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Easter Traditions From My Hispanic Family

How I'm Incorporating Them Into My Celebrations This Year

Those who live in la diáspora will understand me when I say that growing up, Easter and Semana Santa were very important in my household, and I miss being able to celebrate in person with my family.

On Sunday, we would go to mass in Puerto Rico's La Catedral de San Juan dressed to the nines. After that, we would come straight home, where an Easter egg hunt was ready for me in the backyard — I was an only kid and admittedly pretty spoiled back then. After that, we would go out to brunch at the Caribe Hilton hotel in San Juan.

Because I now live over 1,600 miles away from my hometown, I haven't been able to do this in the last five years. So this year, instead of being disappointed because I can't be with my loving padres for Semana Santa, I will be hosting a small get-together for my friends to also celebrate my first solo apartment in New York City. And just like I did back home, I aim to enjoy all the traditions my parents taught me. I'll start the morning by getting ready for a cute brunch date with my friends then enjoy some delicious food, followed up by an Easter egg hunt around the apartment and exchanging gift baskets. Lastly, to close the celebrations, I'll host them for dinner after decking out my kitchen and dining table with a few cute Easter decorations.

However, I don't want to break the bank — after all, I pay all my bills and have my own apartment — so I'm swinging by Target to get everything I need.

Getting Dressed Up

In true millennial fashion, my friends and I celebrate any special holiday or occasion with brunch. And of course, having learned to go all out con mi estilo for Easter when I was younger, I had to shop for a whole new outfit. Although it technically is already spring, it's still pretty cold in New York City, and there is always the chance for rain, so a jacket should complement a dress. I'm also risking it all and wearing sandals. It might be cold, but at least it's not snowy anymore. And of course, no outfit is complete without some amazing hoops.

Spending Time With Those I Love

Because I expect my friend and her son to show up, as well as a few others, I'm making it a treat for them and buying some goodies. He will, of course, get the better end of the stick as he gets his own Easter basket filled with Peeps, toys, crafts, and chocolates. For my friends and me, I'm going a little broader and getting us beauty products and fun crafts to do together.

Hosting a Big Meal

As a Latina and puertorriqueña, food is always an important part of any celebration, and I have to show my friends just how we do it back home. So, aside from prepping a few basic foods that everyone will love — like smoked ham, white rice, and a few sides — I'm going all out with decorations. During my first year of college, I bought a pet bunny, who was with me for the last 10 years, so you can say that bunnies have a very special place in my heart. Because this is my first Easter without my Lola, I decided to honor her. My plates, bowls, and even serving tray are either going to be in the shape of a bunny or have images of bunnies on them.

I love that I was able to get everything I needed from Target to help me make this meal and celebration a memorable one for me and my friends, because if my parents have taught me anything, it's that new traditions make the best memories.