Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

What was Easter like when you were a child? I remember every woman and girl always had a new Easter dress, and usually hat, shoes and purse to go with it. I remember the excitement of hunting the Easter eggs first thing in the morning. If it was raining, the Easter Bunny hid them in the living room. My Easter "basket" was usually a new sand pail, for playing in my sandbox, one of my favorite activities. I would love to have one or two of those pails now! I think I need to check out eBay and see if I can find any.

Then came Sunday School, where we'd do a crafty gift for our parents like a new Bible bookmark, or something. My mom's Bible was stuffed with those bookmarks - typically a length of satin ribbon with a sticker at the top. Then home to family and a feast. My grandmother would bring me a shoebox full of flower transplants from her flower beds. To this day, the smell of stock takes me instantly to my grandmother's side.

My mom was born in 1915, and her childhood Easter egg experience was a bit different than the standard egg hunt. On the day before Easter each child (with my grandmother watching closely so she could "direct" the Easter Bunny later) found a secluded spot near the house and built a "nest" with leaves, twigs, grass, etc. Then on Easter morning they would go to their nests and find the colored eggs left by the Easter Bunny in the nest. Seems like this would confuse little ones - did the bunny lay the eggs? Did he bring a hen friend along? Oh well, these were country kids, they probably knew exactly where eggs came from from an early age.

Being a clergy family, my husband has always been out the door by 6 a.m. on Sunday (or earlier) for the sunrise service at church. We had to be creative if he was going to experience the fun of watching our daughter hunt Easter eggs. For the first couple of years we had Grace convinced that the Easter Bunny came to our house on Saturday evening (he has to start somewhere, right?). We'd also have our big meal then. If you don't know, Easter, and all of Holy Week, are exhausting for church staff. Joyful and emotional and stressful, but most of all exhausting.

When she was in about the 2nd grade, we were getting her Easter basket ready for the next day when Grace wrote a note for the Easter Bunny. At the end of the note she drew an "x" and line and wrote, "Sign here if you are real." So after she went to bed I sort of messily signed "Hippity" with my left hand. When she woke up the next morning she looked at the note and said, "Just what I thought, Dad's handwriting."

Hope you have a wonderful Easter Sunday, confident of God's sacrifice for you.

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