Easter traditions are a little different for my own children than they were for me.
Like most kids that grew up in the UK (for the most part), every Easter I would look forward to the Easter bunny dropping by my house and leaving me some yummy chocolate eggs.
To me, Easter meant Spring, chocolate and fun! Of course, I knew what Easter was really about, not particularly from going to church, but from my mum and school. Whitby, the town I grew up in, was actually where the date for Easter was decided upon and this was taught to us in the local school system.
When I tell people over here that all I would get for Easter as a child were chocolate eggs, I always feel the need to clarify that in the UK they are not at all like those you get here — they’re huge and hollow and usually filled with more chocolate.
With four of us, we’d usually wake up on Easter Sunday to a chocolate buffet that looked like this …
I remember we’d break bread together and have a big family dinner with all the trimmings and of course, the obligatory hot cross buns. We’d boil up eggs and decorate them … for some reason, I always made up mine to look like a Native American … and then occasionally we’d have an egg rolling race.
As an adult, Easter still means Spring, chocolate and fun, but I never really gave more thought to the celebration until I had my first son. I just assumed that the Easter bunny would leave him a chocolate egg, we’d decorate some hard-boiled eggs, have a lovely dinner together and that would be that.
I remember chatting with some other mums at my local playgroup and a discussion was started about what we were all doing for Easter. I quickly learned that Easter egg hunts are the big thing over here … something we never really did when I was a child. You buy plastic eggs and fill them with miniature chocolate eggs or money and hide them around your home and garden for your child to find and place in their Easter basket.
I also learned that over here the Easter bunny doesn’t leave chocolate eggs, but huge baskets packed full of toys. I recall the conversation went from one parent saying they were getting their child some sidewalk chalk and bubbles for Easter to one who said they were getting their daughter a swing set! The British Milky Way chocolate egg I’d managed to procure from somewhere seemed a little insignificant and I immediately went home and told the hubby what we needed to do to celebrate Easter properly with our 10-month-old son. Of course, he told me not to be so fond and that our son was too young to remember, but unconvinced I was determined to make it the best first Easter ever.
I certainly didn’t purchase a swingset and truth be told, I don’t even remember what goodies I purchased for my baby’s first Easter basket, but I remember how delighted he was when he found it!
And, we’ve done the Easter basket thingy every year since. Over the years and as our boys have grown, we’re careful not to go too overboard though. The boys usually get a new outfit and some little toys for their Easter baskets. And, we hide those eggs, sometimes with seconds to spare before our boys wake up! We then head to Grandma’s for another Easter egg hunt, some eggstravaganza family fun games and a huge feast!
How about you? Are your Easter traditions the same for your kids as they were for you?