And here we are again, just like that we are already on the cusp of Easter and April is here! I'm not sure if it's my age, but the months really are whizzing by just lately!
April is without a doubt my favourite month of the year, I'm sure I've mentioned it in my blogs previously - I just love it. Life just seems so much brighter with the colourful spring blooms and the bonus days of sunshine that we may get (although it's a bit chilly this morning on school run, I can tell you!) Just last week I was digging out some sun cream at 10pm the night before my son's school trip when we had a sudden spell of warm weather, and this week I'm bringing out the thermals again! But even if it is still chilly, it really does lift your mood to see some sunshine once again.
Easter will be particularly busy for us this year as it is also my Husband's 40th birthday - the lucky thing has managed for it to fall right on the Bank Holiday weekend, meaning he will really get to drag out the festivities! I'm hoping the spring sunshine will do us proud and make another appearance, so that we can celebrate with friends and family in the garden and really make the most of it. My eldest son, however, isn't particularly impressed that it clashes with the visit from the Easter bunny! Although he is already banking on a breakfast of chocolate washed down with birthday cake…!
Easter this year should hopefully be one of the first 'main events' of the year where we can finally enjoy a bit of pre-covid normality, or as much of that normality as is possible right now. I've seen lots of events organised locally for egg hunts and Easter trails. Church services will be able to be held in person again, and people will be able to come together and worship once more. Just like any large event, festival or special occasion, everyone will have their own traditions that they follow. Some will be because of their culture, religion, or country of residence, but many will simply be down to personal preference. Easter is no different to that, everyone will have their own way of celebration or marking the festival, no matter how big or small.
Since having our children, the most anticipated event in our house is undoubtedly the Easter egg hunt in the garden. This year, my youngest son will really be able to enter into the spirit of the occasion and join in the hunt - he has more of an idea what he is searching for this year so will have his eyes on the prize! I can see it rapidly becoming a mad scramble to see who can quickly gather the most eggs! And just to add to the tradition, I like to leave it as late as possible to remember to buy the eggs for the hunt and spend the last couple of days beforehand, scrabbling round as many shops as possible gathering up sweet treats! This year my Mum has attempted to force me into being organised and has already bought some advance ready for the anticipated 'are there any eggs left in the shops near you' text message, but I think that takes some of the fun out of it… or at least that's what I tell my disorganised self!
A particular favourite Easter memory of my own childhood has got to be the Easter bonnet parade. I have memories of sitting down with my Mum, cutting out cereal boxes to fashion a hat that would sit long enough on my head for it to be judged in the competition. Trying to cover up the branding with crepe paper and fluffy pipe cleaners - and of course, adding the final touches of downy feathers and tiny chicks and eggs! I say 'us', I'm pretty sure my Mum used to do all the hard work and I just used to give my orders on what I wanted it to look like! I don't recall our efforts ever winning a prize, but we did have fun making them. The hardest part was definitely getting it to stay on my head and remain in one piece - I recall having many a ribbon chin strap added to these bonnets to help keep them on! Thankfully that craft tradition hasn't surfaced in our house yet now that I've become the Mum tasked with crafting it - although I'm sure it won't be far off coming back to bite me!
We might not do the Easter bonnet parade just yet, but one Easter craft we do always partake in is the hard-boiled egg painting. We usually do these on the run up to Easter weekend and have them displayed on our kitchen windowsill until they eventually (and predictably) meet their Humpty Dumpty-esque demise!
Another family tradition we like to follow is that of the Easter Sunday meal. We tend to gather and have Sunday lunch together - lamb would be the traditional choice, but as most of us aren't keen (or for some, vegetarian) we just tend to plump for our usual Sunday roast meat and trimmings, but at least we try! We also tend to eat fish on Good Friday as per the Roman Catholic tradition. I'm not Catholic, but growing up, my Gran would always say we would need to have fish & chips for tea as it was the done thing on Good Friday. I never understood why at the time, and I'm not sure the tradition extends to battered cod, but I was all for it as a kid - any excuse for a treat tea!
The thing I love most about traditions is, you can make your own, and they can live on - big or small, it doesn't matter. But everyone, everywhere will have their own family way of celebrating and commemorating, but mostly… I recommend adopting the fish and chips tradition as your own! ;)