Another one bites the dust

Coloring Easter eggs has always been a pretty big deal in our house. Each year after the Good Friday Tenebrae service at the Lutheran church we've attended for more than 20 years, we'd head home and color eggs as a family.

Like our Halloween pumpkin-carving rituals, the egg coloring involved everyone competing for the very best design. Also like our pumpkin-carving rituals, someone usually ended up in tears or -- during the teen years -- huffing off to their room for a host of hormonal reasons having nothing to do with the design competition.

But it was fun. Really. We have lots of happy pictures and warm fuzzies to prove it.

This year for the first time ever, we won't be coloring Easter eggs. All the girls live on their own and our only grandson lives too far away to come over for a dip in the dye with Grandma and Grandpa. And I really can't see egg coloring as a couple on the Good Friday agenda for me and Jim.

So we'll go eggless this year.

There's a domino effect to the decision to not color eggs. Having no colored eggs impacts our Easter morning breakfast, as we've always eaten our colored eggs on Easter morning, along with blueberry muffins and sausage links. It made for an easy holiday breakfast before the family dashed out the door for church service in our new Easter outfits.

Oh, that's another thing: We're not buying new Easter outfits this year. There's really no reason to as we have plenty of dressy duds and really shouldn't spend the money this year.

With the delivery of Easter Bunny baskets having ceased delivery last year (although the girls will always get SOMEthing from E.B. but don't tell them that), it seems the last vestiges of our old-time Easter celebrations have bit the dust. The children are grown; the traditions of childhood are no longer relevant.

I should be sad about the change, as I've always worked quite hard to create memorable holiday traditions for the girls. But that's the key and the reason I'm not too broken up about this Easter's empty nest: It's always been work ... a lot of work ... done mostly by Mom.

So  I'm kind of glad that this year I don't have to color eggs or go shopping for outfits (especially when the girls -- and I -- often preferred black to the pinks and yellows and greens typical of Easter finery) or stay up waiting for kids to fall asleep just so I can fill a few baskets or help three little girls crack and peel and wash their colored eggs for breakfast.

Nope, we're having an adult-only Easter celebration for the first time. First up: A breakfast menu of Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Lemon Curd and Fresh Raspberries. Then Easter service, with our oldest and youngest daughters joining us.

After that, it's anyone's guess. We're all grown-ups now and I no longer need to set the day's agenda in advance.

Except for one thing, that is: I need to ensure time for a Skyping session with Bubby. I want to see my handsome grandson dressed in his new Easter outfit as he tells Grandma all about his basket of goodies from the Easter Bunny and the colored eggs Mommy peeled for him for breakfast, all before he, Mommy and Daddy dashed out the door for Easter service.

Knowing the beloved family traditions that once defined Easter in our house are continuing with the next generation make it much easier for this generation to bid them farewell and move on.

Today's question:

What's your favorite Easter tradition?

My answer: Breakfast as a family. Family dinners have always been a given in our house, but family breakfasts happened rarely ... usually only on Christmas and Easter.