I don't know about you, but I'm a little distressed by the over-commercialization of Easter. We've long bemoaned such a practice concerning Christmas, and now we're over-doing it for Easter, too. When did Easter become like a second Christmas? I began noticing this several years ago when the stores advertised, "Play More--For Easter gifts, buy electronic games, hand-held videos games, dolls, stuffed bunnies and chicks, cars, guns--you name it, and We Got 'Em!" I've also heard of families holding "Easter parties," in which many children are invited. There might be a clown, an air castle, exchange of gifts, and if someone remembers...an Easter egg hunt.
All the slick ads from Sunday's paper are filled, not only with clothing and shoes for children, but far more pages urging parents and grandparents to buy toys.Remember the little woven baskets we made in grade school (notice I said "grade school) with strips of colored construction paper? I loved those, and even made more at home using strips of any kind of paper I could find.
Remember the straw Easter basket? I know those are still available, but I promise the children today don't hold those with such reverence as I did. We had no such thing as plastic eggs, either. No, Virginia, plastics have not always been around.
Remember PAAS Egg Coloring kits? All we needed were the boiled eggs, white vinegar, small bowls, and a spoon. I learned to write something or draw designs on the egg with a crayon before coloring, and the egg would be nicely decorated. I can still smell that vinegar.
Remember new clothes and white shoes? We always got a new dress. One year the dress was yellow satin with a sash tied in a bow in the back. Tiny white buttons ran down the back. We drove 225 miles to our grandparent's house for Easter weekend, and Mother had not sewn on the buttons. But she took all the needed materials to finish our dresses before Sunday. However, she became very ill there, and had to spend Easter Sunday in the hospital. Daddy sewed the buttons on our dresses, helped us dress, tied the bows in the back, brushed and curled our hair, and took us to church. I will never forget that Easter.
In fourth grade, the Room Mother Parents held a school-wide Easter egg hunt. This was on the South Plains, my friends, near Lubbock. The playground was mainly dirt and rocks. A late-spring Norther blew in, but we still had the Easter egg hunt. All the girls wore dresses, of course, and the wind picked up sand and small pebbles which stung our legs and faces. Still, the entire school population raced out to find eggs for a basket. It was announced there was one Golden egg--wrapped in gold foil--well hidden, and the lucky person who found it would also get a prize. I spotted it, but a boy had, too. He saw me, and I saw him. We raced, but he got there first. Just as he reached down to picked it up, I ran up and kicked it away, then grabbed it. And you thought all this time I had been a sweet little girl. Not always.
In first grade, we lived in a small duplex. We had no yard, as such, so we worried how we'd find eggs. When we woke up Sunday morning, Mother said the Easter bunny had left eggs and a gift inside. Behind a door, we found two paper mache bunnies with a small basket on his back. The grass awaited there, so we raced around the rooms, finding eggs everywhere.
Do you have any special memories of days gone by?