As long as I can remember, Easter Sunday has been a special day in my family.? Although my family definitely wasn’t rich, my parents found enough money to buy me a new suit if we I had outgrown my old one (from the discount stores of the day, J.C. Penney’s or Sears and Roebuck’s) and provide candy for our Easter baskets.? I always wore a suit to church.? Form follows function and the function was to give God our best.? For my sisters, my mom would sew a new Easter dress each year.? My oldest sister always wanted a “store-bought” one instead.? When she was in junior high, she saved up her baby-sitting money and purchased one.? Although it was not of the quality of the ones my mom made, it was “store-bought” and that was what mattered.
After church, my mom would lay out a lunch with a baked ham that had been cooking all morning.? My sisters and I would stuff ourselves on ham and scalloped potatoes before experiencing that high that only a chocolate bunny can bring.? While Halloween was a time of candy gluttony, Easter was a time of connoisseur candy.? Now obviously I did not get Godiva bunnies or truffle Easter eggs, but there was something about those chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks that was just, well, special.? It was quality rather than quantity.? At least quality in my young mind.
Then there were the dyed hard-boiled eggs.? I loved dyeing them in the solution made from dissolving? tablets in water, using flimsy wire holders to dip them.? Of course, they never looked as pretty as the pictures, but it was still fun.? However, I did not really like eating them.? I could barely stomach them, far preferring scrambled ones.? The pleasure was in the decorating, not in the eating.? So for many days after Easter, my dad would have hard-boiled eggs in his lunchbox.? Fortunately, he did enjoy them.
Now there are those who decry the Easter bunny and colored eggs for Easter as pagan traditions of fertility.? Even the name Easter, they say, comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn, Eostre.? That last has not been proven, but it is etymologically likely.? Well, there’s nothing wrong with “baptizing” a celebration, taking those “fun” parts that do not violate any Christian principles and incorporating them into a Christian holiday.? Many of those Christmas traditions so many cherish, like a Christmas tree, mistletoe and a yule log in the fireplace, were “baptized” as well.? There is nothing evil about enjoying yourself while celebrating a Holy day, a.k.a., a holiday.? God created fun.
Okay, I’m off my soapbox and back to remembering.? As you can tell from the pictures, celebrating Easter has been a long-standing event in my life.? And it continues to this day.? Having become an Anglican, I am into “smells and bells,” i.e., formal worship with incense and ritualism.? There is something that tugs at the heart strings when the organ hits the opening chords of Ralph Vaughn Williams’ “Hail Thee Festival Day.”
I admit, it does not appeal to everyone.? It’s sort of like sushi, you love it or you hate it.? No middle ground.? And I love it.
I have said before that I am an unabashed traditionalist.? I hate it when Shakespearean plays are given a modern setting and/or modern language.? I still believe in taking my hat off when entering a restaurant and opening the door for a woman.? Sadly, I admit that I have sinned in no longer opening the car door for my wife.? Mea culpa.? However, I continue to wear a suit to the Easter service, a white one for the last couple of decades (I know white is only for between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but rules can be broken for a good cause).? I have no intention of trying to make anyone else do so, but I feel I must.? Maybe it was by being taught, but then again maybe it was genetic.? It is who I am.