I've admitted many times that I am an unrepentant Christmas fiend! I love everything about it, have way to much stuff to celebrate it and always seem to overdo it. With that out of the way, (again) I will also confess that growing up, in our family, every holiday was an opportunity to go crazy with preparations, food, decorations, clothing, etc., to celebrate the day and in many instances, enough dysfunction to ruin everything.

The traditions associated with the celebration of Easter are many and varied and I imagine that ours were (sometimes) fairly normal (minus the unexpected turbulence which was always a possibility with my volatile bipolar father). We'd get new dresses and shoes, (if they could be found to fit my fat little feet). Our Mom usually got a new hat, because she loved them and we occasionally did too.

The day began with church (minus our Dad who exclusively attended Mass at Christmas and even that was hit-and-miss) then home for breakfast which was usually homemade brioche with lots of butter. My beloved Mom wasn't much of a cook, but man could she bake! Breads, rolls, cakes, and cookies, were exquisite specimens of gastronomical wonder!

Next on the agenda was the Easter egg hunt. Mom would hide the eggs we had dyed and decorated on Good Friday, around the house, before we woke up. We had to wait until after church and breakfast to search for them and to break into the chocolate and other goodies the Bunny may have brought. In-between all these happenings, Mom would get the leg-of-lamb in the oven.

We always ate lamb for Easter, which my Mom and younger sister detested. My older sister and I loved it then and still do. Ham was not something my Dad was particularly fond of, for Easter, or any other time. 

Another fairly strange tradition was finding out what our family in Salerno, Italy had sent us. At some point our Aunt and Uncle Soriente began sending us giant hollow Easter eggs filled with individual serving packets of Nutella and usually a toy of some kind. The eggs never survived the Atlantic crossing and were always in a million chocolate shards. But who was going to complain? The chocolate was fantastic!

They would also send boxes full of Nutella packaged in glass coffee cups and mugs, many of which I still have. (The glassware, not the Nutella!)  Keep in mind, this was decades before anyone in this country even knew what the chocolate and hazelnut spread was all about! So by the time the rest of this country discovered it, I was long over it and to this day, rarely eat it, although my sisters still adore it.

I love holidays. All holidays, including Easter. But this Easter weekend I'll be working to get my dead Christmas tree out of the living room. It has turned out to be an extra long Christmas season for me this year!


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