May 2, 2014

Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con chi vuoi

Italians have this old proverb, Natale con i tuoi, Pasqua con Chi Vuoi.  That translates to Christmas with family, Easter with whoever you like.  This has long since been our family tradition.  Christmas Eve is a holiday with just our immediate family, lots of good food, candlelight and music.    But the rest of the year holidays mean weeks of prepartions and days of cooking to welcome friends and family into our home.  Yes, we work like crazy.  And sometimes it does get a little stressful.  Like when you find out after you ordered the meat and bought the groceries that 4 more families are planning to come.  (I will spare you a long rant here about how kind it is to your hostess if you RSVP on or before the designated date.)  

However, mostly we have so much fun doing such parties.  We love the opportunity to have loved ones in our home.  We appreciate Allen's generosity to give us the means for such gatherings.  We always have a good time.  We always look forward to the next holiday.  We are always glad we did it, even if we aren't so sure when we are gathering extra tables and chairs at the last minute.

Our Easter celebration has grown every year.  This year we numbered 60.  I love when Easter falls late so the weather is nice and we can be outdoors.  It just seems Easter ought to be a sunny warm event, doesn't it?  This year did not disappoint!  The table would have been beautiful any which way, but with in the sunshine I think it had a little something extra special.       
The centerpieces were asters potted in crystal punch glasses.  These were also to be party favors, however our wonderful guests helped clean up and they got put to the side and we all completely forgot about them.  The girls blew eggs and dyed them in fabric dye.  Then they were painted and marbleized with gold paint.  

The afternoon began with appetizers while the kids hunted Easter eggs.  One little friend brought these adorable deviled eggs.  We all knew these, of course, were little chicks.  But just for a minute you Frozen fans imagine Olaf.  Amazing resemblance, eh?
The egg hunt is definitely the highlight of the part for the little ones.  Okay, for the big people, too.  One friend, who has no children at home, always comes early because she wants to make sure she doesn't miss it.  Carmella did not remember this from last year but once she realized there was candy inside, she got into the game.
Addison was happy to use his egg for a teething toy.
So the dads hide the eggs, with help from whichever ladies they can wrangle.  There are hard ones and easy ones.  The rule is if you can see it without looking for it, leave it for a younger kid.  The big guys are so good about sticking to this rule and helping the little ones find eggs.
Our yard is only so big.  And some of the kids have been part of our egg hunt since they could carry a basket.  We chuckled as we realized visiting kids know all the good hiding spots as well, or better, than our kids.
So this year we had so many things to celebrate.  There were two new babies, and a third soon to arrive.  There weren't many leaves on the trees yet, so Annika found some shade under the table.
And the young ladies were glad to have her and Nehemiah to pass around.  Having these two newborns made Addison look so grown up!
These three lovely ones have birthdays three days in a row.  Actually, an interesting bit of trivia is that Aedan was born on Friday April 18th and came home from the hospital on Easter Sunday April 20th.
Of course there was the food.  As much as the egg hunt is the highlight for the kiddos, the meal is the highlight for the big people. 
With a few extra last minute guests, we didn't bring in enough tables and chairs.  So we got to enjoy a picnic with the younger crowd.  This was our first picnic of the season.  Which is kind of neat in that in Italy it is a popular tradition to have the first picnic of the season on the Monday after Easter when guests are visiting and the weather is lovely.
The girls were in driving school every night for the two weeks prior to Easter so we did not have our traditional Passover dinner.  We decided to have two menus since we had such a large crowd.  One consisted of lamb and the traditional Passover menu and the other Ham and the traditional Easter men.  It seems incredibly ironic to serve pork at a Passover meal but since we are neither Jewish nor bound by the law it worked out okay.  No one complained nor was there any thunder or lightening from Heaven.
Oh, and most certainly there was dessert.  More than enough to go around.  We had my grandmother's lemon lush and Allen's Aunt Jean's coconut cake.  It was nice to include loved ones who couldn't be with us through some of their great recipes.
During dinner these girls entertained us by singing what I think might have been the entire score of Frozen.
After dinner we all sang Happy Birthday to Katrina, whose actual birthday was on Easter this year.

The evening continued well past dark with games of croquet, kids on the play ground, and lots of good conversation.  I think it can be best summed up in the words of some of our long time friends, "Another wonderful Easter.  A perfect way to celebrate the fellowship of the bond we share because we can say, He has risen, indeed!"

See the land, her Easter keeping,Rises as her Maker rose.Seeds, so long in darkness sleeping,Burst at last from winter snows.Earth with heaven above rejoices...  ~Charles Kingsley

1 comment :

  1. We had such a great time, as we always do!! The food was great and I loved your decorations and colors this year... so pretty!