On Easter

When I was little girl I loved Easter, my younger sister did too. We would wake up early, really early, on Easter Day, sometimes at 5 AM and storm down the stairs to the kitchen. This is where the hunt would take place, we had waited for this for days. The night before my mother had hidden easter things and candy and trinkets in the kitchen area. It would take us about 20 minutes of feverish searching and then we had gathered all of our finds. Jubilant, we would then run upstairs to our parent’s bedroom, wake them up (this was the only day of the year, except for birthdays, when this was allowed) and explain where we had found things (as if my mother didn’t already know) and thank them. We were then sent away, told to go back to sleep; we went back to our beds, where we would sit quietly, red-cheeked, and inspect our findings. My favorite thing was always the painted cardboard egg that opened up into two halves. In it was candy, chocolate, perhaps some lip gloss or hair clips. There was something about these eggs that I adored; the shape, the skinniness and the old-fashioned images.

Our family was Protestant, but not particularly observant. I think throughout my entire childhood, perhaps we went to church once or twice over Easter. But my mother would always make fantastic food for Easter Day, usually lamb. Easter was clearly considered a holiday. In preparation for the holiday we would paint eggs with water color. Coloring eggs involved a complex egg-preparation procedure; with a needle one would make a small hole on each side of the egg, then, into a large glass bowl blow the entire content of the egg (these eggs were later used to bake cakes). The egg would now be empty and ready for painting. We all gathered around the kitchen table, wearing aprons, merrily painting. Once the paint on the eggs had dried, one would put a thread through the two holes, which would then serve as a hook of sorts. We would hang all of our eggs, probably around fifteen or twenty, on Pussy Willow branches that my mother had picked in our garden and placed in a large vase. I clearly remember that we were all proud about having put in effort into making these eggs. It had been a joint creative effort.

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