Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Expat Easter


I'll never get used to not having an Easter vacation here in the US. For 39yrs I've celebrated Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Saturday and Sunday and Easter Monday (known as 2. Påskedag in Norway.) Over here we just have one 'normal' weekend. It always seems very strange sending the kids off to school as usual on the Friday and Monday and I always get callers from Europe who are disappointed not to find them at home.

The other issue is that we have built up a lot of family Easter traditions during our years in Europe, which we now have to try to cram into one weekend. We usually pot up a twig from outside and decorate it with handmade eggs, do an egg hunt in the back garden after the Easter church service, hard-boil some others and colour them for our annual egg roll on Monday and bake delicious hot-cross buns. Now we also have the annual Easter parade here in our small town to fit in, which DD2 marched in on saturday with her High School band. It's exhausting. Something has had to give.

So, our Easter celebrations are starting to change. We just can't fit everything into the two days set aside for Easter over here. The homemade hot cross buns have been replaced by a dozen provided by our local bakery. (This is one job I'm truely happy to relinquish. I've been baking them for over 10yrs, ever since we left England, because there was no such thing in Norway. This is how ethnic food comes into being. Immigrants have to recreate the dishes they love because there's no one else who will!) I also decided not to take my son to the community egg hunt, which is quite a spectacle actually. Small coloured eggs fill a large field as far as the eye can see and kids race to pick them up in the baskets they've brought with them from home. Now he's 10 though, it's just not cute any more. As much as he still wants to join in, I feel that it's more about greed by that age and there's nothing cute about that.


I'm sad to see some of our traditions go. I guess I'll make the Easter tree again when the kids are gone and I have more time. Then I'll look at all the beautiful eggs we made and remember the fun we had. In the mean time, keep your fingers crossed for good weather this week. We might manage to have our egg roll done by next weekend!

4 comments:

CT said...

Oh That twig idea is so cool!

Rudee said...

The west coast does things differently. Here, the kids have either a half day, or no school on Friday, and the entire week off after Easter. It's a nice little break between February winter break, and summer.

You have some wonderful traditions, but I can completely understand how difficult it must be to pack that into 2 days.

Kimmie said...

You have some lovely cares, concerns and thoughts here. When did Easter become as commercial as Christmas? I've been in a funk ever since we had an extended family "Spring Party" on Saturday and the some of the grownups got quite smashed. I am truly discouraged. My instinct is to pull back, pull inward and become isolationist. I don't want to begin hating Easter as much as I've begun hating Christmas - argh!

Jane said...

Focus on the kids, Kimmie and treasure the special things that you do with them. Keep some traditions that you just have with them and try to ignore the other stuff. Thise are the things that will carry the good memories for you in the future.

Hi CT - the twig idea came from Norway. There we used a live twig (hence the green leaves) recently pruned from a birch tree.

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