When I was a little girl, Easter was one of my favorite holidays. My mom and dad always made it a special day for us. They combined both the secular and the religious parts of the day and I loved all of them
Easter brings to mind the beginning of spring. Mom always took my sister and me shopping for a new Easter outfit to wear to church. She told us that Easter signified newness. Jesus death on the cross signified new life. Therefore we celebrated with signs of newness. She loved to dress us alike, but sis and I balked at the idea. We always told her that we weren’t twins. Sometimes we got our way and sometimes she did. Regardless, we always knew that on Easter Sunday, we would be going to church decked out in a new dress, tights, patent leather shoes, pocketbook, white gloves and a hat. Mom always wanted us to have an “Easter bonnet” and I still have fond memories of hearing her sing that song “Easter Parade”…”In your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it, you’ll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade”.
On the night before Easter morning, we always colored Easter eggs. It was a big deal at our house and the whole family would get into it, trying to make the most colorful and decorative egg. On Easter morning, it was our tradition that we wake up and look for our individual Easter baskets that the Easter bunny had hidden for us to find. We would find them and marvel at all of the candy the Easter bunny had filled them with. My favorite was always the malted milk eggs. I think sis liked the marshmallow bunnies the best.
After we found our Easter baskets, we would be excited to get ready for church. We would put on our new Easter outfits and feel so pretty. Back in those days all of the kids took their Easter baskets to church. In between Sunday school and church, we would share our candy and sometimes trade candy. During church, we would sit and listen to the sermon as we filled our tummies full. Except for the sound of candy wrappers opening, it was probably the quietest church service of the year since all of the kids were busy eating.
After church, we would go home and hide Easter eggs. This was usually a family event as well as a neighborhood event. The kids and grownups would take turns hiding the eggs, and it was always a thrill to hide an egg that nobody could find. A few times I forgot where I hid them and they were not found until the next year. When I was a child, we did not have the plastic eggs to hide. We had to hide the real eggs that we had colored the night before. By the end of the day, the eggs were all cracked and dirty. Not many of them were actually ever eaten.
Easter was always a day when mom made a special holiday dinner for the family. Relatives would come over and we would eat our fill of baked ham, scalloped potatoes, salad, rolls, cake and pie.
Another great memory I have of Easter are the flowers. I remember that at Easter, the flowers in our yard were always blooming. Easter lilies and crocus were so pretty, and ushered in the months of spring.
Easter has changed a lot since my childhood days. The real meaning is still there, but as often happens, Easter has become just another day to so many people. I miss the feeling of how special it was…and the ways that we celebrated it back when I was young.