Easter Tree 2.0

Easter may have been my favorite holiday as a kid. Living my whole life in Michigan, I’ve always keenly felt the need for a celebration of rebirth after a long, deadening winter. And we had Easter holiday traditions that were pretty unique to our family. One was the egg hunt – mom and dad would hide dozens of plastic eggs all over the yard. There were a couple traditional hiding spots – tucked between the ties under the rail of the train tracks that went past the house – and there would be a few real eggs that we’d dyed. A couple of pantyhose eggs (remember those??) would often have candy in them. There were little gifts, too: a balsa wood airplane, bubbles…little fun trinkets. Enough of a gift to be a gift but not enough to set off my overdeveloped sense of guilt at always having better gifts than my friends. 🙂

The Easter baskets had their own unwritten set of rules. The basket was rarely a basket at all. Usually it was something vaguely bowl-shaped. Baseball caps and gloves, a colander, and (in later years) a margarita pitcher stick out in my mind. Each person got their own, and it was filled with their favorite candy. (Easter was one of the few times Dad got Good-n-Plentys.) I loved making baskets as much as I loved receiving them. There’s a great satisfaction to expressing creativity within a known set of parameters and doing it really well.

Eggs and branchesI’ve been craving Easterness this year, so I decided to revive one other Easter tradition: the Easter Tree. As a kid, this was a branch of a shrub from the back yard, cut before it leafed out. We propped it in a flowerpot of sand or plaster and then hung decorations on it – mostly dyed eggs (blown out and washed first) and tiny rabbit-and-spring-themed wooden ornaments.

I didn’t have time or energy to dye eggs this year, but I did happen across a couple dozen naturally-colored Auracana eggs this spring, and there was some copper wire kicking around. And I knew there would be  a vendor at the market selling curly willow…and that it will sprout leaves if you put it in water. So I created my own version of the Easter Tree, a little less with the red dye #3 and a little more with the life-from-dead-sticks. It’s in the yoga room, and I get to exercise in front of it every morning as the sunrise streams in the east-facing windows. It’s my family tradition, but even more “me” flavored, and it’s just the thing this spring.

Easter Branch

Easter Tree

Easter Tree

Advertisements

3 Comments

  1. TeacherPatti said,

    April 5, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Those pictures are beautiful!!!

  2. Anonymous said,

    April 6, 2009 at 8:13 am

    My mother taught me to make decorated eggs for our tree. If they were dyed, it was just a wash, not bright colors. We blew out the eggs, then used brushes to paint intricate geometric patterns on them, usually naturalistic (flowers). Later I saw pictures of similar eggs – I think it is some middle European concept (not my family heritage, so I don’t know where my mother got them).

  3. Momster said,

    April 7, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    Bravo, love! So nice to hear the tradition is alive…dad hiding eggs when it was 30 degrees and dark! Hiding them in Florida when the sun melted the chocolate bunnies! The year I got a new toliet seat complete with a saran wrap sling full of Easter grass and chocolates! I still have your wooden bunny ornaments….maybe next year??


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: