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Every Easter my large, extended family gathers at the Baldwin, IL, farm of my sister and brother-in-law, Betty and Ron Fehr. We are a playful family with a long-standing tradition of having an Easter egg hunt that involves everyone, not just the children. It works like this:

Everyone has their name written on a real colored egg. The goal is to find your egg hidden around the large yard and farm buildings. There are also many plastic eggs that have coins and candy inside them so the children can fill their baskets. These eggs are hidden where they can easily be found. The egg hunt takes place after the noon meal.

Unexpected Easter Egg Hunt, Family Photo

Irene Pendleton’s family and extended family.

While dishes are being washed and food put away, the older children are given the task of hiding eggs. Of course, they hide the eggs of their favorite family members in difficult places. One time my husband’s egg was halfway up a large tree! The point is that we hide eggs at Easter, and my family is very mischievous.

Last year Easter Day was rainy and the egg hunt had to be cancelled. The plastic eggs had been filled with candy and Betty wanted to get them emptied, so she passed around a basket of the plastic eggs while the women were preparing the noon meal. Of course, my whole family pitched in and helped with this chore! This produced a new problem, however: everyone was now holding an empty plastic egg. Then someone jokingly said we should hide them. Like a flash, it happened! Eggs were hidden in drawers, closets, beds, and house slippers, and behind a figurine—everywhere mischievous minds could think of. 

Betty, who was busy with dinner, noticed the plastic eggs had been gathered up by someone but thought no more of it. When she later found the first egg on a shelf in the refrigerator, she was puzzled. When she found the second in the cutlery drawer, she knew a new game was on. 

Perhaps 50 plastic eggs had been hidden. Of course, some of the eggs were found early on and then hidden again. After everyone went home, Betty and Ron got to revisit the new Easter egg hunt for months. Every time they found another egg it made them laugh and smile.

Did they find them all? Who knows, but I can tell you that one I personally hid in the valance above a window was there the following Christmas. I checked to see if it was still there every time I visited. You could see the egg, but it was a perfect color match with the valance fabric, so you had to be looking to notice it. I finally showed it to Betty and we had a good laugh. We think that was the last plastic egg.

Will we do this again or will we revert to our traditional outside egg hunt? I don’t know, but personally, when Easter Day comes I won’t mind if it rains!

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