Easter is almost here! This time of the year has always been a special one to me. Growing up in the Philippines, Eastertime holds quite a significance for the largely-Catholic population. Every year as a child, we would vacation in the small town that my father grew up in. We would spend 3 or 4 days lazing around on the beach, and on Good Friday we would always have dinner at our aunt's house. She lived right on the town's Main Street, and every year there would be a Good Friday procession that would go right down the street. We had the best vantage point, right outside my aunt's living room windows, looking right down on the procession. We would see all the floats pass by, depicting Jesus and Mary and the saints, as well as scenes of the events leading to Jesus' crucifixion. It was kind of a gory subject, now that I think of it, but as kids we were transixed with the beautiful floats and statues, and all the pomp and pageantry.
I haven't been to my dad's hometown in decades. As the years passed, the religious aspect of Easter dimmed for me. When I moved to the US, I started associating Easter with springtime and the end of the cold, dark winter rains. When I got together with Alfie, his English Easter traditions -- basically, Cadbury's Chocolate eggs! -- meshed with mine. Then The Pea was born on April 6, Easter took on a whole new meaning for me. I began to associate this time of year with her birthday and celebrating her life and seeing my little girl grow bigger, smarter and more beautiful with each passing year. Then, as she moved from babyhood to toddlerhood and as our family expanded to include 3Po and Jammy, Easter became a blur of parties and egg hunts and candies. The one constant has been the presence of family and friends during Easter time, which makes it one of my favorite times of the year.
Here are some of the things I love best about Easter:
1) The end of all those cold, dark nights.
2) Getting to eat dinner outdoors once again (because of the extra daylight and the weather!)
3) Seeing the sun shine on the beautiful, emerald-green hills that have been watered all winter.
4) Seeing the first flowers push up from the dirt.
5) Getting to wear white again.
6) Getting to dress your little girls in pastel dresses
7) Getting to wear cute, royal-family style hats (even if you never do wear them, at least you know you could!)
8) Planning picnics, hikes, and all kinds of outdoor activities.
9) Putting away the heavy raincoats and galoshes.
10) Planning your family's annual Easter Egg Hunt brunch.
11) Decorating the prettiest Easter Eggs ever.
12) Buying colorful plastic eggs and stuffing them with cute little treats.
13) Hiding the eggs around your garden and imagining the look on your child's face when he finds them.
14) Making up a special Easter basket and stuffing it with little treats and goodies for your child.
15) Stocking up on luscious chocolate Easter bunnies.
16) Stocking up on even more luscious Cadbury's Chocolate Easter Eggs.
17) Peeps, peeps, peeps!
18) Attending all the fun Easter events around the neighborhood, including Easter Egg hunts, storytimes, Easter Bunny visits, Easter Bunny photo opps and more.
19) Reading any book with Easter Eggs or bunnies in them.
20) Celebrating the rebirth of life and hope.
21) Getting together with friends and family.
22) Remembering the good times I had during Easter as a child
23) Sharing those Eastertime memories with my family.
24) Returning to my roots and traditions as a Filipino and a Catholic.
25) Did I mention all the chocolate?
So what does Easter mean to you? What are your favorite parts of Easter?
Disclosure: 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. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.