As I sat around the table, looking at so many people who I am incredibly lucky to have in my life, I wondered at what point traditions become traditions. I couldn’t think of any other way I’d like to spend Easter, even though it’s essentially a repeat of every year prior. I love spending it with my godson, and love the comfortableness that comes knowing there will always be lamb to eat, the egg game, and red eggs.
We start the evening with cocktails and everyone catches up with each other – who’s traveled where, how school is going, how jobs are going, what people’s plans are for the summer. Over dinner, there continues to be animated conversation, then after dinner (but before dessert) is the egg game. Each person chooses a plastic egg at random, and when it’s their turn, opens the egg, which contains a slip of paper with a question. The questions are meant to provoke answers that could be potentially humorous, potentially embarrassing. When the person answers the question there’s often banter from around the table, either in agreement or disagreement. My question this year was tame compared to some of the others – “What actor or actress creeps you out the most and why?” I’m not good with names, but it was the killer in No Country for Old Men. Whenever I see him, I can’t get that role out of my head. Questions that provoked great conversation this year were, “What was the worst thing someone overshared with you on a first date?”, “Would you rather not use your phone/computer/electronics for a week or not take a shower for a week?” and “What was the worst travel experience you’ve ever had?”
After dessert, we pass around a basket of hard-boiled eggs, all dyed a brilliant deep red. We pair up with the person next to us and position the eggs pointed end to pointed end. One person says, “Cristos anesti!” and the other replies “Alithos anesti!” and the first person taps the other person’s egg. One of the eggs cracks, and that person is out of the competition for the pointed end. You flip your eggs over, and do the same with the blunt end of the egg. As long as you have one end of your egg that isn’t cracked, you continue around the room, tapping eggs and exclaiming, “Cristos anesti!”
The night ends with hugs and kisses, and hopes of seeing each other soon. It’s the same every year. Despite that, or maybe because of that, it’s one of the holidays I treasure most.