Every holiday, I see so many fun activities for families splashed around the internet. Pinterest is overflowing with decor & craft ideas, Facebook is festooned with photos of gifts & activities, & Instagram boasts play-by-play real-time snaps of all of the things everyone but our family is doing right now because it's a holiday.
Confession: we tend to outsource our holidays to our families. Not because we are lazy (although maybe we are a little bit), but because it is overwhelming to do three holidays every holiday, & we like the two we already have with everyone else. I love seeing our families relish Rue's excitement when she opens a present or tastes a pie or finds an egg. It means more to me than doing these activities at home with just the three of us. So, we tend to do really, really tiny holiday things at home, & leave the traditional activities for family time.
This was the case this Easter. We gave Rue one thing (a mushroom rattle I had crocheted). Both sets of grandparents presented her with little baskets of activities & goodies, & she had an egg hunt with my parents & a big family brunch with Ted's family. She even got some jellybeans! She wants for nothing. I try to remind myself of this whenever I feel guilty that we didn't set out a whole basket for her to find in the morning. She doesn't really need a lot of stuff kicking around, & she doesn't need a ton of sugar... keeping it simple is not a bad thing. Right?!
We did dye eggs together this year, though. I finally got around to making natural dyes (because Michelle's are always so beautiful!) & Ted & Rue doodled on the eggs I got from a local friend's chickens in a white crayon. It was a pretty simple activity, really, but I loved it! We used red cabbage (blue), turmeric (yellow), spinach/kale (green), & onion skins in both red & yellow with an old pomegranate (red/rust). I loved that the eggs varied in color prior to dying, so we got a few different hues in the end. The green & red attempts did not do very well, but the yellow & blue were gorgeous! I am going to try other plant combinations next year for better results.
I also tried the dye on some white cotton yarn (I made so much- I won't waste it!). It turned out okay, but I am soaking it a second time to see if I can achieve a deeper color. You can see the green did practically nothing, & the red turned out almost brown.
My parents had us over for an egg hunt & goodies, & Rue had a blast! There was a rubber flying chicken in one egg that stuck to a surface when thrown at it with enough force. Mom managed to stick him to the ceiling, which made Rue's day! She thought it was HILARIOUS, & therefore, so did we. She also got a bunch of springtime goodies that are perfect for outdoor activities as the weather warms up! There were also some goodies to make rainy days fun.
Then, we had a video conference with extended family who we don't often see, as my family is scattered around the States. It was fun to see Rue interact with everyone via video. She showed off all her My Gym skills!
Today, we went to visit Ted's family at his Aunt & Uncle's beautiful new home. This place is stunning. I love how eclectic their style is. We had a blast catching up, eating delicious food, & laughing. Always laughing!
This tomato plant is sprouted from seeds from Ted's grandmother's tomato plants, & have been a way we keep her in our spring holiday traditions. I love that a lot. Such a beautiful & simple family bond.
Our holidays are usually pretty hectic, multi-day affairs, but we get to spend that time with the people we love. I think, in the long run, Rue will forgive the absence of an overflowing Easter basket at home, instead cherishing the time spent with family. At least, I really hope she will. This time together is the best gift I could ask for!
What are your holiday traditions? Do you also prefer making memories to making tangible "traditional" things for your kids?