Thursday, April 1, 2010

Happy Easter!

Oh Easter. What a bizarre holiday.

A couple years ago, I took it upon myself to explain Easter to a few Israeli friends. Now that was an experience. Because Easter really is confusing - the Jesus crucifixion/ascension things is quite clear, but the rabbit and the Easter egg hunt? That part's just strange

We dye eggs in advance and leave them in the refrigerator for the Easter bunny the night before. 

This very simple statement led to a whole ton of questions!

Friends: Oh, I get it, so the eggs symbolize the rebirth of Christ? 
Me: Ummmmm...maybe?
But we don't get the bunny. Why does it hide the eggs?
Me: So the kids can find them.
So wait, why do the kids find the egg?
Well, It's fun.
So do American kids really like eggs?
No, not particularly, that's why there are chocolate eggs too.
And how does the bunny get the eggs? Where is the chicken?
There is no chicken, just a bunny and eggs.
And why are they dyed? Oh, does that have something to do with Christ's blood?
Ummm, I doubt it...
But then why are they colored?
I think it's just because it's spring and there's flowers and stuff.
And where is Jesus in all this?
Well, he isn't really.
But it's a Christian holiday?
Well yeah, it's kind of like how Christmas is religious, but then there's the whole tree/Santa Clause/present thing.
But wasn't Santa Clause a saint?
Oh. Yeah. 
Are there bunnies in the bible?
Definitely no bunnies. The bunnies really don't have anything to do with Easter in the Bible.
So why do you do all this? 
Well, it's just fun...sort of...but in my house it's really competitive, and someone (read: me) usually ends up hurt and crying...I'll just explain how Easter goes down in my house:

When you wake up in the morning, you get out of bed, and grab your Easter basket (it is almost empty, except for maybe a large See's chocolate egg, and perhaps a stuffed animal, spring-y stocks, or some lip gloss) then immediately search your room for any evidence of an Easter-bunny appearance. There might be a few shiny chocolate eggs among your bookshelves, tucked into the ears of your stuffed animals, or hidden in the corners of your drawers. (Think of this as the warm-up.)

The rules are that you
cannot leave your room until all the kids are up, and a parent says go (we usually did Easter with my 3 cousins, and sometimes other some parents' friends' kids too). So you can open your door, stand on the threshold and scan the hallway, plotting your route...but NO EGG HUNTING until the go-ahead.


And it is a mad rush to any and all eggs in the house. Elbows are inevitably thrown, some may perish in the attempt. The wiliest hunters run to the furthest rooms first, hitting up the kitchen and living room while all the other kids are still fighting over eggs upstairs. The loot includes everything from hard-boiled dyed eggs, to chocolate eggs and bunnies, to jelly-bean filled plastic eggs (we're a dessert kind of family, don't judge!).

Towards the end it gets harder, and you have to really hunt. Mama stands in the kitchen looking off into space: Oh, I think I see one over here...some children should look more carefully.

Soon enough it is all over and we count our eggs. Not that there is any particular prize for having the most...just pride. And
Sister1 inevitably beats out Sister2 and I. She always wins. Mostly because she hunts dirty - elbows, fingerhails, whatever it takes. I swear, the girl will grab an egg out of the hand of a toddler. Though I can't really judge, our whole family is compeitive, and I'm just bitter that I never win.

[Sidenote: I have nothing bad to say about
Sister1 right now. The girl is doing my taxes - bless her heart and praise her name! Just fyi, there are two ways in this world to earn my undying love, devotion, and gratitude: 1) bring me cake. 2) help me avoid math/finances/"adult" responsibility in any way. Sister1 wins on both counts.]
Post-hunt we eat breakfast, along with an appalling quantity of chocolate eggs, get dressed and go skiing for the day.  I don't remember much in terms of Easter dinner...I don't think we really did anything special for that...

So anywho, that's Easter at my house. Does it make sense? No. But that's just how we do it.

Since going to college, I have not participated in competitive Easter festivities. I kind of prefer the more relaxing Easter brunch tradition. But somehow both sisters emerged from the melee unscathed, and they both have their boyfriends make them a hunt every Easter!

Happy Easter to you, however you celebrate!