Growing up Easter was always one of the most special days of the year. My sister and I would wake up at the crack of dawn to see big, beautiful baskets stuffed with green plastic grass, overflowing with candies and toys, all courtesy of the Easter Bunny. The carrots we left out for a late-night bunny treat would be so carefully gnawed on and we would be tickled to see our treasures. We would put on our frilly dresses and head to church all in anticipation of what we knew was waiting for us after mass. Year after year, we would celebrate the holiday at my Nana’s house. She would put together the most beautiful Easter buffet complete with so many Italian favorites and what seemed like endless desserts! After lunch, we would partake in the annual Easter egg hunt. My Nana would hide hundreds of eggs outside in her yard which was made for such an event and we would all scurry to fill our baskets. My Uncle Veto would follow around with his video camera catching the smiles on our faces as we found the eggs under leaves, in trees, and my personal favorite – in the rain gutters! The whole holiday was straight out of a storybook.
The passing of the egg…
When my Nana started getting older, my Mom began hosting Easter at her house. My sister has 5 children and I have 4, so certainly quite a gathering! She would do a lot of the same traditions my Nana would do year after year. She would make such a lavish Easter spread and she became the master egg hider. Each grandchild had their own special basket they for the egg hunt. They would each have one special egg with their name on it filled with dollars and special candy and the other eggs would have coins and jellybeans. My Mom knew how much I loved an egg hunt even as an adult that she would hide a few that were harder than others just for me to find. I loved that even after I was grown, my Mom made the holiday still so special for me.
Traditions live on…
My Mom passed away in March of 2018 and my Nana passed away in April of 2019 – both during Lent which is the time of reflection 40 days leading up to Easter. I remember thinking “now what” when it came time for the holiday to take place each of those years and I could hear both of their voices telling me – “the show goes on Nicole, the show goes on”! I realized it was up to me to make the holidays just as special for my children – Giana, Stella, Mia, and Luca as they had made them for me. I boil dozens of eggs and set out colorful bowls of food coloring on a table lined with newspaper. I cook family favorites from over the years and make more desserts than we could possibly eat. I stuff the same plastic eggs that my Mom used with money and candy and hide them just as she did. They use the same baskets their Nana gave them years prior to collect them and they squeal with delight when they find their own special egg. Easter certainly looks different these days, but the traditions that have lived on make it oh so sweet!
COVID-19 has certainly changed a lot about how we celebrate and whether you are doing a lavish celebration or just your own little family, Catering by Michaels would love to help you with all your menu needs! www.cateringbymichaels.com/EasterMenu
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