Confession: I am a bit old fashion when it comes to holiday traditions and have been that way most of my life. Holidays in our home are to maximize family time and celebrate the occasion with a church service followed by a big dinner with our extended family and friends – its the southern way! Something will be fried and copias amounts of butter will be used in the preparation or consumption process! It is just a way of life!
This Easter however proved to be a bit of a challenge for this tradition -loving momma! Our oldest daughter was scheduled to play in her last club volleyball tournament of the year on Easter weekend, in Myrtle Beach, six hours away from our beloved mountains, home church and family!!! At first I didn’t give much thought to the tournament being set Easter weekend, I simply booked the hotel and sent the dates to everyone’s calendar. But, as the weekend approached I began to stress about being “away” from our norm – and on Easter of all holidays! Likely the most important Christian holiday of all!!!
So, I went into planning mode. I knew we could celebrate the Resurrection of Christ pretty much anywhere; and the BEACH, its very existence on any day of the year is miraculous and the ocean seems to give re-birth to everything around it each new day so that was a no-brainer! And beach sunrises are amazing so what better way to have our very own sunrise service!
Also, our church broadcasts sermons the following day so I knew I wouldn’t miss out!
But what about our other traditions?? What about the egg coloring and hunting? The family, the dinner and the butter!! Could I make the holiday special enough so that my family truly gave it the value it deserved while away from home!?!
Of course I could! With the help and suggestions of a friend, a former Florida girl and expecting mother, I packed our suitcases armed with brightly colored sharpie markers for decorating sea shells in the place of eggs!!! (I also found and packed some realistic looking plastic eggs that we could decorate if the shells didn’t work out!) This little project turned out WAY better than I could have ever imagined! All of our “kids” enjoyed hunting and later decorating the sea shells with the markers I had packed. It also gave our son something to do in the hotel room on Saturday morning while his sisters were getting ready to go to the gym! Waiting on sisters to get ready for a couple hours can be exhausting on a little brother!
The Easter Bunny was careful about selecting Easter basket gifts that were easy to stow away in a suitcase until Easter morning, or rather Saturday night! We packed the sisters’ Easter bags with beach-friendly goodies; a new bathing suit, cheap sunglasses, and lip balm for Elle and eucalyptus muscle soak, a hair masque treatment and ibuprofen for Christina who would be playing volleyball all weekend! Hayden’s Easter basket included a book, The Berenstain Bears and the Easter Story, monster trucks (also very helpful for a little boy spending the greater part of a day under the bleachers of a volleyball tournament), and a chocolate bunny of course!
Now, dinner….what would I do about our Easter dinner and butter intake??? Easy! Stay an extra night and enjoy dinner on a rooftop restaurant with patio heaters and the women’s national championship basketball game on the television in the background! It was a lovely evening, truly relaxing, not always the way I would describe dinners in this house! Also, we had plenty of butter on the steamed crab legs at shrimp!
As for our extended family and friends, of course we missed them terribly and have made plans to get together soon, but the time spent, just the five of us was priceless! Maybe I won’t be so afraid of stepping out of my holiday comfort zone in the future…maybe!