A Grown Up Easter

Growing up in the town where both of my parents are from means our family is pretty tight-knit. Spending time with my family has always been a priority to me, and I love that part of my life. But as we get older, it gets a bit harder to make sense of the family holidays and all the traditional (childhood) celebrations that go with them.

Take Easter for example: our traditions of yore included coloring eggs, finding Easter baskets, attending church in special outfits, going to both sets of grandparents’ houses to then continue celebrating with food and an Easter egg hunt and a scavenger hunt. Yeah, that’s a real Easter Sunday itinerary for a small-town Midwestern family.

 Here we are posing for the ritualistic family photo at Gram's, Easter 2011.

Here we are posing for the ritualistic family photo at Gram's, Easter 2011.

But as I get older, I care less about the chocolate eggs and more about making the most of our family’s time together. Plus, my sister and I don’t have kiddos yet so there’s no need to dive back into the youthful traditions. So what do we do when we are so used to celebrating the holidays, but have grown out of the traditions?

Today I want to share some inspiration for celebrating Easter as a grown up, sans kiddos. Hey, no judgment please, this can be a tricky balance! And I think we should be able to look forward to these gatherings, not just go through the motions because we’ve outgrown the rituals. That’s why I’m proactively scheduling a grown up Easter for my family. I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do, so I sent out a casual proposal to my family’s group text and got the green light.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to be a guide for how you should spend your Easter. Every family and group of loved ones has different hobbies, interests, and expectations. I’m simply sharing what feels exciting and fun for us. My words are meant to inspire you and hopefully encourage you to think about how your family is spending time together, over the Easter holiday and beyond.

 To me, tulips and Easter go hand in hand. I took this photo at Pike Place Market in Seattle. 

To me, tulips and Easter go hand in hand. I took this photo at Pike Place Market in Seattle. 

There’ll be no more baskets filled with bubbles, sidewalk chalk, kites and skip-its (although to be 100% honest, I still love that stuff). This year we’re starting the day with an intentional gathering over food, aka my favorite part of life. I LOVE planning menus for my family, so I’m using this opportunity to be thoughtful about fueling up for the day without filling up. Heck, we’ve got two more family gatherings after this!

Since I haven’t made the food yet, and therefore don’t have any photos of it, I’ve linked the official photos to the subsequent recipes I’ll likely use. Here’s a peek at our Easter brunch menu:

  • Fresh fruit bowl and veggie tray
  • Mesclun greens with red wine vinaigrette
  • Asparagus and cheese tart
  • Blueberry lemon cake with homemade whipped cream
  • Mimosas (because we can!)

Next, to get our bodies moving while spending time outside I’m suggesting a casual round of croquet. My parents found an old set awhile ago and we’ve really enjoyed playing when we’ve broken it out. We’ll create a winding course in our yard, stretching it deep into the backyard for some adult-level competition. We’ll try not to get too cutthroat, but our zealous crew tends to anyway.

When we’ve finished up there I came up with the idea to have a round robin euchre tournament. Playing cards, euchre especially, is one of my family’s favorite ways to bond. We could play for hours on end. I remember asking my Gram what her and my Grandpa did on the weekends when they were younger. She said they played cards with their friends at least every other weekend. Needless to say, it’s in our DNA.

Also, #realtalk, this may not be how our morning plays out. Someone could be having a tough time because my brother’s not there or be feeling sick or just isn’t in the mood for a get-together. As a type-A personality, I know not to create unrealistic expectations of my plans, but instead hope for the best and go with the flow. Just knowing we’re being conscious about creating an opportunity for a slow, intentional morning together makes life my life happier right now. There is definitely something to be said for anticipation. As one of my favorite authors says,

Anticipation is a key stage in happiness; by having something to look forward to, no matter what your circumstances, you bring happiness into your life well before the event actually takes place.
— Gretchen Rubin

So if you’re not satisfied with how you’re going to be using your time with your loved ones this Easter, I urge you to change it up now! Hop on the group chat and propose a meal in instead of eating out, create a grown-up Easter egg or scavenger hunt, eat ALL the peeps, celebrate Jesus, go for a group bike ride or hike, donate filled Easter baskets to your local shelter, or buck tradition altogether. Create exciting, intentional plans and give yourself the grown up Easter you deserve!