Monday, April 11, 2011

A Reflection on Easters Past

When I was little, Easter was a big deal and not necessarily for all the right reasons. I don't remember too much, but I remember it was one of the only times I would go to church each year. You see, my mother never went to church, but my grandparents did and each year I would go with them. Being the only grandchild for about 6 years and even then one of the only girls, I was spoiled (to be honest, still am). So every Easter I would get a new fancy dress with all the necessary accessories to match (bonnet/hat, purse, socks with the ruffles and new patent leather shoes). And Easter morning I would receive a basket which would always come with various gifts from the Easter Bunny, and my other grandparents would give me a new stuffed bunny. My favorite was Pinky, which I'm sure I still have tucked away in a dusty box someplace. 

Easter 1993, with my Papa ( he passed away in '99)

Sassy, I tell you. Easter 1992

Then, each year after church the entire family would gather out on a couple of acres of land for our annual lunch and Easter egg hunt. When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE (including the 4 and 5th cousins once removed and the relatives you only care to see once a year). To put things into perspective there were well over 100 people there every year. Each family was responsible for bringing around 10 dozen eggs, and mom and I would spend hours the evening before dipping them in Randy's cups filled with colored vinegar and finish them off with stickers. After lunch the adults would strategically hide hundreds of eggs in the field nearby and the children would bury their eyes into the ground and countdown. 5-4-3-2-1, GOOO!!!!! We would take off in hopes of finding the plastic "money eggs" which contained nickles and dimes, or if you were lucky a $1 bill. I tried to stay away from all the real eggs that weren't colored, because rumor had it that my mean Aunt Shelia would bring a dozen eggs that weren't boiled. If for some reason I managed to find one in my basket I made sure to crack it over her head.

My Mom and I, Easter 1990

Found one!! Easter 1992 

Those sure were the days. I don't know how to quite explain it, but I truly miss those years. Even then, at such a young age, those memories stay with you.

The plot of land was eventually sold and the older generation, including my grandfather, passed on. As I got older, our Easter traditions were more or less forgotten and now are only a mere recollection. I'm sure my younger brother has absolutely no memory of these great times. As pagan as our traditions were, they are some of the sweetest memories I have with my family.

Reflecting on the season to come, I realized it will be my first Easter in Hong Kong. Over the past three years, I've had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places for the holiday:

Easter Day 2008, Ruins of Ayutthaya Kingdom , Thaliand

Easter Day 2010, Christ Church, Ilagan, Philippines

Much like my childhood experiences, these too are memories worth holding dear. Although it's unlikely I will be waking up to a basket from the Easter bunny, hunting for eggs or traveling to an exciting new place, I'm thankful for time to contemplate the true cause for the celebration of Easter. In my Sunday school class, I have been discussing with the girls the events leading up to Jesus' death, crucifixion, and resurrection and we will continue the study for the next two weeks. Easter, much like many of the holidays have definitely changed for me over the years, especially after moving to Hong Kong. Regardless as to how different this season may be for me, I'm thankful to have a community of believers to celebrate with... for He is risen, He is risen indeed!!

1 comment:

  1. Amen! Thanks for sharing a wonderful family tradition. I love those cute dresses! You were absolutely adorable!