Easter and D&D
I’m a Catholic. Or, at least I was raised that way. Easter always reminds me of my youth and how I spent those days each Spring when the holy days came ‘round. I have some clear and strong memories of those days.
I recall the Easter when we had to shovel out the driveway from all the snow we received in Northeast Ohio one Easter morning. That morning I wrote “Some Easter” onto one of our garage doors in the snow which was stuck to the door. You could still read those words many years later. Other years my brothers and I played outside until dark without coats or got caught in eerie thunderstorms which turned the late afternoon sky a vibrant yellow.
We were always off from school on vacation at Easter. In the 1970’s and 1980’s school systems would dismiss their students at the end of the Thursday schoolday before Easter and we would have following day and week off from school. I couldn’t do anything with my friends, or even my brothers for that matter, on Good Friday. My mother always made that day one of quiet prayer and sacrifice. I hated that. I shared a room with my twin brother and we needed to spend 3 hours each Good Friday being quiet. We couldn’t watch TV, play or talk to each other. We could , however, read the Bible. For a young boy it was torture.
The Saturday before Easter my brothers and I would have fun doing whatever we were interested in. That night was typically a night we could stay up a bit later than usual. Certainly we had Mass to attend in the morning but since we didn’t have school the following Monday I believe exceptions were made. Especially after we all stopped believing in the Easter Bunny since then there was no reason to send us along to bed so that the Easter Bunny could deliver and hide our baskets. We could watch those epic Hollywood religious movies that were typically played Easter Saturday night with our Dad where he was hiding out in the den. My mother would still be preparing our Easter baskets because she couldn’t let it go regardless of how old we grew. Those nights we always chose to watch those movies. We would get a small glass of Coca Cola and a small bowl of the best Potato Chips Charlie Chip could deliver to our door in their beige vans and happily watch Hollywood abridge, edit, and re-write the Greatest Story Ever Told. Those nights were great!
What I remember best, the memory I cherish above all others was what my brothers and I ended up doing from 1982 on. We had discovered D&D in late 1981 and spent all of our free time playing it but especially over Easter break. During those years Christmas break and Summer break would be spent with our friends more but since our friends went somewhere for Easter break and we never did we spent all of it playing D&D. Easter Saturday, the unofficial start of Spring Break for us since Good Friday was washed out, was spent playing D&D at the kitchen table until my folks forced us to go to bed. We always started the epic multi-module adventures on those days. Giant Series, Descent into the Depths of the Earth/Drow, Ravenloft, Desert of Desolation. Those were the adventures Easter breaks were made for.
Now I can’t think of Easter without thinking about building and polishing characters for late night adventures at our octagonal kitchen table slinging D20’s on the eve of Easter.
So tonight I wish you a Happy Easter if that’s what you believe or hope you are happily among family if you are in the midst of Passover celebrations if that’s what you believe or simply entreat you to enjoy your Saturday night in early April if you do not believe. I will be hiding Easter baskets after I send my kids to bed and getting things ready for Mass and Ham tomorrow to celebrate the day soon thereafter. But I think I’ll play Skyrim until my wife tells me to go to bed tonight as well.