Why Bother Hunting for Easter Eggs?
Easter egg hunts have no religious significance and it is difficult to connect eggs with the Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Yet, the tradition of egg hunts and bunnies remains just as strong as the celebration of the resurrection.
The History of Easter Egg Hunts
Just in my family alone, the custom of Easter egg dates back three generations.
As a child, I remember how we colored eggs using fizzy tablets dissolved in hot water with a dash of vinegar. The smell was not pleasant, but it was fun to watch an egg go from white to red, or yellow. Then, using the wire gadget that came with the egg coloring kit to remove the egg from the cup, we’d leave the eggs on the kitchen table to dry and to cool.
We did not hunt for our Easter eggs though. Instead, the night before Easter, we’d place our Sunday shoes, white patent leather for the girls, and freshly polished black dress shoes for my brothers, on the stairs that led to our second floor bedrooms. On our way down the stairs the next morning, we’d find artificial grass tucked inside our shoes along with a few or our colored eggs and of course some kind of wonderful candy. We actually ate our colored eggs for breakfast, along with the candy and then skipped off to church, having been made happy by what we’d found in our shoes. I have no idea where this custom originated from, but it made Easter morning almost as exciting as Christmas morning.
Our three sons grew up with some of their cousins. On Easter afternoon, my brother and sister’s families along with my own, gathered for a large Easter egg hunt. We dropped the custom of coloring eggs and opted instead to buy the plastic eggs and fill them with little prizes—money or pieces of chocolate. Sometimes we took our Easter egg hunt down to the beach, sometimes out on my brother’s farm, and at other times into our backyard. But wherever we went, the dad’s had as much fun hiding the eggs as the kids had in finding them. Each time someone found an egg, there was a look of anticipation on their face. What would they find inside?
Now I have two grandchildren who are growing up with the similar tradition of Easter egg hunts. Their parents now carry on their own Easter egg hunt with eggs that are filled with something delicious.
Perhaps this custom of the Easter egg hunt is not too difficult after all, to connect with the celebration of the resurrection. I think of all the wonderful surprises that have resulted in believing in the one who was crucified on my behalf. By faith, I’ve discovered treasures that were once hidden by my unbelief. So many things have become possible when I’d thought them to be impossible. For instance, a long and happy marriage, mental and physical wellness in spite of a crazed world, and continued hope for the present and the future.
Why bother hunting for Easter eggs? When we search for what seems to be hidden, we won’t be disappointed in what we find.