by Susan Wilkins-Hubley
My husband and I recently did our Easter shopping at a local department store. We have four children in total so it was eventful to say the least. In recent years we have scaled back considerably with our Easter spending. Each year we have a Easter Egg Hunt at a nearby historical yet abandoned Inn my husband’s great grandfather built over 100 years ago. My Father-in-law carefully creates nests out of tall dried grass twisting them into something you’d never thought was created by human hands. Early Easter morning before dawn, my husband sneaks quietly out of the house and fills the many nests with real Easter Eggs, jellybeans (wrapped in colorful cello), yellow marshmallow chicks, etc.
The kids seem to get up extra early Easter morning and see a small token from the Easter Bunny sitting in our living room. However, they know that the best part is to clamor over to “the hotel” as we fondly call it and search the grounds for as many treats they can find. Clad in rubber boots, new spring coats and probably some pajamas stuffed under clothing in haste, the four of them joyfully trundle four lots down talking excitedly about how many nests they will find, what they suppose will be in the nests, and begin the big hunt they waited for all year. The children gather at the foot of the hill to begin their hunt and are given the yearly “hunt rules”. One they have been given the ok they spill out onto the grounds running to find “the best nest”. The children usually come away with half a dozen nests to call their own found under bushes, trees, behind outbuildings and along the shore in the tall grass. We take them all home in a wheel barrow being careful to make sure they each get exactly what they found and gleefully fill their tummies on the front lawn.
My husband started this tradition when his children were very young a few years before we met and he gallantly invited myself and my son along the year we did meet. I could tell this was a tradition that my son would thoroughly enjoy and it seemed to encourage the sense of family that year even though we lived separately. I encouraged the tradition in the years that followed but added some new twists of our own to encourage myself to feel as though I was a part of the tradition – and indeed I am. The kids look forward to this every year! We have photos from each year.
Try starting your own family traditions. A new family needs some new traditions and new twists to old traditions to grow, thrive, and be happy.