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Why Easter is better than ChristmasCreated by Jane in Seasonal
As the long cold days of February and March draw very slowly to a close, and those of us who try to mark Lent become weary and just a little dispirited, the prospect of Easter in just three weeks gives a huge boost to everyone’s spirits in my household. Because, for me, it’s Easter that is the high point of the year. You can all keep Christmas, it does nothing for me – but Easter, now that’s really something to look forward to. I’ll try to explain why.
Firstly, it’s the time of year; even with an early Easter, the signs of spring are there in the parks and in our gardens. The snowdrops have popped up and wished us Good Morning, daffodils are pushing through the earth and sweet violets are covering the ground.
As the Song of Solomon has it:
‘Winter is over and gone, the flowers appear on the earth, the time of the singing of birds is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land’.
And then, there are all the traditions of the season which we keep. On Palm Sunday after getting our palms at church we go for a long country walk and find some pussy willows to bring home and put in a tall vase. On Good Friday my husband always makes a huge batch, 30 or more, of hot cross buns to a recipe by Elizabeth David. They are delicious, so much better than anything from a shop. And do they get eaten? Oh yes. By a group of hungry people who have been to an open air service on Blackheath where once in 1738 John Whitfield preached to thousands. Every year he declares that he’s made too many, and every year they all get eaten.
Holy Saturday is a day of planning and preparation. Two big projects need to be organised. We have always planned an Easter egg hunt for the children which entailed composing clues in verse for them to follow and finally reach the prize of the egg at the end. Now we have been blessed with a grandchild we can start that all over again. It has to be admitted that composing the clues sometimes proved a challenge. I remember one year when our children were young and we went up my father’s for Easter we just had one clue per child and hid lots of tiny eggs all over the house. My Dad said he was still discovering eggs well into September.
And the other big project is the Easter Sunday meal. Boiled eggs for breakfast of course, which have been coloured with red. We keep the shells very carefully and then fill them with compost and plant mustard and cress inside to make an ‘egghead’. We always have roast lamb with all the accompaniments followed by Passover Cake which is made from oranges and almonds and is quite delicious.
And, best of all all the family come. I’m quite happy for anyone to go anywhere at Christmas but I love to have them all here at Easter. There’s no commercial pressure, no urgent need to send cards, put up decorations or buy endless presents, just a lovely celebration of resurrection and new life.
by Jane Lawson