Easter started at 6:50 in the morning when my parents' dog nudged open the door and woke me up with the light that streamed in behind her. The plan was 8:00 am Mass anyways, so I carefully crept out of the room, leaving the baby to sleep as long as possible. I was lucky enough to have twenty minutes to get myself together without anyone needing my attention. I even got to drink an entire mug of coffee before it became cold.
Around 7:30, it was time to wake up the little one. I never wake him up in the mornings. I always let him sleep as long as possible. Waking him up was so funny. He just stared at me, utterly confused that I've carried him into this bright, loud room and dressing him for church. Trying to take pictures at 7:40 in the morning are hilarious. I can't get his hair to lay down flat, so we just left it as is.
He did receive a small basket of gifts, such as much-needed 12 month-sized pants, two new board books, and banana-flavored puffs from my parents as his "candy". I know that the Easter Bunny can be hit and miss for Catholics, but we do baskets and an egg hunt, as well as attending as much as the Triduum and Easter Mass. We keep a lot of religious traditions, but also make space for fun and little gifts.
Obviously, we did not make it to 8 am Mass. There were just too many bodies trying to use the same few bathrooms. We attempted 8:30 Mass one small town over, only to find that it was way too crowded. So instead, we go to breakfast, wait for the appropriate amount of time to meet the required fast, and attend Mass. We spend Mass looking at books, playing with zippers, nursing to sleep, and wake back up in time for the final blessing. The highlight from the Mass was Fr. Hank's point about the fast running Apostle, who also wrote the Gospel that called him the fastest running Apostle.
The rest of our day was spent cooking, playing games, and celebrating the Lord's Resurrection through love and time with family. It really was a lovely day spent celebrating with family. I missed having Josh around to celebrate, but I'm thankful for the time spent with my grandparents, parents, and siblings.
Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Carnival, whatever you call it, this rowdy, festive day (or season) marks the last hoorah before we begin a somber season of self and soul-improvement. I've mentioned before that I attended a Catholic grade school. One of the perks of said school was that we had a Mardi Gras party every year! Student were encouraged to dress up, we binged on soda, chips, and King-cake, and got to dance and just enjoy an easy afternoon before the entire school was decked out in purple.
If you haven't already made plans for tonight, I want to encourage you to celebrate Mardi Gras in some way. We see this day (with religious origins) perverted into a beads contest in New Orleans and binge opportunity for many at the bars. Consider digging into some Mardi Gras traditions or making your own so that you and your children can embrace their religious culture, away from what popular culture has turned it into.
Ideas for Celebrating Mardi Gras
1.) Brinner (Breakfast-for-Dinner)
Pancakes are a traditional Fat Tuesday meal. Served with a side of bacon and maybe a mimosa or Bloody Mary, you can enjoy lots of what you'll be giving up starting tomorrow! You jazz up your pancakes with chocolate chips, Nutella, or whatever else you enjoy. Have a fun brinner with your family and enjoy the night.
2.) Crank up the music
Have an at-home parade with your littles, let them dress up as wild and crazy as possible in honor of Carnival tradition. Just you and your partner? Dress up and make it a nice night (or down and just snuggle up). Either way, turn on some music and have some fun before entering a somber holy season.
3.) Kings and Queens
Traditionally, the cake would have two little tokens in it that would be baked into the men's cake and women's cake that would result in a crowned king and queen of the party. If you're cooking for a crowd, this would be more a of competition with a prize of sorts. Just cooking for two? King-cake has its own special recipe worth trying for a fun dessert.
4.) Beads, Decor, Etc.
Mardi Gras is a bright, loud, colorful holiday. If you have the time and a little bit of spare change, why not decorate and brighten up your night. You could also just grab some green, purple, and gold sprinkles to add to your pancakes or king cake. Regardless, let Fat Tuesday be a bright and exciting day that celebrates life!
My husband and I have celebrated Mardi Gras since we were dating. One of my favorite memories of him is coming home from a really exhausting day to find him cooking pancakes at my house, wearing cheap plastic beads. I knew I had something special when he was willing to participate in a holiday-not-holiday because I had casually mentioned it.
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