I’m just gonna confess it: growing up in my house, Easter was about greed and glory. Easter was about decorating some crazy-awesome eggs, better than anything your sibling could ever hope to achieve.
Easter was about THE GOLDEN EGG.
Just a bit of history: Growing up in a divorced family, I had double the holidays. It kind of rocked. Even though most things could be duplicated, there were a few favorite holidays that the parents staked a claim to. For my mom, it was Thanksgiving and for my dad, it was Easter.
He made every Easter memorable. He made The Golden Egg a thing of glory (and greed).
You won’t understand the importance of this egg if I don’t first tell you that I am the youngest (and only blond) child in a dark-haired family of giants.
My older brother, known here at More Cowbell as the Bag Whore, was a six foot behemoth in the 6th grade. That dude had feet like gunboats and the wingspan of an albatross. I was never gonna be bigger, faster or taller. But by golly, I was always the quicker child when it came to anything related to words.
Back in the day my dad had to PAY that boy to read. I believe the going rate was ten cents per page. That little manipulator made a couple bucks every week doing what I loved doing for free.
This bartering for pages irked me and every year I got my revenge on Easter.
I’d arrive at my dad’s house on Good Friday and on Saturday morning we’d break out all the egg decorating gear. My brother and I would get busy on our own dozen eggs and we’d help my dad with half of his dozen. Our eggs could be any color except gold.
There was only one golden egg per year and it belonged to my father. He’d usually make a few test eggs before he hit his stride so his golden egg would be a glowing, velvety sun.
The rules on Easter morning:
- Open the bedroom door and dig through Easter basket.
- Find the magic piece of paper that told us which part of the house or yard was our “egg hunt territory” that year.
- Hunt eggs in our zone and (hopefully) find all 12 eggs, along with the chocolate, jelly beans and the $10 that had been tucked around them.
Note: $10 was a LOT back in the 70’s and early 80’s. This was serious incentive.
After breakfast, the Golden Egg Ceremony opened with my dad presenting an original poem to my brother and I. Year after year, he came up with some creative rhyme about where the vaunted golden egg might be found. (For an economics professor, this was damned impressive.)
And he didn’t pick pitiful or slouchy places for the magic egg. He hid that thing well out of sight, usually behind at least one door, and nearly always covered up.
- One year it was folded up inside a yellow tablecloth in the linen closet.
- Another year it was in a gold colored glass Pyrex in the back of the refrigerator.
- A different year it was in an amber color highball glass up in the china cabinet.
Perhaps I remember THE GOLDEN EGG with such clarity all these years later because there was another $10 hidden with it. Perhaps I remember it because my dad behaved so out of character with his catchy little poems.
Most likely, I remember it perfectly because the Bag Whore NEVER won.
He was frustrated, year after year, because his baby sister (future writer) understood the siren song of words at an early age and snatched that egg out from under his nose every year.
One year he started following me around in an effort to elbow me aside and pilfer the prize from the high places that only he could reach. However, my father thwarted these efforts, understanding that the quest for the Golden Egg should remain pure.
Somehow he understood that the little golden-haired gladiator who heard the song of his poem should prevail, at least on that particular day of the year.
May your Easter traditions remain pure and full of fun… May you add in plenty of chocolate for the Trifecta of Awesome.
Do you celebrate Easter? If so, how? What were your favorite holiday traditions growing up? Do you have any egg recipes to share? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!