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By Heather Novak

Easter is four days away and I just got the decorations out.

OOPS.

A sampling of my decor

Apparently with little kids you are also supposed to dip nasty hard boiled eggs into colored dye?

OOPS.

And buy chocolate you do not eat long before the holiday arrives?

I have no idea

what

you are talking about.

I also have no idea what I am doing:  I am hosting Easter this year.

I did put together a centerpiece which I wrote about here. I did that weeks ago but never got ready with any other decorations.  I forget I have the decorations.

But I remember where they came from.

My decoration stash is increasing as my little babies grow old enough.  Now that their eyes light up at anything new and fun like Easter baskets or window clings or a new door wreath, holidays are that much more fun for me, too.  When I was swilling martinis and living single with a couple of dogs and my CD collection, I wasn’t apt to throw up any holiday trimmings other than a Christmas tree.  As my family shifted and my Mom died, I moved in and out of my Dad’s house and into my own various places.

Decorations accumulated.

My grandparents moved out of their house and sent a few things my way.  They later died and more things arrived and got dropped into cardboard boxes.  That was it.  I certainly didn’t decorate with the things.

Once my first baby was born I reorganized my decorations into seasonal cardboard boxes at least.  I had the feeling I would soon be much more interested in them.

Last year for Easter we didn’t even decorate eggs.  Portia was only two and was in fact terrible all Easter week.  Probably very upset about the way Jesus was treated.  So we were too tired to color eggs and she was too young to notice.  I think our only decor was a bunny snow globe from Baba and Papa to Portia that sat on our table where it was first unwrapped.

But this year.  THIS year I am ready to go all out.  My girls are one and three and READY for some chocolatebunnycoloredeggJesuslovesusandroseagain Easter joy!  So am I.  Even if I am a little late.
I made a journey downstairs and fished out decor I had never paid attention to before.  I was delighted to see these mini baskets as perfect place markers for the Easter dinner I am hosting.  Except for one thing:  They already had names on them, and those names made me sad.

Margaret.  Willard.  My grandparents who are no longer living.  Oh they are alive in my memories,  but not sitting around a table celebrating Easter with me any more.  I sadly peeled the name labels off the baskets.  I put together the Easter egg tree from Grandma.  I put out the silly sitting bunnies from my mom’s stuff.  She is not alive either.  Or alive in a way she can sit at my table with me.  And so I am sad amidst the jolly little debris of decorations.

I hide the plastic eggs away until we fill them and hide them Sunday morning.   I put out the centerpiece.  I set the egg dye kits on the kitchen counter hoping we actually do that this year. I pick up the bunny ear headbands, annoyed and resigned we now have five sets of furry bunny ears.  (What is this, the Playboy mansion?)  As I putter and place and remember and miss people I love, I smile a little.

I think of Portia’s first Easter when she lay flat on her back in the grass crying. I put an Easter basket on her belly and took pictures before rescuing her.  The next Easter she actually could walk and picked a few eggs up and put them in her teeny tiny basket.  Last year we didn’t do anything much.  I think we were just too tired.  Well, we ate of course.  There is always the eating.

This year, or at least as of today, I have  Easter decorations throughout the house (no one needs to know they barely made it out of the box in time for the holiday).  This year I have a new used dining table all of my beloved family members will fit around.  The people who are missing can linger in the corners, in the little baskets redone for new tables and in my memories.  Spring is the time for renewal, rebirth, hope and joy.  I choose to embrace joy no matter who sits at my table this year.  Or what decorates it.

How about you? DO you have a sentimental Easter decoration or tradition that is bittersweet for you?  I would love to hear about it.

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Category: Easter

Tags: decorations