Aaron and I are not over-the-top holiday celebrators. This is very strange considering I come from a family of top-of-the-line decorators, over-gifters and holiday extremists.
In our time dating, married and now with a little one – our celebration style has gone relatively undefined. On our own birthdays, we do ridiculous things. On holidays, we swing through the family gatherings but try to keep gifts meaningful vs. expensive. In many ways, we try to care and be present more than spend tons on ourselves and others. If there are chances to share experiences anywhere, at any time of year, we definitely prefer that.
To date, our traditions include:
- Picking a live Christmas tree from a tree farm
- Adding glass ornaments to our tree that tell the story of our year
- Chasing kids at the annual Lake Dabinawa egg hunt
- Putting up flags and banners for Memorial Day, the 4th of July and Veterans Day
- Joining the water balloon fight at the lake house on the 4th of July weekend
- Dressing up in ridiculous homemade Halloween costumes
I’m sure we’ll have many more now that we’re on the farm.
Sunday brought us our very first Easter and it was a weird one. Easter in quarantine doesn’t have a very clear list of to-dos. Since Aaron and I don’t practice much religion, the church closures weren’t so problematic. But the time usually spent with family was tough to remedy.
On Saturday morning, my mom Nana Jeanne, insisted that we drive to Nortonville to visit the quarantine drive-by Easter Bunny. Conveniently, the bunny was my Aunt Jeanette sitting on the stoop of my cousin’s hair salon.
Honestly, it was perfect. From across the street, we shouted and waved from the car windows. The Spring air was fresh and cool. It was ridiculously good fun to just see a handful of cars cruising up and down the very small main street waving at the bunny.
Isai must have thought we were nuts – but he got a very slow roll ride outside of his car seat. Oh, the thrill. He never wants to ride in the seat again.
After, we went back to Nana’s house for egg dying and sandwiches. Our nephews and Isai have been staying with Nana for daycare since the beginning of quarantine. While we have been as safe as possible – it’s not realistic for my brother, sister-in-law (in healthcare), myself or Aaron to not work during this time. Since our kids spend several days a week together, we’re all exposed to everything each other is around anyway – which justified our mostly socially distanced holiday together.
Not going to lie, the human interaction was wonderful.
Aaron and I hid eggs in my mom’s yard, pounded on the kitchen counter and then acted shocked by what we saw outside. The kids ran across Nana’s patio to find bunny gifts from Nana, eggs and chocolates. That gave me a moment where I was extremely grateful for Nana, her over-planning and extreme over-gifting.
Knowing Isai was too young to “get it,” Aaron and I hadn’t bought any plastic eggs or chocolates for the farm. In the end, we wouldn’t have had anyone to share with and they would have just ended up being eaten by us. Not necessary. Because we’re quarantined, we never pursued the annual bunny photo either. Honestly, it wasn’t until my mom and sister-in-law planned an Easter day that I even considered buying a spare pack of eggs and $3 dye kit.
That same trip to Target for eggs and essentials landed me in the outdoor toy aisle to pick up an infant swing I’d been eyeballing online. I had tried to order it from Amazon but it would have taken nearly a month to deliver. The timing was perfect – since we wouldn’t be egg hunting on the farm, the very least we could do is hang up the swing for a little time outside with our dude.
His thoughts on the swing are “to be determined.” He took it for a spin shortly after a nap and was clearly a little weary. Sunday afternoon, we felt a snap of cold around the farm and have been huddled inside with warm blankies ever since.
The holiday was unintentional but perfect. Low-key but enjoyed with special people in our lives. Simple but memorable – as I imagine most of our quarantine time always will be.