Easter: what a crazy conflicted holiday; A greedy egg grabbin', candy filled day for kids, a great meal and fun with family or friends, mixed with a solemn rememberance of the brutal crucifixtion of Christ, and gratitude for his unfathomable gift to all. My memories are a mix of all and in the end trying to find the right balance fun family traditions without getting too caught up in the commericalism of this sacred day.
My mom was Lutheran and I assume we attended church when I was a small child at least on Easter since I have a picture of my parents in Sunday dress and my siseter and I in our Easter dresses and hair band. I still have the hair band! But the only early childhood “memory” of Easter I have is attending an Easter Egg Hunt in Vista at Elks Lodge with Dad.
Easter 1968 or 1969 Sister Sheri, cousin Brad and Me with the blue hair band.
After my mom passed away when I was almost 6 and we moved, my Grandma Smeby came to live with us and we went on occasion to a Lutheran church. My dad rarely attended with the exception of time his mother came to town, and then for Easter and Christmas services. I always liked Easter Sunday services with all its symbolism, song and sermons focused on the miraculous event of the resurrection of Christ. I remember loving when we went and sat together and then all went out to Sunday lunch, and I haven’t changed in the fact that I remember where and what I ate Hot open faced turkey sandwich at the Kountry Kitchen.
At age 16 I started to attend the Mormon church and just before I turned 18 I was baptized. Of course the message of Easter is just the same, but the Sunday program is somewhat different than I remember from my youth. It's not a HUGE Easter sermon & there is less visual symbolism. As I get older, I have a deeper understanding of the significance of Easter and love the doctrine and spirit I feel when I'm at church but secretly I admit, on the the major holidays of Easter and Christmas; I miss the Sunday services of my youth with a huge choir, palm leaves and traditional sermon.
Other than attending Church on Easter I really don’t have any other Easter memories until I started to have a family of my own. Our family traditions were like most- we always attended church, dressed up, attended egg hunts and always had a wonderful Easter dinner at my parents, along with my sister’s family.
Easter 1994. My Children Cody (t) and Evan (b) and nieces L ro R Grace, Hope and Faith.
One of some of the most "fun" Easter memories are when I held Easter egg hunts and games at our own home. One year when the kids were little we owned two rabbits and we set them free in the back yard and my boys and nieces ran crazy trying to catch the rabbits – poor rabbits nearly had strokes! Another memorable Easter we had a large group of kids over and had an a big egg hunt, and games like carrot a eating contests, balancing eggs on spoons and hopping races.
1999 Easter Egg Hunt. "Carrot eating contest" Not shown: Most kids spitting them out :)
L to R: Mitch Henke, Josh, Juliana, Jenny Rout, Chrissy Minerva, Jacob Henke, Ashley, Channie Minerva, ?, Evan, Cody, Jamie.
Raising my children, I can recall countless Easters we would have a family home evening lesson about the meaning of Easter and attend church, but all the boys could focus on was the Easter Egg hunt! You can only hope that as children outgrow the Peter Cotontail and egghunts, that the "message" of Easter has stuck. They both have a place in our lives, but If I ran the "holiday calendar", there would be two days... A Day to Celebrate "Easter" and a day to celebrate “Spring”