What Easter means

Easter means a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, it's a day filled with bunnies, eggs and candy. To others, it's a religious day in celebration of Jesus. It means frilly dresses and pearl earrings. It's potted daffodils. Brunch. To me, Easter will always mean family.

I grew up in a volatile household where the holidays typically brought arguments and hostility. My mom tried her very best to fill the season with cheer, but something about the seemingly endless parade of Halloween-Thanskgiving-Christmas-New Year raised everyone's stress level just a little too much. She and my step-dad never got along and the forced togetherness really didn't help things. Just when we were finally catching our breath, my sister and I's birthday fell in January on the exact same day.

When I was a kid, we'd still be reeling from the four month holiday marathon when Valentine's Day would come and slip by without incident. It was another relief when April brought Easter. There was no gift-giving, no turkey basting, and usually a lot less family visiting than during the winter season. Those few who did travel into town didn't have the inevitable snow and hailstorm snafoos that we saw so much of during Christmas. With the pressure off, the spring holiday was the time I got to see my family without all the extra stuff. It's still that way today.

During Easter, everyone settles easily into their niche. My sister and I dye eggs. Grandma makes her famous casserole. The boys start an impromptu baseball game or just kick back on the couch. Mom builds baskets. To this day, my mom has given my sister and I an Easter basket every single year. I think the Easter basket is actually my very favorite thing about Easter. Not because of what's in it, but because of the memories it conjures up: pretty dishes spread out on our dining room table, fluffy stuffed animals and candy exchanges on the living room floor. Easter baskets remind me that despite the bumps in the road and in spite of the people who have come and gone, the three of us have made our own little traditions that stand the test of time. In my house, Easter means family. My sister, my mom and me.

I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Hop blogging program, for a gift card worth $25. For more information on how you can participate, click here.