Tomorrow is Easter Sunday. It is the most sacred holiday of the year for me as a Christian. It is a day that celebrates the reason for my hope.
Easter is also rich in childhood memories for me. For my parents, my sisters and me while I was growing up Easter was second only to Christmas as far as holiday celebrations were concerned. It was ensconced in family traditions.
Brand new clothes, leaving the house at 5:30 AM while it was still dark to go to sunrise service at church, a hollow chocolate egg (molded into two halves) filled with M&Ms as the centerpiece of our Easter baskets, pots of hyacinth flowers and tulips given to my mom on display in our living room (I still associate the scent of hyacinth combined with the smell of chocolate to be THE unofficial aroma of Easter), and watching the movies: "The Ten Commandments" and "King of Kings" on TV were among them.
I have lots and lots of stories about Easter. They include getting stopped by the police after picking up a friend for sunrise service and my 4 year old sister eating too much candy and giving my dad his own Easter "present" all over his shoes. (Uggh!)
The Havens family did Easter right. To this day my sisters and their families in Pennsylvania have what most people would consider, an "over the top" celebration when they get together on Easter Sunday. So as you can see Easter means family to me.
The way I celebrate Easter these days is through special events and services at my church and having my family over to the house. Today was the start those church events and preparation for spending Sunday afternoon with my family.
In the morning I went to Ed Spears park about a mile from my house for the annual church Easter egg hunt. Unfortunately my granddaughter wasn't there to enjoy the fun but a lot of kids were. Here's the gang posing for the parents before their frantic dash to gather as many plastic eggs as possible began.
Even though I didn't have a child involved in the hunt I enjoyed watching and taking pictures of the event. I would love to put up some of the shots of the kids having fun but it's my personal policy not to without the parent's approval.
After the egg hunt I went home and made up a list of what I needed for tomorrow's dinner and get together. Then I headed into town to get it all and bring it home.
I went to Walmart, Kroger, and Sam's Club to get ham and cheese and other miscellaneous items we need for our Easter lunch. I also got some presents for the kids and, of course, Easter candy.
I have some special surprises for the kids when they come by tomorrow. Of course, most of them will be for Aria. There are a couple of baskets left by "the bunny" already on the table. And while she may not have been at the church egg hunt today; tomorrow she'll have a "hunt" of her own with special plastic eggs with surprises inside.
I can't wait. I know it might seem a bit silly for a man of my age to be excited Easter Sunday but I can't help it. It's been one of the most special days of the year my entire life. Tomorrow will be yet another page in my book of Easter memories.