On Easter Egg Hunts and Allowances
Logan: I just spent a long time reading Wikipedia pages about Easter and eggs and bunnies, and what I discovered was: Eggs and rabbits have been symbols of fertility and rebirth, forever, even Before Jesus, and then after Jesus, the egg also became a symbol of the tomb, though most people ignore that part. “Here, have this tomb.” Also, symbolism is great. That is what I learned today.
Mike: Did you and your family have typical Easter celebrations? Hunts and coloring eggs and such? I remember coming home from school one day and asking my mom if we could get an egg coloring kit and she asked, “Why? Why is this a thing?” Well, in so many words. Immigrant parents!
Logan: Haha I wish your mom said, “Why is this a thing?” We did do Easter stuff, but it sort of trickled off, unlike the Christmas thing, which we continue to this day. My major Easter memories are from when we were in elementary school and younger, when my mom’s parents were alive. We’d go to their house, which was a couple hours away, and my mom’s dad–who we called Papa John—would hide these candy easter eggs all over the yard for us to find. And my granny would make ham.
Mike: I remember really wanting to have one of those Easter baskets with a chocolate bunny and a coloring book and other junk tied up in cellophane, and again my mom would be like, “Ugh, those are terrible and a waste of money!” (Again, in so many words.) And she was right. They were a waste of money! But once my aunts and uncles started having more kids, they started trying to make it fun for us. So they’d buy the plastic pastel eggs and put candy in them and give it to us, and we’d be like, “No, you’re suppose to hide them.” And then my uncles and aunts would be like, “Okay!” And would then hide them in really difficult locations. Like up in a tree in one of our backyards. Or hidden in the rain gutter. And we’d spend all day trying to figure out how to get the eggs down. It was really fun, actually.
Logan: Ugh that sounds really fun. Yeah Easter was never my favorite of the Christian-commercial holidays. I have lots of Christmas memories, and I can remember believing in Santa for a long time, but I can’t remember ever believing in the Easter Bunny. I think maybe my parents were less into selling us on that lie. But we got Easter baskets when we were kids. Lots of candy, little stuffed bunnies. My mom was so good at stuff like that—planning birthday parties, making Easter baskets. She made us little bags on Valentine’s day, too—or a homemade card or flowers. But again, that stopped in high school. I think with Christmas, at least everyone is giving things to everyone, but Easter baskets were just for kids, and it was silly once we were older I think. Then the tradition became, buying Easter candy after Easter when it was half price.
Mike: I never believed in the Easter Bunny either—did anyone? A giant monstrous rabbit running around with plastic eggs? But we did celebrate Easter in a religious context, too. I also remember that the year we taught the adults to hide eggs, they decided the following year that they were going to do this thing where some of the eggs would have dollar bills in them, one of the eggs would have a five or a ten, and one of the eggs would have a $20. So we’d run around all day climbing trees, digging around bushes, and going around fences looking for eggs, and then we’d all open the eggs after we were done to see who got what. That was also fun. The adults liked holidays where they could give the kids money since we didn’t have allowances. Chinese New Year was the holiday where this is the most relevant—red envelopes with dollars in them and such.
Logan: You never had an allowance?
Mike: I was given $5 a week, but that was to buy lunch at school.
Logan: Are you speaking for all children of immigrants?
Mike: Haha. Yes, I am the spokesperson for The Children of Immigrants. Nah, I’m sure there were a bunch that received allowances! My family just wasn’t the sort. I’m sure I explained the concept of allowances to my folks at one point and they were like, “Haha. No, you do chores because that’s what you’re supposed to do—not for a reward.”
Logan: I didn’t get a regular allowance. I think my parents experimented with giving us allowances at some point—maybe in high school? But their style was more to give us money when we needed it, or when they felt we needed it. Like, when we were older, when it was time to buy new clothes for school, we’d each get some amount of money they’d decided on—maybe $100, I don’t remember. My brother would usually buy a pair of shoes, and I’d go to TJ Maxx and get one million shirts, or whatever.
Mike: My parents didn’t make a lot of money, so I think for them it didn’t make sense to give us allowances, and yeah, that’s what made holidays and birthdays something to look forward to—knowing we’d get a little something we could save or spend however we wanted. I’m not sure if I’ll be the type of parent who will give an allowance, although I thought I might be. I’d like to do some research on this. A future article!