Sunday, April 5, 2015

Memories of Easter Past

As one grows older, some of the more simple aspects of life take on greater meaning. I'm particularly grateful to have an appreciation of family traditions and rituals surrounding holidays, seasons and passages of time. Like most families, traditions are passed down through the generations, becoming familiar--almost second nature for each event. Holiday traditions and routines seem to particularly imprinted on my memory. Religious based holidays of course have the spiritual meaning, which are central to my memories. I don't dismiss or deliberately intend to overlook those here. It is interesting to me that my memories of Easter are far stronger than Christmas. Our family traditions around Easter were substantial. Observing Lent for 40 days, leading up to Holy Week liturgical ceremonies, Easter Vigil and of course Easter Sunday service were all heavy emotionally, but highly celebratory for the family. These were occasions that united the extended family, and always involved food--massive amounts of food in fact. 

Easter was an important holiday season. We would always get dressed up and everything just felt special. Throughout my adult life I always maintained these traditions in my own circle. Regardless of whether I was with family or friends, home or abroad, Easter traditions were always maintained. My memories of Easter are in fact, imprinted deeply. I can still see my Great Grandma's rice pies, Aunt Anita's bowl of jelly beans in the living room. Aunt Antonetta's bowl of chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, Aunt Eleanor's apricot cookies, my mom's sweet bread, and grandma Julia's bowl of gum-drop bunnies. Fanny Farmer chocolate rabbits and cream eggs were the very best. Later in life when I worked for Fanny Farmer and Fannie May Candy companies, it was a dream come true.

Even today, my own celebration of Easter continues these traditions, both real and imagined. I believe in the importance of maintaining cultural and family traditions--these are part of society. These are what help give character to us. I am grateful to my ancestors who made the effort to pass down the family traditions, giving me cherished memories. These are the among the greatest gifts I've ever received. Happy Easter. 

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