10 April 2014

Easter Traditions

This is our... third?... Easter married--yes, I had to count; I'm pregnant, blame the baby--and so far, we haven't really done anything of our own to mark the holiday. We are still planning to spend this Easter with my family, but now that Little Bear is 21 months and definitely aware of and interested in everything going on around him, we figure it's time to start building some of our own family traditions as well. Talking about some of the things we grew up doing and wanted to continue was fun--we even went through the different types of candy that appeared in our baskets every year!

Here's the plan for Passiontide and Easter 2014:

Passion Sunday: veil the statues around the house

Palm Sunday: ice cream! A little Sunday fast-breaking to celebrate the triumphant entry into Jerusalem 

Holy Thursday: baking hot cross buns for the next morning, Holy Thursday Mass

Good Friday: eating hot cross buns, hard-boiling lots of eggs, potato soup for supper, stations of the cross and beginning the divine mercy novena, Good Friday evening liturgy

Holy Saturday: dyeing eggs, baking Italian Easter bread, filling Easter baskets in the evening and "hiding" them somewhere Little Bear can't possibly miss them the next morning

Easter Sunday: Mass, Easter bread and hard-boiled eggs for breakfast, and going over to my parents' house for the kids' egg hunt and dinner

There's a part of me that feels like we "aren't doing enough," but that part needs to go sit in the corner and be quiet. I'm pregnant. I have a teething toddler. I only have two hands! Baking hot cross buns and Easter bread, dying eggs, and filling baskets are certainly enough traditions to start with... and I'm certain I'll wind up making a few things to bring to dinner as well.

I've made the hot cross buns the last two years, though I think both times I forgot until Good Friday itself so we ate them on Holy Saturday instead. And I'm excited to try making my mom's Italian Easter bread this year; I've watched in the past, but she's always the one who makes it. I'm well aware that dyeing eggs makes moms crazy, but it was something I looked forward to every year as a kid... we will spread newspaper everywhere, and try to keep Little Bear out of the dye! I'd really like to make the traditional red-dyed eggs with onion skins, but I might not be quite crazy enough to attempt it this year. We will see.

Yesterday afternoon, Little Bear and I went to Michaels to find Easter baskets and Easter grass (the paper stuff, not the shimmery plastic awfulness that you find yourself picking out of the carpet a month later!). We had fun! He definitely had opinions on which baskets Mama and Daddy should have. I tried to pick small ones, and two even have handles that fold down, but I still have no idea where we are going to store this sudden multiplication of Easter things... It would be so much fun to be able to decorate for every holiday, but I have to remember that we just don't have the space right now! I can probably find room for three baskets in the top of the closet, though.

I know, of course, that the extra trappings and special foods aren't the main point of Holy Week and Easter. Planning all these ways to make our observance tangible for Little Bear, though, is really helping me look forward to the coming celebration with more excitement than the past few years!

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