Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Magic of Eastover: Tales of an Inter-Religious Marriage

Hey, Anne here!

What is Eastover you ask? Well, simply put, it's Easter & Passover. It's the one week a year where Nick and I come together with our families to celebrate both of our holidays. You see, we are an interfaith couple. I'm a Catholic and Nick is Jewish. While many couples bicker over who's family to spend which holidays with, we luckily don't have to worry about the headache of making that decision. We spend the first night of Passover with Nick's family and Easter day with mine. Being able to celebrate both of our faiths together is something very important to each of us. We try, at each holiday, to not only focus on the meaning of the day but also on how we can teach each other more about our own religions and beliefs. But it's not all seriousness in our family - we also really enjoy the more superficial aspects of both holidays as well. Being able to celebrate both sets of holidays is also very fun for both of us. I mean, who wouldn't want double the excuse to hangout with family, eat massive amounts of delicious food, drink a little too much Manischewitz wine, and even sometimes get a day off of work!?!

This year Passover was on a Monday night. Like every year, I got to leave work early and we drove up to Rye, NY to the house of Nick's aunt and uncle. They live on an amazing estate on the banks of the Long Island Sound. The view is to die for and they always have a very large and lively group of people on all of the holidays. This year there were about 50 people at the Seder, ranging in age from 2 years old to 92! When we got there, we hung out with Nick's family and I made my traditional Passover Margaritas, because nothing says, "Gut Yontiff," like a frozen margarita...errr right? (Gut Yontiff means "Good Holiday" in Yiddish, by the way.) Don't worry, the tequila was Kosher ;) The Seder started at 8pm, right after sundown, with Nick's uncle leading us. After dinner and remembering why we dip the bitter herbs and drink unleavened bread, we had desserts and then said our goodbyes.

Our Easter Sunday was a bit more laid back. We didn't head back to Michigan to spend the holiday with my parents so we stayed in town and spent it with my grandma, uncle, cousin and his wife, and his in-laws. I didn't have Good Friday off so on Saturday, after working out, I helped my grandma make 50 meatballs, sausages, and ricotta chessecakes (yes, there was more than one cheesecake. We're Italian!) for our Easter Dinner. Easter Sunday, we went to church and then headed to my cousin's house for food...lots, and lots of food! It was a gorgeous day out so we spent the afternoon on the patio. My cousin's wife is an amazing hostess and always has the best munchies. I, of course, ignore the huge Italian spread and bee-lined straight for the candy. I maaay have eaten way too many Reese's peanut butter eggs and drank a wee bit too much wine. Then again, Easter is a celebration, and what is a celebration without a little wine? (or at least, that's what I tell myself). It was nice to have such a relaxing holiday. I love holidays, but sometimes they can be exhausting with preparations, dressing up, and dealing with lots of family and friends.

I hope that your Passover, Easter, or Eastover was as joyous and as happy as ours was!

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