Easter Sunday always brings back a flood of memories from my childhood . It was a big deal growing up in a small town where everyone went to church on Easter Sunday. So many traditions associated with Easter have passed into memory – and I would like to share a few which were dear to me.
Easter meant getting new clothes – or a new suit for church. I remember my brother and I going with my mother to get a new shirt, pants, and sometimes shoes for the Easter service. My mom would get a new dress, my dad would get a new tie, or even a suit depending on finances. Everyone dressed up for church service. It was truly a big deal if you didn’t have something new on Easter.
We also had the “dinner on the ground” – which was supposed to be “dinner on the grounds” (of the church). As a kid I always wondered why it was called that. Now that I have Google – I don’t have to wonder. Every family would bring a dish to share. The wives of the deacons would organize which family brought what dish, so there was no unnecessary duplication and plenty of food. I remember my grandmother would make fried chicken (I’ve never had better) and my mom would make cherry pies. One year another lady made chicken, which was left untouched because my grandmother’s chicken was considered the best. She didn’t make that mistake again.
Inevitably the kids would get restless after we ate and would start playing in our new clothes – and inevitably someone would get dirt on their new shirt or pants. Then the playing would stop (with the associated yelling) and we would pack up and go back to my grandparents’ house. There the adults would continue eating – and the kids could change into play clothes. The church I attended didn’t have an evening service on Easter, which meant I could watch the Wonderful World of Disney before going to bed. When you only had 3 channels growing up – this was a big deal, trust me.
I also remember having egg fights with my family on Easter. I’m not sure where it originated (haven’t asked Google yet) but one person would hold their hard-boiled egg in their fist with just the top of the egg (top of the oval) protruding. The other person would take their hard-boiled egg (top of the oval) and tap the two eggs against each other until one cracked. The unbroken egg was the winner. We kept this up until only one egg remained – and that person was the egg champion. My grandmother always seemed to win – which I believe was due to her choice of eggs and technique.
More than anything, Easter meant family. It was when the family got together to share stories and to simply be together. I remember how much I enjoyed the stories my aunt and uncle would tell about growing up with my mother – and how much my mother didn’t enjoy the stories. I remember the wonderful aroma of my grandmother’s kitchen. Those are wonderful memories. To this day, the smell of fresh cut grass and fried chicken can take me back to a simpler time when all I worried about was not getting my new pants dirty.
My fellow author did a wonderful job writing about the true meaning of Easter, and there is nothing I can add. I hope those reading this blog on a beautiful Easter morning take time to reflect upon what Easter means, and the families that love them. Hug someone today and start an Easter tradition – make a memory.
Last, please remember – He has risen so we may never die. Amen.