Easter Day

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When I was a kid my entire family would pile into Grandma and Grandpa's tiny house in the Ozarks for every single holiday. The kids would run and holler up and down the small hallway and scream while running through the woods. After Christmas, Easter was my favorite holiday because it was the only day on which I had a divine right to eat an obscene amount of candy without fear of punishment from my parents. Chocolate rabbits are the childhood meth rock and after we all got tweaked up we'd trample Grandma's front yard, her daffodils, and every living thing in sight as we searched for eggs.

The hunt is on

After they passed away we stopped going to the Ozarks. The family unit split apart due to infighting and betrayal, and it's all just a very depressing story. Besides a good character and virtues and all of that, I wanted to raise up my children to know the same sort of large, loud family with which I grew up. They got a little bit of that this past Sunday and for the first time in six years I had a holiday (aside from last Christmas at my aunt's house) that felt a little bit more like "home."


After the boys decorated their plastic eggs with stickers, I stayed up late the night before and filled them with candy and loose change. I ran out about a third of the way through and left the rest of them empty. The next day the kids littered Chris's mom's front yard with the empty eggs and I was all "What about the THRILL OF THE HUNT? Back in MY day ..." and then I realized how incredibly old I sounded. So, eggs = FAIL.

My mother enjoys the tradition she created of buying the boys' Easter outfits each year; this year Paw-Paw bought them and Ewan did not want to take his dress shoes off. He kept talking about how fancy they were except he said fancy with three syllables and somewhere up in Heaven my Grandma smiled.


The grandparental units insist on getting the kids chocolate rabbits and Chris's mother surprised them with an actual pirate's chest she made herself filled with chocolate coins, costume jewelry, a parrot puppet, and tons of other things. "I love pirates and Easter!" Liam exclaimed.

Easter egg hunt

Just as I trampled all over my grandmother's yard, so did the boys trample all over their grandmother's yard. They had the best time climbing the hills, chasing each other, sharing candy, and trying to bust our ear drums. I watched them run around, remembering how much fun it used to be and I realized that I wasn't one of "the grandkids" anymore; I was one of "the kids." We're all slowly marching up a giant, generational staircase towards the only thing certain besides taxes. In the spirit of Easter, we'll all be together again after, someday.

See the entire photo set here.


Dana, you just write some kind of amazing. Love your posts about family, holidays and such. I would totally buy a book if you wrote one. :)

Your holidays sound like the ones we used to have in Southeast Missouri (Fairdealing..yes it's a town.) My kids run around with their cousins now at my parents house and do the whole screaming, playing, shrieking thing(a little whining too). We all eat too much, tease too much and laugh plenty. These are the best times.

Very sweet and touching, Dana, as always.

I'm also anxious to see how many gun-haters pop up and rip on the NRA cap. ;)

so good that you found a way to make your own large family celebration happen.

the eggs = fail part made me laugh.

Easter was always one of those magical holidays for me....I don't know why, but waking up on Easter morning always gave me that little secret thrill as a kid. Now, its even better because when I wake up, I see the same look in my daughter's eyes while she hunts for eggs. I think I love it now because its one more day for family traditions that I get to create for our combined family. I cook a family meal, and its one of the rare times when everyone is home and present for dinner. I always loved to cook, but for a long time, only had myself and my daughter to cook for. She was just a little tot then, so making huge meals was just a waste of time and money. Now, I have a husband and stepsons, as well, and they've never really been a part of the Southern family traditions of food and family on holidays until I came around! It's been neat creating those times with them, as well as expanding my horizons in the kitchen!! Happy Easter, Dana!

That was a smashing post, Comrade Dana! Your post made me think about all my past Easters at my grams and gramps crib. I'm sorry that your not enjoying your ascent up that staircase. I'm with you on this. I'm still searching for that fabled Fountain of Youth. As soon as I find it, you'll be one of the first to know : ) As for Easter, hmm...well, my large family doesn't really get together like we used to on that day. Yesterday, was a nice change. I saw a very cheesy reenactment of Christ's crucifixion/Resurrection at Meramac caverns. I had to bite my tongue to keep from laughing as "Jesus" was carrying his cross and being flogged by the Roman guards because there was a giant disco ball hanging from the rocky ceiling as Christ was being led towards the faux and foam Golgotha. Sometimes, I wish on that blessed Easter Sunday, I could acquire a temporary and selective form of Alzheimer's. That way I could hide my own Easter's eggs, but I digress. Take care, Dana! The NRA cap kills me! : )

Makes me nostalgic and sad, all at the same time. Must get busy expanding the family so we can carry on the tradition - I've been slacking!

I love that this post came full circle. And I am so glad that your family enjoyed the holiday together =) It's really something special to find a tradition that makes these holidays feel like home, like childhood, like magic and fun and family.

Love this post. Make me miss my Grandma and all my cousins. I don't want to be grown up!

(I didn't even notice the NRA cap until I read some of these comments.)

Great post. "I love Pirates and Easter!" (too funny.)

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Dana asks: "Thanksgiving Traditions: Yours or Your Mother's?"