Wednesday, April 8, 2009

a difference of tradition

This is the post where I lay it on the line. I present to you an unguarded look at a moment in my life in hopes that my mother-in-law forgot to read my blog today. . .


To say that Kevin and I grew up differently would be to say that black differs slightly from white. While our geographical differences were slight growing up, our parents' lives, moral, religious, psychological, discipline, and general child-rearing practices differed substantially. Everything in my life was about saving money and being conservative. Christmas was special, but we didn't get big items. Christmas presents were small, inexpensive, and few in number. I remember my mom making me Care Bears one year (think Care Bears pillows). My mother was emphatic that we not believe in the Easter bunny. She always stressed the true meaning of Easter, and that was celebrated joyously in my home. We hunted (empty) Easter eggs and ate lots of chocolate, but we didn't get Easter baskets filled with goodies. The Easter bunny never stopped at our house.

Christmas for Kevin was about. . .well, BIG. Everything was in extremes: toys, food, etc. My husband remembers the Easter bunny leaving a basket of plenty at his house. They had their pictures taken with the Easter bunny. They hunted eggs for the chocolate and prizes that would be inside. Easter was Easter because the magical bunny had arrived. (My mother-in-law did cleverly re-gift Easter presents over the years, but her sons were never aware of it.)

Fast forward several years. Kevin and I are married with no children. Easter is spent at Kevin's mom's house. I volunteered to bring the Easter eggs that my niece and nephew would hunt. . .After the first few, my sister-in-law was laughing, and the kids were uninterested in hunting the eggs. It seems you are supposed to put candy in eggs for kids to find them. It seems that if there are no candy, money, or prizes in said eggs, there is no desire to find them. No one had shared that part of the family tradition with me. My in-laws laughed, my husband was embarrassed, and I was hurt. . . and a little offended.

Fast forward several years. We now have two beautiful children that, I'm proud to say, will hunt an empty egg. We prepare a small basket for them that includes a few pieces of chocolate (that must be shared), a book (often about the Crucifixion), and a small toy or two from the dollar tree. We read, tell, and talk about the real meaning of Easter. This year, we plan on attending a community Easter service on Friday and spending Sunday at the very same church that I used to hunt eggs at. Tradition (times two) lives on. However, the moral of the story: Marry an orphan--your life will be much easier.

10 comments:

Heather@WoolandFlax said...

We used to hunt empty eggs, too! The best part is that, when you're done, you can put the eggs out again and have another hunt (and the dogs don't eat your candy).

By the way, my four-year-old's term for, ahem, passing gas is "my engine came out!" (He used to think he was a car.) I'm afraid to say that the phrase has stuck.

Steph at The Red Clay Diaries said...

Hee hee hee... I'd never heard of hunting empty eggs. I would think, "What's the point?" It probably never occurred to his family that they needed to tell someone to FILL them. ;)

Still, a tough thing to live thru early in your marriage. Glad you survived it.

And Happy Easter!!!

steffj89 said...

my kids do get easter baskets etc but they too will hunt empty eggs....as long as i will keep rehiding the goofy things....
ugggg
steff

Anonymous said...

See I'm not the only strange person out there. Other people hide empty eggs...and the dogs didn't eat your candy that way. The one who found the most and the golden egg got a special treat. I'm sorry we stressed saving money so much...didn't realize I did that, but I tried to make your childhood a happy and healthy one. Too much candy is not good! Even the chocolate lover you are knows that!!!! Mom

Debbie said...

Your children are blessed to be raised by you! You are teaching them the important things in life. My kids haven't ever hunted anything but regular old eggs. Do chickens lay eggs with money in them? :)

CC said...

At the rate I'm going, there will be no baskets for us this year. We have a "stash" of old jellybeans that may end up in eggs. And I bought a game last month at Goodwill that I will probably wrap or something.

It's been that kinda week.

Jessica said...

Family traditions can sometimes be hard to "mesh" when you get married and start your own family. I think you guys are doing great at it!

(I am ashamed to say that I probably wouldn't have hunted empty eggs)

Jonny's Mommy said...

I hope your in-laws don't read it either...I'm sure they would feel awful they upset you. At least I hope they would. It's too bad they didn't say "Hey, that's OK. We had fun at least...."

We're doing it at my parents this weekend with just my son and I'm going to put some candy in them I think....but not too much or he will be bouncing off the walls all weekend!

Chef Penny said...

This post made me laugh! I agree with the orphan part! My life would be easier if I didn't have to deal with my in laws! Oh well, at least God uses them to teach me grace and patience!

Your Frugal Friend, Niki said...

Weaving 2+ families' traditions together is a HUGE task, isn;t it?

:)