MY EASTER TRADITION
Back in the days when I was a little kid and living in Germany, Easter was one of my favorite holidays. I loved believing in the Easter bunny, which would come out early in the morning to hide eggs, candy, and toys all around the house and backyard.
My family’s tradition consisted of going to church in the morning, celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Once the service was over I remember how excited I usually became, knowing there were lots of surprises waiting at home for my sister and I. My mother was usually the one hiding all the Easter goodies the night before, but when I was little I truly believed that the Easter bunny was doing all the hard work.
At a certain age I knew that my parents were the ones behind everything, but I still didn’t mind hunting for toys and candy. It was such a blast, especially since we had a three story home with a small yard, so there were lots of hiding spots. Once all the surprises were collected, us kids usually inspected everything and tested the new toys.
After the first excitement of the hunt eventually subsided, it was time for brunch. For that, we usually had a big family gathering either at a hotel or restaurant, where a buffet was offered. It was the perfect solution and suited everybody’s taste. Also, since we were a group of about ten people, none of our family members had to stand in the kitchen for hours. My family is actually still holding up that tradition, just nowadays without me since I moved to the United States.
Since I have been living in America, I have been celebrating Easter, if at all, very differently. My first Easter in the states was back in 2012, when I was living with a family that had two young children.
One year, I remember I prepared Easter baskets for them that were filled with chocolates and small toys. I left them on the kitchen table with a note, wishing them a Happy Easter while they were out and about. The next year, I went to a family gathering with them, but it was still not the same as back in my childhood days.
The following years, I wasn’t celebrating the Holiday at all, and if I wouldn’t have seen it marked in my calendar, I would have had no idea what date Easter was that year. It just felt different for me over here, I can’t really explain why, but I didn’t have such a connection as I had back in Europe growing up.
Last year marked the first time in a while where I had an Easter experience somewhat similar to my childhood days. You can describe it as the adult version of what the tradition for us kids looked like. My now-roommate was house sitting at a beautiful home, fully equipped with a pool and hot tub.
Since she introduced a brunch tradition to her friends many years ago, she extended the invite to me, and I was more than happy to accept since I missed the family Easter brunch gatherings.
It was a beautiful Sunday, the sun was shining, and my roommates’ friends and I started arriving at the location one after another. Entering the house, I could already smell eggs, bacon (that was the time I was still eating meat), and pancakes.
We gathered around the backyard, some people hanging out in a hammock, others in the hot tub, pool, and benches all around, while the two dogs of the homeowners kept roaming around us.
We had a great time talking, eating, and enjoying the sun together until it was time for the annual beer hunt. Yes, my roommate upgraded the traditional egg hunt to a fun-filled beer hunt, where all of us participants received a beer carton and had to find as many beers as would fit into it.
All the while knowing how clumsy I am, especially when it comes to handling fragile items such as glass, I entered this content with caution, but finished with no further incidents.
After all beer bottles were found, all participants sat back outside with their precious findings, looking forward to indulge into the liquid goodies. I was sitting in the sun, sipping on my drink when I decided it was getting too hot and wanted to move into the shade, of course not without my cargo.
What I did not consider was that my beer carton, which was soaked up on the bottom with water from the pool, had become a little fragile. I lifted it up, not supporting the bottom with my hands, and sure enough, it made a quick rip and all remaining bottles smashed on the concrete ground.
Everyone was staring very surprised and quietly at the mess I just had created, until some of us were able to digest the shock a little and got up to clean up the glass. Oh well, since I am not a big drinker anyways I wasn’t too upset I wasn’t able to drink more, but I did feel very bad about the broken glass all over the floor.
My roommate did invite me again to this year’s Easter brunch/ beer hunt, but luckily I will be up in LA this time, hopefully not breaking anything. However all of you who are celebrating or not celebrating the Holiday, I wish you a very Happy Easter!
Anne-Kathrin Schulte, is a contributor for CaliforniaGermans.com. She writes on her personal experience of the American Dream as well as on working as an au pair in CA. She was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany, where she completed her degree as a state-approved Kindergarten teacher. After her au pair engagement in the US and a quick return to Germany she decided to attend university in California and moved back to the United States. She has been living in Southern California since 2011.
If you would like to contact Anne-Kathrin, please send an email to californiagermans(at)gmail.com and place her name in the subject line.