Even now. My Easter celebration has been steeped in tradition since the time I was born, or at least since we moved to Fairfax when I was 1.
My mom loved to throw a party, or more accurately, she loved gathering people together. Our house was the place that cousins and friends gathered for most holidays growing up, 4th of July, Christmas and definitely Easter. Some of those things have fallen by the wayside, but not Easter.
For decades people have been gathering to eat some variation of chicken salad, ham and most importantly, Victoria’s Cakes. My cousins come from far and wide to gather each Easter, as well as friends in the area. I should take a minute and explain here that cousins in my family is quite an extensive term. We don’t stop at first cousins. My family is comprised of my parents’ first cousins and their children, my grandparents’ first cousins and their children. The Keiths are an inclusive people. Once you are in, you are in for life and for all the parties. People are willing to brave the horrendous traffic on Sunday afternoon to drive home, just so they can be with this amazing group on Easter.
The party began when my parents had 4 small children and so did most people they knew. A huge part of the party was an extensive Easter Egg hunt. My parents would hide a golden rabbit somewhere in the yard and whoever found that was the winner. In today’s egg hunt, that doesn’t fly. No one wants a winner and losers. Also, today’s eggs are filled with candy.
After my mom died, lots of things were up in the air. No one knew how we would do Christmas or Thanksgiving, but Easter, there were no questions. Cousins offered to come in early to help; the party must go on. Everyone comes over and eats and drinks and talks about the years gone by.
(The next generation of hunters and partiers)