The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

August 5, 2013

Looking forward to annual tradition

Commentary By Adam Smith

— Each family tends to have its own traditions, especially in cases of celebrating major holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving and Easter.

For the last several years, the tradition in my family has been Sunday church, followed by a feast of baked ham, potato salad and the like. The highlight for me, however, has been hiding Easter eggs for my two nephews.

As a child, I vaguely remember participating in a few egg hunts. And as any child knows, an egg hunt is no fun unless you can find as many eggs as possible.

With adults, the fun is in hiding the Easter eggs. And as any adult knows, an egg hunt is no fun unless a child walks past an egg that is hidden in plain sight.

That is the sign of a truly great egg hider.

The tradition with my nephews begins and ends the same way each year. Family members inside are to ensure my nephews aren’t peaking out the windows to see where the eggs are being hidden.

Meanwhile, I’m outside trying to find the absolute most difficult places within a half-acre or less to hide brightly colored eggs.

In a bird’s nest five feet off the ground? Sure, why not? Tailpipe of a car? Yup. In a chipmunk hole? Check. Underneath the back steps, between two spider webs and two fierce-looking spiders? Absolutely!

Of course, I also hide some in plain sight. It’s those eggs that usually lead to knock-down, drag-out fights and cries of, “He’s cheating!”

After the kids have found all the eggs they can find, there’s still about 15 or 20 they have no clue about. And, since Uncle Adam tends to get bored watching them walk past the same well-hidden egg 10 to 15 times, I start playing the “you’re hot, you’re cold” game.

“I’m hot?” one of them always asks. “Does that mean I’m close or far away?”

After a few minutes of that, I usually have to go stand next to the location of the egg and hope it helps. Sometimes it doesn’t.

“The egg is right there! Can’t you see it? Gah!”

When they finally find all the eggs, there’s the tradition of counting them up to see who won. That’s usually when things get interesting, because by that point, they’re both angry at each other and ready to fight to the death.

More often than not, one of them is crying.

Once the eggs are tallied up, there is — of course — a winner and loser. Inevitably, the loser will try to scissor-kick the winner, and try to spill his haul out on the ground. It’s that brief episode of egg hunt violence that makes it all worth it, in the long run.

It’s the perfect ending to my family’s Easter tradition, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Here’s hoping you and your family have a great Easter.

— Managing editor and master egg hider Adam Smith can be reached at