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Sunday 8 April 2012

Happy Easter 2012!

It's Easter again - our first in America.

This year Easter hasn't felt as much like a big deal. Not because we are away from friends and family, but because Easter just doesn't seem to be that big a deal in America. Quite strange considering how religious much of the country is.

Unlike in Australia, Easter is not a four day weekend for everyone. Some companies choose to give their staff the day off for Good Friday (or Passover) but there's no such thing as Easter Monday. Store trading hours over the weekend pretty much remain as per usual. Some stores are closed on Easter Sunday, or they may have reduced hours for the day but other than that it's just like any other day. One plus of this is that, unlike at home, one can actually buy alcohol on Good Friday. No outdated rules here about that one!

The lead up to Easter has also been much more subdued here in America. In Australia Easter eggs and hot cross buns hit the stores as soon as the Christmas decorations come down. Here the stores wait until early Spring before the Easter goodies hit. I guess this is due to Valentine's Day falling between Christmas and Easter. And even once the Easter goodies and window displays appear it's nothing like the "EGGstravaganza" that we get at home. First of all, Easter eggs as we know them don't really exist in America. There are indeed chocolate eggs but they are mostly the small bite size variety, either solid or filled with caramel or peanut butter. The Easter Bunny was not able to find any hollow foil covered eggs here in Berkeley. I've been assured by a few locals that they do exist but I certainly didn't see any in my travels. The favoured Easter treat here seem to be Peeps - neon coloured marshmallow creatures on a stick. Blergh to that, I say :)

Like Easter eggs, hot cross buns are a rarity here. I've found one bakery selling individual hot cross buns but they just weren't the real thing. The hot cross buns in question were more like a finger bun in disguise. The cross was even made out of icing! Sure they were delicious but not what I want for Easter. Especially not for breakfast! I ended up making my own hot cross buns which were delicious and a fun activity for Ava and I during her Spring break from preschool.

Home made hot cross buns

Speaking of Spring, now that we're in the northern hemisphere where Easter falls in Spring rather than Autumn, all of the Spring Easter themes make much more sense. In fact, Spring seems to be celebrated more here than Easter itself. We didn't really get much of a Winter here in Northern California but for much of the country Spring is a joyous time, the end of the cold weather and a time of new growth.

Although Easter in general isn't that much of a big deal here I decided that wouldn't stand in the way of us making it big! Easter is a great time to try out new crafts and activities. The girls and I dyed eggs, made hot cross buns, made decorations and I even helped the Easter Bunny leave a sparkly trail.
I'll be sharing a few of our Easter projects here on Little Hiccups.

Egg dying

Ava's Easter drawing adorns our front door

Ava has been so excited in the lead up to Easter and last night she could barely contain her excitement about the thought that the Easter Bunny would be visiting while she slept. She couldn't stop asking questions about the Easter Bunny last night...
Does the Easter Bunny live next door to Santa?
Does the Easter Bunny carry a torch? The lights will be off and he might not be able to see.
How does the Easter Bunny get in our house?
And so on...

One thing we do know about the Easter Bunny is that he LOVES carrots!

This morning lived up to Ava's expectations and she was delighted to find that the Easter Bunny did indeed visit - even if he didn't leave Easter eggs as she is accustomed to. After discovering what the Easter Bunny had left and unwrapping presents we ate hot cross buns and had an Easter egg hunt in our courtyard before spending the afternoon relaxing and playing at the park.

Look what the Easter Bunny left!

Look what else the Easter Bunny left! Sparkly footprints!

The girls check out what the Easter Bunny has left

Looks like the Easter Bunny ate his carrots

Ava helps Lola open a present from Mummy & Daddy

No time to remove the foil - need chocolate NOW!

Hope you all had a wonderful Easter :)

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