I get caught in a trap between letting holidays happen and making holidays happen. I am not a realist, most of the time, but rather an idealist. I like Hallmark commercials and Norman Rockwell paintings. I like the clean, groomed children having organized fun in the pages of parenting magazines, and I'm determined to recreate it here for my family come hell or high water! Traditions and order are very important to me. Spontaneity is very important to my husband, who is the complete and utter opposite of me. We're doing our best to meet in the middle, and he's doing his best to stay out of my way. Bless his heart.
To do Easter correctly, certain things must happen. My mother said so, and about this she was right. First, there must be new Easter dresses for the girls. Now, ideally, these would be handmade (and hand-smocked if I was my mother, which I'm not in this department), but a combination of time/money/organization left us to buy them at a store.
Secondly, I must make the famous giant chocolate coconut cream eggs. This was a sacrifice, but worth it when the kids opened the fridge to see them hardening. They look forward to this treat like no other. Although there was no fancy decorating or piping on them this year, they really were (and still are) one of the best parts of Easter.
There must also be enormous sugar cookies, cut with the enormous bunny cookie cutter my mom sent to me my first Easter away from home. They must be thick, full of real butter and excellent vanilla, and they must be very soft. Check, check, check.
The Easter bunny must out-do himself each year in hiding the baskets. This is a favorite tradition of mine from childhood. The Bunny comes during the nighttime, fills the baskets, and then hides them...the harder the better. Boy, did we stump them this year! And boy was Dylan scared to crawl out onto the roof. Tee hee. There must only be enough candy to make them really sick for one day, and absolutely none of that insidious grass, and then the baskets are put away.
We must dye eggs! This is the fun part for the kids, who get more and more creative every year. Lyndsay was our egg artist this year, with each one more unique than the one before. And Adam, our film director, made sure to get just the right shots with the video camera for our home movie. We had music playing, dancing (well, not me, of course), and only a few dropped eggs. Conor was excused early because he promptly crunched through the shell of his egg with this two new teeth and then completely dismembered it all over his high chair tray. Cute pictures, and then bedtime.
But Easter Sunday must also find each of us pondering the sacred gift of our Savior's atoning sacrifice. After our church service, we watched a few short church films about his crucifixion and resurrection, and we had an hour of really good conversation about our gratitude that Christ would love each of us enough to perform what only He could to save us. I hope the thoughts and gratitude expressed will become imprinted on each of their hearts.
We had a very fine Easter dinner, with just the eight of us, and a perfectly cooked roast and all the trimmings. We only had to tell Dylan to stop talking about the "bloody" meat a few times, and there was enough gravy for all. Everyone pitched in for kitchen clean-up, and we cut into those coconut cream eggs. Yummmmm. So, incredibly wonderful. And the day was just perfect too.