Easter–A Time of Love, Greed and Glory

Easter

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.

Examples:

  • 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!

~Jenny

Photo credit: Pekka Nikrus – FlickrCC License 2.0

About Jenny Hansen

Avid seeker of "more"...More words, more creativity, More Cowbell! An extrovert who's terribly fond of silliness. Founding blogger at Writers In The Storm (http://writersinthestormblog.com). Write on!
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22 Responses to Easter–A Time of Love, Greed and Glory

  1. LOL! You just wanted to swipe the cash out from under him every year! Yup – we also did the egg hunt but not on that level. Then a huge Italian meal followed. Then a nap.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      I’ll admit I liked the cash. $20 bucks bought a ton of books back then.🙂 And I saw the huge meal and nap in action today when I walked into a room full of teens snoozing on the floor. It was hilarious.

      Like

  2. What a sweet holiday memory. Sounds like your dad had as much fun as you did.🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That sounds like so much fun! Good for your dad for making such great memories for you and your brother! But even better that you won every year!🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a lovely daddy! My parents used to buy the “fake” egg cartons of chocolate eggs (one dozen) and I still do… just for the memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Julie Glover says:

    I hope you’re still gloating! As the youngest child in my family, I understand the importance of basking in such glorious moments for as long as you can!🙂

    And I’m sorry, but I have never in my life dyed an Easter egg. (Never wanted to.) We do the hunt, though — plastic eggs. One year, I sent my kids on clue-to-clue hunt for the eggs and that was fun, but they were allowed to work together.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      You know, there’s a lot to be said for the plastic eggs since you can stuff them full of coolness AND you don’t have to eat a ton of eggs. I’ll be making deviled eggs and egg salad this week, thank you.🙂

      And yes, I’m still basking 3+ decades later…

      Like

  6. CristineGzr says:

    Easter with 4 little girls (mom had four in 3 years -middle twins before she was 21!) meant Easter outfits and invariably Easter outfit disasters, which still have me giggling.

    We had a pond in our backyard and there was a rope swing that the older kids used to swing out far over the deep part and drop. But being NH, this did not occur until June. Easter time meant the pond was all pond scum…

    The first Easter disaster began when we were told to go outside and stay out of trouble, while they got ready. We were dolled up in pastel coats, white shoes with white lace anklets and little hats and gloves. For some reason, we picked up little sister, nicknamed Ittle to see if she could reach the out of reach rope swing. She could. We picked her up and had her grab the rope a few times before the devil arrived and encouraged us to giver a little push out over the water. This worked only once the second time she lost her grip and fell into the pond scummed water. A somber Easter…

    The following year, we were told to go outside, find a place to stand and do nothing but breathe unless we wanted spankings to become a Easter tradition. So, we contemplated the situation and decided to stand with backs against the telephone pole in front of the house and watch the traffic. Finally, Dad called us to the car and we ran to the car, thrilled we had been good girls.

    Unfortunately, we did not know that the poles had been painted with creosote that week. Creosote was a liquid black tar substance that took a long time to dry. As we hoped into Dad’s car with the white leather seats, he gasped. We sat quietly confused as he crumbed to the ground and sobbed. Amazingly, we didn’t get spanked, but we also did not go to church or have Easter baskets. Mom and Dad lay on their bed all day staring at the ceiling. We wandered over to our Grandparent’s house and were treated cookies and candies and wonderful Easter dinner.

    Today, I can not imagine those two young kids having four kids themselves and surviving it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh. My. God. The destruction of Easter dresses is a huge tragedy at that age. You poor little darlings!!

      And your parents sound like they were completely overwhelmed. I only have one. I cannot even imagine the chaos of FOUR. *fans self*

      Like

  7. CristineGzr says:

    Ew, sorry about typos… sigh need more coffee!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Sharla Rae says:

    Easter was very democratic at my house. I think that was because every other hunt we’d gone too was so terrible! Kids turned loose in a church yard acted like little piglets, pushing, shoving, greedy for the goodies. Bloody knees and tears is all we got for our troubles. Man, it brought out the worst in kids. We gave up on the free-for-alls. The muddy clothes and hurt feelings weren’t worth it. Instead, my mom set up democratic hunts. When we woke Easter morning we each had our own bunny trails of eggs and candy leading from our bedrooms where baskets had been left. We’d grab our baskets and follow our own trails, gathering up eggs. When we reached the open areas of the house the real hunt was on and then we scrambled to find goodies hidden all over the house. Somehow it always ended up pretty even Steven. If it didn’t mom would give the greedy one the evil eye and sweets were willingly redistributed.🙂 Sharing wasn’t so bad because in our minds it didn’t alter the fact that one of us was the winner and had found the most. I followed the tradition with my kids and you know what, they do it with their kids too.

    One Easter we all got colored chicks. We lived in town so dad had to build a pen for them. One by one, something happened to them — I think the lid on the pen fell & broke the neck of the blue one. But one did survive. Poor thing had green feathers almost to the very end. Then when she finally became an adult, some yahoo stole her out of the pen. We bawled sure that she ended up on someone’s dinner plate. That was the last time we got chicks and I think my mom threatened everyone if they tried to deliver a cage of baby bunnies — esp. my dad.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Oh, I love that, Sharla! I just don’t understand why kids get greedy with pinatas and Easter eggs. We were always encouraged to help the littler kids on those public hunts.

      I have to confess it, democracy was enforced on our hunts by giving us separate areas of the house and yard, but it was full-out war when it came to the Golden Egg.🙂

      Like

  9. yvettecarol says:

    Absolutely gorgeous post, Jenny! I loved it. Your best yet, in my humble opinion. And look at the long effusive responses it engendered…good stuff, babe! We voted with our fingers. I love this glimpse into your past. And love the word choice too, golden haired gladiator really painted a picture. Such a sweet memory🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jenny Hansen says:

      Awwww…thanks, Yvette! I’m having fun introducing Easter to my little girl. We haven’t gotten to the Golden Egg yet, because it’s just her. The competition is a huge part of it. She woke up and wanted to hunt eggs though – it was immediate upon opening her eyes, which was SUPER cute.🙂

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  11. Chris says:

    This is the first year my sister has not been able to do an Easter Egg / Treasure hunt for her son, who is well past the age of 20. Unfortunately he grew up, met a girl, and moved to San Diego. He and his girlfriend were not able to leave San Diego because of work. Last year they did come “home” for Easter. He and his girlfriend followed all the clues to find the eggs, filled with money, movie tickets, and other prizes hidden inside. When you are young and poor, $$$ is the best present ever! They all loved the “hunt” and then enjoyed a nice Easter dinner together. Moral of the Story: Never grow up!

    Like

  12. markbialczak says:

    Here’s to the Easy Reader, Jenny. I’m glad you put all your Golden Eggs in one basket.

    Like

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