|Easter egg (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Easter is the holiest of Christian holidays. Dressing up in fancy clothes and going to church has long been the tradition of many American families. After church, families will often settle down to a special dinner which often includes ham and an assortment of tasty side dishes.
In the recollections of my youth I don't remember the going to church part of the day. I know we went some years, but for the most part, though we attended most Sundays during the year, Easter was a day when we might not attend. Maybe it was a matter of the festivities of the day that might have precluded our attending church service or maybe I'm just not remembering the church part of Easter Day.
My mother always did Easter up almost, but not quite, like Christmas. Many families must do the same considering all of the Easter goodies and decorations that are sold at this time of year. My siblings and I would wake on Easter morning to big festive baskets filled with toys and candy.
It seemed like Easter morning was always a beautiful sunny spring day. After I had entered my teen years and my younger brothers and sister were still young children, I'd go outside and hide plastic candy filled eggs all over the yard. Then the kids would be unleashed scrambling about filling their baskets with the hidden eggs that they had found. I would watch over the proceedings providing them with hints when there were hidden eggs they weren't quite seeing.
The variety of Easter candies was splendid as far as I was concerned. For one thing it was candy and rarely has there been candy that I didn't like. My mother would buy a lot of candy--sugary eggs, marshmallow Peeps, jelly beans, and chocolate bunnies. Since she was well aware of my sweet cravings she even bought me candy in my teen years.
The traditions carried on with my own children. Like my mother had done, I would set up lavish displays of candy-laden baskets, boxed chocolate rabbits, and stuffed animals and other toys. As my kids grew older, I would add books and movies on video to their Easter gifts. In fact, I think there were some years when I did things up even bigger than my mother did. I guess I wanted to provide my own children with the same special memories that I had from growing up.
Now I imagine my daughters are passing on similar traditions to their children. Since I'm not around them at Easter time I don't know exactly how their holiday is celebrated, but I think it's something like what they experienced as children.
As for me now, my wife and I will go to church and then probably eat fast food since restaurants might be crowded and we don't like having to wait. There won't be any candy on Easter morning. The candy will come later. My tradition in the years since my kids moved from home is to go after Easter and buy candy that's on sale the following week. There is usually candy on sale, but I've been noticing that the grocery stores don't have the amounts that they used to have prior to the holiday and the after Easter stocks are sparse. Actually I don't need that candy, but traditions are traditions. I cling to what traditions I can and forget them when they fade away.
Do you carry on any special Easter traditions? What is your favorite Easter candy? How has Easter changed during your lifetime?