[soundslides width=”620″ height =”503″ id=”187432″]Melissa Neary and her family love Easter.
Each year Neary’s family does an elaborate Easter egg obstacle course. They decorate hard boiled eggs together and then design a path with tires for the hard boiled eggs to roll through and ramps made out of dirt and rocks that allow the eggs to fly through the air. Neary said the eggs can break and crack, but the first egg that makes it through wins, despite how battered the egg ends up.
Inside, Neary’s parents hide her Easter basket in the house somewhere, and Easter morning, she finds it.
Neary, a Spanish major from Mesa, Ariz., said the reason she enjoys these traditions is the challenge of it all. Neary’s husband, Joseph, has been the beneficiary of her family traditions.
“One time my parents hid my basket in a five-gallon bucket full of wheat,” Neary said. “They even poured the wheat over the top and around it so you couldn’t see. Eventually they gave us clues if it’s taking a long time. I’ve been able to continue this tradition. I once hid Joseph’s basket in his drawer.”
Even in all the fun, her family has developed a fun way to enjoy the Easter bunny and also remember Christ.
“We do the Easter bunny, hunt and egg roll on Saturday and focus on Christ on Sunday,” Neary said. “It’s really important to remember why we celebrate Easter.”
Neary, also mother to a baby girl named Lydia, said she plans to continue these traditions with her new family and teach her daughter about Christ.
While it can be a challenge to find the appropriate secular-religious balance in celebrating Easter, many, like the Nearys, have developed a system that helps them remember what the holiday is for.
Reagan Orme, an elementary education major from Carlsbad, Calif., said her Easter traditions have evolved over time.
“When I was little, my parents would go all-out,” Orme said. “They would put rabbit footprints made out of flour to our door; Easter eggs were hidden around the house. Sometimes we would have a big basket of books or pillows, candy or even money. As we got older and realized that the Easter bunny isn’t real, it slowly lessened.”
Orme said as the candy and treats went away, the spiritual aspect of Easter became more apparent.
“There was a slow progression towards more spiritual things and Christ’s birth and sacrifice as we got older and had more understanding,” she said.
For some, Easter has been and continues to be about family.
Aubin Dubois, a psychology major from Sandy, said celebrating Easter has been a way her family comes closer together.
“I live close to home, so for Easter we always do a family dinner,” Dubois said. “After dinner, my grandpa will print off a talk and remind us of Christ’s Atonement and sacrifice.”
Emily Ure, a nursing major from Boulder, Colo., said that although the treats and games are a part of Easter, the real reason for the holiday is to remember Christ.
“It’s just like Christmas,” Ure said. “There’s no point in having a holiday if you don’t remember what it’s for. It’s about remembering Christ and the Atonement.”