Of the pop culture holidays, Easter has become one of my favorites. Retailers haven't been able to find that hook that turns Lent into the consumer feeding frenzy that some of our other religious-turned-consumer holidays have. And while the religious pageantry is now lost on me, a nice dinner with family, a steady supply of (mostly chocolate) candy, and the celebration of spring... I can get behind that!
I have created some interesting Easter traditions over the years, mostly having to do with some non-traditional Easter baskets that we've created for the kids in the past. This year, I find myself visiting my parents in Washington, DC, and I will spend Easter with them, and my brother and sister and their families.
One of their traditions is to have an Easter Egg hunt for the nieces. When I was a kid, such an event required considerable effort and planning. A couple dozen eggs, hard-boiling, dyeing, cooling... and all of that on the days before Easter... followed by wandering the yard and hiding the eggs here and there in the yard. Today, a trip to Costco (in January, because that is when the retailers put out the Easter stuff) scores you a plastic bucket of three dozen plastic eggs, stuffed with candy. Twenty minutes in the yard, and voila... Easter Egg Hunt.
I'll admit, some of the artistry that comes with hand-dyed eggs is lost when you substitute candy-filled orbs of plastic. But this is about the kids, and if you think back to your youth, if given the choice between a hard boiled egg that was going to be blue on the inside when you peeled it, and a plastic egg full of jelly beans, which would you choose?
So this morning, I took my little plastic bucket of eggs and wandered the back yard, putting eggs here and there. About half of them are lying in the open on the lawn, but the remaining half are actually pretty well hidden. My parents have a hedge of forsythia bushes, which still sport a fairly full load of yellow flowers. This was the perfect place to hide the yellow eggs. In fact, some of the yellow eggs have a brown-striped pattern to them - it was almost as if they made forsythia-specific camo for them. They're hidden at eye-level for a six year old, but they'll never find them unless they're right on top of them.
I always hide a few for the adults, too. Not that the adults will search for them, necessarily... but they are so far out of reach for the kids that only daddy can grab them. One is in the crook of a maple tree, about nine feet off the ground.
Another is in the branches of a sprawling peach tree.
This will be fun... watching the kids search the yard in their Easter dresses looking for candy eggs.
I have only one regret - I didn't notice the extension ladder in the yard until after I had hidden all the eggs.
UPDATE: I got the extension ladder out after all!