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Little girls lying in bed under a handmade wool quilt. It’s early morning and we listen, wondering if dad, who worked away from home for long stretches, was home. We hear voices and leap out of bed. He’s back and he’s brought Easter gifts. Stuffed bunnies! For kids who received few toys, they were like winning the lottery of the century. It’s my earliest Easter memory and still one of my favourites of the many that follow. New dresses, most of which were made by mom, with fabric from the Sears catalogue. Coloured baskets and candies and of course, an amazing Sunday Easter dinner. The table was always full of guests, sometimes extended family and sometimes friends.Then there were the chocolate bunnies that dad bought us. The quality of the chocolate was definitely not the best and more often than not, we never completely finished eating them but it wasn’t Easter for us without them. Dad continued the tradition with his three grandsons. They too usually never completely ate them but they knew without a doubt that Grandpa would be giving them one. He’s gone now but the relationship is remembered and the tradition continues.Another tradition, not accomplished every year, but still special was the Rice Krispie eggs. Food colouring and melted marshmallow made an incredible sticky mess but the end result was the best. Our cousins finished them with coloured coconut and that made them extra special.Paska was another thing that was made at Easter. Mom didn’t always create it true to Ukrainian custom but it was consistently slightly sweet, homemade and crazy delicious. In this age of bread being labeled as not that healthy, I will dismiss the experts, bake a few loaves and relive the memories as I share it with family and friends.Easter service was the one thing that was never compromised. The location wasn’t always the same, sometimes it included a breakfast, sometimes our family would do special music but we always celebrated a risen Saviour and gave thanks for our relationship with Him. It continues this Easter as the house gets cleaned, the food is prepared, family is enroute and we anticipate Sunday dinner. The guests at the table this year are extended family and we will gather together to celebrate relationships.

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