Happy Easter inspired friends! I meant to write sooner,but have been taking care of myself. I was down in bed with a nasty cold and a mild fever for the past week, so that is why I’ve been missing again. It’s the night before Easter Sunday and I am sitting here in a cozy room with my cat thinking about the meaning of Easter and how I’ve celebrated it over the years. Today I will be sharing some Easter memories from my childhood with you and I would love to hear your Easter traditions and memories too! Head on over to the blog to leave a comment or send an email if you’d like to share :).
Easter Sunday Church Services & What We Wore:
I grew up in a Christian household and so Easter is a very sacred and special time religiously for us. Church and family were always a big part of our Easter celebrations, and we also celebrated Spring and the typical secular parts of Easter (yes, we had an Easter bunny!). I feel lucky to have grown up with a mom who loved celebrating things and gave we kids the full spectrum of experiences. You may have noticed I have inherited Mom’s sense of celebrations ;).
We went to church every Sunday and Wednesday and sometimes twice on Sundays (morning and night). When I was a little girl I especially looked forward to Easter because Mom would take me shopping for a new Easter dress every year. (I wish I had a photo to share, but Mom has all those tucked away somewhere). After long Michigan winters there was something so exciting about shedding the darker, heavier fabrics for pastels and whites, and lace and crinolines! It was symbolic of the fresh start and rebirth that Spring and Easter bring.
As I recall my Easter dresses were often white or pastels and as I got older I remember long floral print dresses. They usually had a sash around the waist that tied in a bow in the back and I wore those little white socks that folded down and had lace trim on the cuffs. My shoes were often a patent leather or had scalloping or cut outs on the top. Sometimes I wore little gloves and I remember when I was a very little girl wearing a white knit poncho as part of the ensemble. My hair was usually curled and had bows or barrettes in it. My brother wore little suits. Mom raised me to look like a proper young lady and dressing up for church was a way to show respect and reverence (you know- those old fashioned traditions of wearing your Sunday best!).
Easter included 3 religious services we attended: Palm Sunday-the Sunday before Easter (where some of the churches we went to over the years would hand out real palm fronds at the door, which I thought was neat), Good Friday- the day Christ died for mankind (the atonement), and then Easter Sunday- which was the most Joyous of the celebrations because it held the miracle, hope and promise of the Resurrection! As a child I didn’t have the same reverence and appreciation for it as I do today, because I didn’t understand it. These are the foundations of the Christian faith, which is why Easter was so important.
Eggs, the Easter Bunny and Other Fun Traditions:
On the other side of things Mom had lots of fun kids activities planned for us this time of year. We always colored Easter eggs-which was one of my favorite things to do. Mom would buy those Egg coloring kits from the grocery store and she, my brother Dan and I would have fun dying them bright colors and making patterns on them with those wax crayons you use before dipping. These eggs would be later turned into deviled eggs for Sunday dinner! Mom would make sugar cookie cut outs in egg and bunny shapes and we often had carrot cake from scratch with cream cheese frosting (I saw that very cake on her counter tonight-yum!). Our egg dipping fun often was accompanied by watching It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown (remastered deluxe edition) Mom has always loved each seasonal Peanuts special.
When we were younger there were Easter egg hunts- sometimes with the cousins. The Easter bunny always came too :D. Sometimes we’d visit him at the mall ;). My cousin Kyle used to leave lettuce and I think sometimes carrots out for the Easter bunny. When we’d wake up the morning of Easter, there would be an Easter basket outside each of our doors from the Easter bunny. Easter baskets were like the Spring version of Christmas stockings!
I have fond nostalgic memories of those baskets and their contents. Everything was so happy and colorful! The baskets themselves were usually in fun colors and had the long handles on them. There was always a combination of brightly colored plastic eggs filled with surprises, chocolates and little presents. The plastic eggs often contained pennies for our piggy banks and some of them would even have nickles or dimes. We would jiggle the eggs around to guess what was inside and always knew which ones contained the coins. We felt like we hit the mother load with all the loose change (which I am just old enough to have grown up in a day and age where you could still get lots of things at the Ben Franklin’s drugstore with coins. Bazooka Joe bubble gum was a nickle for one piece! :D).
The other plastic eggs usually contained jelly beans and miniature chocolate eggs. The basket would be filled with fun outdoor toys to welcome the warmer weather approaching and time spent outside again. Bubbles, sidewalk chalks, a jump rope and my personal favorite (aside from the chalk)- KITES!! Coloring books and crayons sometimes found their way in the basket too. I know a lot of people associate Easter with marshmallow peeps but I don’t remember getting those in the basket. We always got a solid chocolate bunny, Cadburry eggs, Snickers eggs, and any other chocolates that came in egg shapes or Easter packaging.
Things have changed some since Easter as a child, but sometimes even as adults Mom, my brother Dan, and I will still color eggs, watch Charlie Brown and get a surprise Easter basket for old time’s sake. The greatest thing that has changed is the meaning of the season for me now as an adult. I am more aware of the depth of love that God has for us and the things that are most important in life. Whenever I feel alone, hurt, betrayed, hopeless, (or insert any other difficulty) I remember Jesus and the cross and all the things that He endured during His time here. I am reminded that He knows what all of these things felt like on a much greater scale and so I am truly not alone. God loved the world so much that He sent a portion of Himself here to walk among us, live this human experience with all its trials, and ultimately conquer death to show us Hope. I wrote a poem about this on the blog a couple years ago called “He Came for Us: The Greatest Love Story of All Time” (you can click the title to read it if you like).
A few years ago I also made an Easter video with a favorite song John Tesh did called “Above All”. I know it won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, but it is part of who I am and something that came from my heart. It illustrates what I was describing above.
Today I will be partaking in many of the same traditions. I have a nice new outfit to wear ( a pastel pink sweater with a gray skirt and tights) and will be spending time with my family. I will start my day out with a devotion and listening to a church service and then have a nice Easter dinner with Mom’s DELICIOUS carrot cake for dessert :D. I plan on taking a Spring walk and checking out my garden for any flower arrivals and then tonight I’m going to watch the old movie/musical “Easter Parade” with Judy Garland.
What are your Easter traditions? What are your favorite Easter memories as a child? I’d love to hear about it!
In His love,