Thursday, December 26, 2019

Christmas Eggs

Colored or painted hard-boiled eggs are more common at Easter, so these six eggs I received for Christmas this year came as a surprise.  I think the story behind them is so sweet, though, that I'm going to adopt the tradition and make it my own!

Each of these eggs carries not just a primitive seasonal illustration but a virtue that when practiced help one to become a more Christ-like person.  It's a not-so-pushy reminder to carry the spirit of the Christmas season into the new year and strive for more peace, love, hope, faith, contentment, and gratitude in your life.

That was enough for me to decide it needed to be my new tradition...

Looking for a little more 'meat' for the story, I wondered if there was any special meaning that eggs might hold.  According to the authors of the Symbolism Project at the University of Michigan, an egg "symbolizes a primeval embryonic form from which the world later emerged... an image of totality enclosed within a shell."  Cool... but pretty deep.  I also learned that eggs have a more mainstream religious significance.  Depending on the path you follow they could symbolize fertility, eternity, or Jesus' emergence from the tomb triumphant over death. Interesting, but kind of a stretch for Christmas.

Tonight's Hallmark movie told me "Traditions are the stories a family tells together."  And there is more to this story!

I called to thank the elderly couple who gave them to me and learned that when their children were small, they had a hard time slowing them down for breakfast on Christmas morning so they started putting breakfast in their stockings.  Along with the expected small toys and candy, they found mini boxes of cereal or granola bars, fresh fruit, hot chocolate packets, and boiled eggs. 
It got their kids to slow down just a little and eat breakfast in the midst of the present opening frenzy.  

Then one year they had a guest stay with them over the holiday season... a man from India who'd converted to Christianity. 
On Christmas Eve, he crept down after the family had gone to sleep and fished out all the eggs and painted beautiful images of the Christmas season on them.  That was the gift he could afford to give them for sharing their hospitality.  She said he was quite the talented artist and they'd tried to keep the painted parts of the shells but they were too fragile. 
The man fell ill and passed away and, while not nearly as artistically talented as he had been, they decided to keep the practice of painting the eggs in their Christmas stockings alive in his honor. 

Now their kids are grown and moved away and have grown children of their own so they are sharing this wonderful legacy and tradition with others.

I was lucky enough to be a recipient this year!  And next year I will be passing it on!!

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