother’s recipe fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy dinner, so I decided to make it early and take it to them. Along with their Easter baskets. Because you can take the college students away from the the mom, but you can’t take the mom away from the college students. There is no way my babies are missing out on their favorite dinner if I can help it.
We won’t have a chance to dye eggs this year. When the kids were little we would do the traditional dying of eggs. A couple years we also added “elementary school style” egg drops. I set up a table outside (we can only do this once in a while in Oregon, we usually have rain for Easter, and one time we even did it from a small ladder in the garage) filled with things like paper cups, cotton, tape, popsicle sticks, bubble wrap, straws, cardboard pieces, and uncooked eggs. We set up a ladder nearby so the kids would have a visual about where they would be dropping the eggs from. Then we just let them go for it. They would work together and build all kinds of contraptions to house their eggs. They would giggle as they dropped their eggs and watched as most of them shattered upon impact. It made a huge mess and a lot of memories. But I’ve always loved things messy and unmastered. Even Easter celebrations.
To organize egg hunts we have always assigned a color or two to each child. They can help their siblings find eggs of other colors but they can only put their own color into their basket. With so many kids and such different ages it has been the best way to keep things fair. We would print out a letter wishing them a happy Easter, listing all the ways they made us proud, and end with their color assignment for that year. As they got to be teenagers, we gave them the option of hunting for eggs or just getting all their candy in one bag and helping us hide the eggs. My sixteen year old still wants to hunt for her eggs this year. And I love that.
I love the traditions we have created both simple and elaborate, that they look forward to. I love that in addition to celebrating Jesus’ resurrection they want to be together. They want to hunt for eggs. They want that fried chicken.
Read Part Two to see what kinds of gifts we are putting in their baskets this year. Unless you are my child. Or dating my child. Then skip that post until Monday. Or you won’t be surprised. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.