Easter Egg Hunting — Old People Style

Easter is only a day away now and you know what that means. Well, now I think about it, I guess it could mean a lot of things. A renewed sense of religious piety. The cyclic nature of life, death, and resurrection. An observance of a community-building holiday founded in the goodness of fellow citizens. What does it mean for me? Besides loads of candy eggs, of course!

It’s true. I hear the word Easter and the first thing I’m reminded of is not a crucifix. I think of the overabundance of candy that saturates the day with sugary goodness…those of you who may remember this jingle can hum it with me (and your welcome for the earworm!) Mary Sue Easter Eggs, Mary Sue Easter Eggs, Here’s a treat that is sunny for your Easter Bunny, the creamiest candy that’s made. Mary Sue Easter eggs, Mary Sue Easter eggs, Brighten you Easter parade!”

Next at the top of my list for Easter reflection are eggs. The hunting variety, that is. Oh, they weren’t always my first thought. When I was a little girl the word “Easter” meant that it was time to dress in a pretty new outfit and slip on some beautiful new shoes. Boy did I love that tradition.

my brother & me in our Easter outfits, Easter 1971

But then I grew up and, after I had my son, Easter Sunday became much more about the basket, the eggs, and the competitive quest for the brightly colored symbols of Spring. I loved putting together the baskets with the chocolate bunnies and the pastel colors shining from the fake grass inlay. I loved it so much I still decorate Easter baskets for my kids to this day. No lie. I know that my kids are well past the age of believing in the Easter bunny but it doesn’t mean we don’t still enjoy the magic of the holiday. Or at least the candy.  And my daughter and I still dye eggs together. Albeit we’re a bit more creative now in seeing what crazy things we can do with colors and trimmings (this year I’m determined to talk her into a horror theme). So what? She may be a teenager and I’m, ahem, just a tad older than a teenager, but Easter doesn’t have an age limit, right?

Of course hand-in-hand with the coloring of the eggs comes the annual Easter tradition of the classic Easter Egg Hunt! When my son was growing up, this was an Event with a Capital E. We would hunt eggs, oh maybe a billion times each Easter afternoon after dinner. Rain or shine. He never tired of searching for those cleverly hidden holiday icons that we had so painstakingly colored just the night before.

The tradition was subsequently passed down to my daughter. They’re seven years apart so when Jake was already a seasoned veteran in his egg hunting career, Sarah was just a rookie starting to ascend the ranks. Don’t think for a minute that he taught her anything or showed her the ropes though…it was a fierce competition from the get-go.  Egg hunting has always been a very serious undertaking in our household, with those partaking in the game guarding their stash with a watchful eye as they scanned the horizon for yet another victim poking its neon-colored head out from under a blade of grass or leaf or perhaps sitting there precariously upon a bird-feeder perch. Until recently that is.

You see, the age of retirement from a career as an egg hunter in my family is NEVER.  No one gets out of the Easter Egg game in my family.  I don’t care if you’re 16 or 75. You’re either hiding eggs or finding eggs. Case closed.  It’s always been a family affair and we do more than just have the adults hide the eggs then set the kids loose across the yard. We like to mix it up.

Back in the day, it used to be a kids vs. adults hunting royale. Now that the kids are older, it’s evolved into more of a men vs. women battle of the sexes hunt.

There’s only one problem: age. We’re all getting older and our collective memory just isn’t quite what it used to be. So nowadays one team will go out and hide their batch of eggs, then the other team will put forth the good search and find, oh, we’ll say most of them…but when it’s time to reclaim the ones that weren’t found, so much time has passed that the team who hid them in the first place now can’t remember where those “they’ll never find them here!” spots are that were so deviously chosen to befuddle their beloved family members just 30 minutes prior.  So, often times, our two teams have to merge into one superteam just to find all the eggs. And even then, it’s never a given all of the eggs will be found. We’re still missing an egg from 2013.

Yes, every Easter Egg hunt has the potential to turn into a messy expedition through the grassy lands of colorfully-dyed forgetfulness, but it doesn’t stop us. Oh no, not us. Why? Because it’s too much darn fun, that’s why!

This year I’m going to propose something different when egg hunting time comes around. I say, we just ALL go ahead and hide the eggs together. No teams. That way we skip the foreplay and start this year’s hunt where we know it’s going to end up anyway. After we hide the eggs as one group, we go back in the house, have a little coffee, sip a little wine, nibble on some cake, then after 20 minutes or a half hour goes by, head on back out to the yard. I guarantee that none of us will remember where we put our eggs.  Then a truly great hunt can begin! It’s all about turning a negative into a positive. Genius right?

12 thoughts on “Easter Egg Hunting — Old People Style

  1. There is a lot of fuss right now in UK about eggs. Apparently chocolate manufacturers have stopped branding them as EASTER EGGS in case this offends people of other religions and has an impact on sales. People are going crazy and the really daft thing is that most of the people going crazy are not even remotely religious!

    • That is just silly. I know truly orthodox/devout religious people don’t go in for the whole Easter Bunny and basket deal, but then, they wouldn’t be buying the eggs in the first place. Generally speaking, those buying the eggs are going to be buying them FOR Easter baskets (or similar display), so the argument doesn’t make sense. Really the only religious/spiritual sect that could use that argument (of being offended) are pagans who celebrate Ostara and want to have candy eggs for their baskets/displays but you don’t usually find them complaining or pitching a fit at such things because as a rule, they’re more tolerant than most.

  2. The annual Easter egg hunt — what an awesome tradition! I’ve never felt so grown-up and accomplished since the year I transitioned from an egg hunter to an egg hider. And it was on that day that I got to do to my cousins what my elders before had done to me: hide eggs in unreachable spots, such as on top of the roof and in the branches of the tallest tree. Because nothing is so frustrating as when you can clearly *see* an Easter egg, but can’t reach it without adult assistance.

    I’ll also never forget finding an Easter egg in my Grandma’s yard in late September. Apparently, it had been tucked under a shrub and forgotten. I had hoped to find a $10 bill inside (the ultimate prize for any egg-seeking enthusiast), but unfortunately, all I found was a chocolate candy that had far outlived its edibility.

    • Ahhh, you guys hide the plastic eggs! That’s a neat way to do it…because then it’s not just a simple egg hunting game, it’s a treasure hunt. My mother did that one year where she hid one egg for each grandkid that had money in it. Of course she never did that for my brother and me. Go figure. In general though, we hide real eggs…so when we lose one, if we were to ever come across it months later, it is most definitely would not be a pleasant find. Although quite frankly, that hasn’t happened yet. When we lose them, we do it right. 😀

  3. In retrospect, the best part of the egg hunt was the hard-boiled egg that didn’t get found, went bad and was discovered by its smell two weeks later. Yow! Not much worse than a rotten egg.

    Since my upbringing was largely secular, I don’t even think I realized (or chose not to pay attention) to the religious aspect of Easter until I was in my teens. I guess it helped me avoid having to try to tie together the large white rabbit with the crucifixion that likely confuses many kids at some point.

    • Yeah, I’m definitely not into the religious (Christian) aspect of it, even less so as an adult. As for finding lost eggs, we used to have a dog when I was young that would find the eggs. We had to put him out front for us to be able to hunt the eggs in peace out back. So we never had any that were lost for long, even if we didn’t find them ourselves. Our dogs now either don’t like eggs or can’t be bothered. So when our eggs are lost, they are really, really lost. LOL

  4. Your family has a beautiful tradition. Anything of this kind definitely makes life better.
    It’s probably a lot of work to set up a scene for egg hunting. I don’t do anything recently because we are just 2 adults. I was Skyping with Latvia, that was sort of all Easter.

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