The best of the holidays

This is my favourite of all the high days and holidays, I adore the Easter weekend.  I get some extra time off work as we close on Holy Thursday and Easter Tuesday as well as the regular bank holidays.  We usually have family visit, along with small members of the family, so the days leading up to Easter Sunday are a strange mix of noisy fun in the house and quiet, reflective services in church.  On Sunday itself the house fills even more as everyone spends the day here having Easter egg hunts (“Auntie Abbie I want 17 Easter egg hunts today” – may not have been 17, it was a lot though!), decorating Easter eggs and hanging them on the Easter tree.  Church is full of people and flowers and loud singing, it is truly delightful.  The day is long and happy and lots of wine and chocolate is consumed.  I had planned a huge family party on Monday, with a different part of the family, but although I wrote all the invitations, I did not get to send them at all.

This year will be a bit different, but it will still be joyous.  It’s a strange time for everyone, so hopefully everyone in the family is in the same sort of frame of mind to make the best of it all.  The weather is set to be beautiful for a few days at least, which makes it easier to relax.  And we are involved in the church services of the Triduum (Holy Thursday, Good Friday, the Easter Vigil service on Saturday and then Easter Sunday) in the strangest of ways.  The husband volunteered to help our priests stream all the services live, so attending mass now includes conversations with the priest beforehand as he checks the camera feed and the sound.  And last night’s mass ended with an odd conversation in our house about when the feed should be cut.  I say odd, just unusual in the old world, it will become normal in the new world I am sure.  The worship aspect of the weekend will provide a clear framework, even if it feels different, they are after all the same Easter traditions, just attended in a different way.

As for the more secular – well video conferencing is our friend.  Family will come together even if we are hundreds of miles apart.  I am plotting games and Easter egg hunts.  Games include Easter bingo, egg decorating, bunny hopping, chocolate consumption and more.  For the Easter egg hunts – think Anneka Rice’s Treasure Hunt from the eighties.  But with small children, a slightly technophobic grandma and a control freak of a party planner who will likely be through her first bottle of wine since she gave it up for Lent. Nothing can possibly go wrong can it?  There will be a lot of laughs I am sure.

Today is not that day full of joy and chaos though, it is a more quiet and sombre day, a day to reflect on the sadness of the situation.   But it is also a day of hope and preparation for happiness to come.  And I love planning a party.  However odd this weekend is, it is still my favourite holiday of the year and I know it will be a good one.