6 Ways Celebrating Easter Changes Now That You're A Fancy, Responsible Adult

As you slowly begin to realize that you are, in fact, a full-blown grownup, you come to understand that celebrating Easter as an adult is a little different from when you celebrated as a kid. This first became abundantly clear to me back when I was in college, and I thought that Easter would be a perfect holiday for my parents to come up to visit me. Having gone to an out-of-state school, a lot of my friends who lived a bit more local actually went home to see their families and do normal stuff, like dye eggs and ask questions like "what's the actual point of Easter basket grass?" What'd be better than having my family up for a nice, festive dinner at the best fine dining establishment in my small town, Ruby Tuesday?

After posing the invite, my parents' response was short. "Eh." I believe that "It's only Easter" was also muttered in there somewhere. Thus, instead of a family hang, that weekend was spent touring the dining hall alone to work on the Freshman 15 I was seemingly so dedicated to gain.

Years later, my sister and I adopted the same attitude. I mean, it's just Easter. Keep in mind, my family isn't of the religious sort — while we went to our church as kids, it became less and less of a tradition as years went on. While it was a nice pattern while it lasted, it was nothing that truly stuck. To us, Easter was about family, food, and marshmallow Peeps. Or, watching a set of DVDs if that didn't work out.

After my sister and I started to shrug it off, my Dad suddenly realized that this lack of an Easter tradition kind of bothered him. Growing up, he did go to church — weekly, and not just on special occasions. Unfortunately, between the three of us, we spanned three states, so it became harder than ever to gather on a Sunday and actually enjoy the day, instead of focusing on the amount of traffic we'd encounter on the way home.

Based on trying to re-define the holiday in my adult years, I came to realize that there are so many differences between Easter as a kid, and Easter today. Here are just a few.

1. Stuffed animals as a kid

As a kid, my sister and I always had a small stuffed animal sitting proudly next to our loot. A few of these stuffed animals lasted for a long, long time — notably one year, a white bunny named Fluffy and a yellow bunny (which was mine) named Fuzzy. Fuzzy and Fluffy held tiny felt flowers, and in my mind, they were best friends. In my sister's mind, she was probably like "Stop trying to weirdly hang out with me by giving these things personalities, Karen."

Stuffed animals today

Listen, I don't want to get too old-lady here, but are stuffed animals even made with as much love and dedication as they were back in the day? There are a few occasions when adults get stuffed animals, but they can only hold onto them for a limited amount of time without becoming "strange." Stuffed animals are no longer as soft and comforting. They have big eyes, poor stitching, and something about them is just vaguely inappropriate. You smile when you see it, and then think "what's the time estimate between receiving this and throwing it out?"

2. Going to church as kids

All you know is, your parents got you a dress. And a hat. You've never worn a hat before, and this one is itchy and barely fits your tiny head. The hat probably ended up sitting in the car after you complained about it on the ride over. Then, you had to sit and listen to stuff for awhile, and while you were there, it felt like time stood still. I was born and raised Unitarian, and typically their services started very kid-friendly before the children separated into Sunday School classes. But as a kid, I was still antsy — eventually, my Dad learned to reward me for sitting still by feeding me spearmint Mentos. Even to this day, they remind me of church in the best way possible.

Going to church today

If you choose to go, you go for clarity. It's kind of a common place to get a bit of peace, where you don't have to focus on taxes or jobs or other stressful adult scenarios. When you go on a busy holiday, you actually look forward to seeing a few familiar faces. It's part of the holiday!

3. Candy as kids

Everything was appreciated, even black jelly beans. Each year, you promised that you'd ration your hoard until Halloween, so that you'd have some sort of candy supply forever. In reality, it was gone within a week. Like most candies, you separated the good stuff (Reese's eggs) from the mediocre (Smarties), and treated it like currency.

Candy today

You're on a diet, so you really shouldn't. Maybe you'll have a Cadbury egg, since they're seasonal. But that's it! No more than that. Wait, is that a Reese's Cup? OK, if you have a sensible dinner, you'll have the Reese's Cup for dessert. Wait. By Cup, you mean Cups. You deserve it, since work was really difficult today.

Oh, screw it. You're eating all of the candy in the house tonight.

4. Easter egg hunts as kids

These hunts were a massive sense of accomplishment. Not only was finding an egg a bunch of fun, but it was fun seeing what was inside (even though nine out of 10 times, it was jelly beans). It's the ideal competition for kids! And if you were a tall kid like I was, you had a total advantage over everyone else — which might just be the only positive athletic moment you'll have in life.

Easter egg hunts today

After getting married, I learned that my husband's family still did Easter egg hunts for all of the cousins. Even though we're now in our '30s, we're still included. Last year, each family member had to find a certain amount of eggs.

It took me, like, 20 minutes to find all of mine, while everyone else was done. I'm still humiliated. It wasn't one of my greatest achievements. If you're also family oriented, you might have found yourself in a similar moment.

5. Egg dyeing as kids

As a kid, you envisioned having the same eggs featured on the PAAS box. Colorful, bright, and perfectly even lines for your two-toned creations.

At the end, you ended up with a dozen greenish-brown eggs.

Egg dyeing today

As an adult, you envision having the same eggs featured on the PAAS box. Colorful, bright, and perfectly even lines for your two-toned creations.

At the end, you ended up with a dozen greenish-brown eggs. It's OK. It's not a skill that many have.

6. Easter dinner as kids

This is the best holiday for ham! As a kid, you might not have had a lot of ham moments — besides deli ham in sandwiches you were packed for lunch. As per usual, everything tastes delicious. You go back for seconds, and then regret it instantly as your tiny stomach feels like it's about to explode. This is the perfect practice for adulthood, when overeating happens like, daily.

Easter dinner today

Oh my god, you have to cook a ham for the first time. Your parents are going to bake a pie and bring it over, which is fine, but — how the heck can your ham compete with the family ham? Maybe you should put a large portion of mac & cheese on the table as well? Not from scratch. Stouffer's will work just as well, plus you're already doing enough as is. This is frustrating. Maybe you should just cancel everything and go to bed.

Wait, should you just try your own thing? Lamb might be a good alternative. Plus, you don't think your parents have even had lamb before, so they might not notice if you screw it up. Look at adult you, always thinking up a plan B. My, how you've grown.

Images: Lynda Giddens/Flickr; Giphy (6)