I always think of my little Mennonite church that I grew up in when I hear the above phrases. Easter traditions are fun to have, and now that I'm married and living near my husband's family I'm starting to have Easter traditions again!
Growing up we would dye Easter Eggs and Mom and Dad would have an Easter Basket that they would hide for us. We'd also have a Sunrise Service in the grave yard by our church. I remember being woken up by mom or dad and being wrapped in the red and black checkered blanket and shivering as we sang "Up from the grave he arose!" and many other songs that tell of Christ's resurrection. Pastor Fred would speak about how the tomb is empty and the Hope we have. Afterwards would be a breakfast at the church. We'd then all go home to get ready for the regular Sunday service. Afterwards Kanagay's, Mullet's, and us Hostetler's would get together for a homemade Easter feast, to hide Easter eggs, and just enjoy the day together.
My first Easter away was in college. I went to my friend's house where things were a little different. We went to a restaurant for a buffet dinner, watched movies all day, and then had lasagna for dinner. We of course went to church and her mom had some Easter candy for me. I'm so thankful that I got to spend Easter with my friend and her family! But the first holiday away from home is always a little hard :)
My senior year of college i was in New Zealand for Easter. My friend Rachael and I tried to go to this church we were wanting to check out where we knew people went, but somehow we missed our ride. We wondered down the street to a different church nearby and then went to a restaurant for a breakfast lunch. Later that evening we did get to the night service at what became our home church in NZ. That night we did the extreme bungee (so fun!!) and hung out at a coffee shop with our new friends.
In CA I did something different every year! It would start the same.. Early service with friends, then breakfast out before Crossroads.. I had Easter dinner with Amanda's family one year, with Sara and Scott when they were newly married, and possibly ordered pizza one year with a few friends...
Now I spend Easter with my husband's family. Our church service has extended special music and an excellent message from Pastor. This year for our homemade dinner I contributed rolls. My first attempt at my grandmother's recipe and they turned out! It was fun to have a little something to contribute that reminded me of home. We have an almost 4 year old niece and a 1.5 year old niece that provide the entertainment and spend a nice low key afternoon eating and watching the girls go crazy on sugar.
Even though there are many ways that I've celebrated Easter and many ways to celebrate Easter, the reason for the celebration hasn't changed:
I Cor 15: 3 -8: For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died
for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was
raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to
Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and
sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen
asleep.Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all
he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.