My brother's family hosts Easter dinner, an informal, chaotic, yet relaxed, entirely secular affair at this place in family history. Everyone brings something thoughtfully prepared to eat so there will be too much food. We are meat eaters and vegans and we consume dessert in all varieties.
It is our springtime reason to gather - my siblings, their spouses, their children, grown, my cousins, their children, nieces, nephews, and, of course, our dogs. Easter Sunday is our excuse to gather, rain or shine, indoors or out, with or without an egg hunt, just because we like to see each other's faces and talk to each other this time of year.
It's the second Easter my father has been gone. But, his three living siblings and their spouses - all over eighty - come and this is my favorite part of all: having elders, smart, funny, healthy, loving, happily married elders who loved my father, their brother, and raised us all to stay together even through all the bitter fights and feuds of certain years. These siblings came from - survived - an abusive family. And, now, they're some of the healthiest and happiest people I know. I love that with my aunts and uncles, I can feel younger with them than with anyone else in my life even though I am more than all grown up.
That's what I celebrate on Easter: families who survive and thrive against the odds.