Preparing for Easter Sunday an annual rite

Published 1:44 am Sunday, April 13, 2014

Just about everybody seems to be getting in the mood for Easter: buying new spring clothes, preparing Easter baskets or planning a menu for that special family day which arrives next Sunday. On this day we look forward to the end of a long winter and hopefully the beginning of spring.

I always enjoyed any excuse to sew pretty dresses for my girls when they were small and Easter was one of those special times. I would have everything ready for that Easter Sunday morning — new shoes and ruffled socks, new dresses and at one period of time ruffled petticoats, little white gloves and hats.

I rolled their hair the night before with strips cut from brown paper bags so they would be really pretty. Some of you may have also done this. Strips were cut and folded and their long hair rolled on the strips and then the ends tied. This was before soft foam rollers were invented and the strips were soft to sleep on. The next day they would be so pretty for church with their new outfits and their blonde curly hair.

I spent many days making those special dresses, and one year I purchased enough fabric to make all three an identical dress and a matching one for me. By the time I finished with three little dresses, I was so sick of the pattern that I didn’t get mine done. Other years I would sew dresses of similar fabric but different colors — usually pastels.

I would receive compliments on my pretty little girls, and some mothers would lament that they couldn’t sew. My stock answer to that was when you have three daughters to clothe, one learned to sew in self-defense — unless they were independently wealthy. When my son came along everything he wore had to be purchased.

Another tradition was dying eggs, which always made for a big mess but happy kids. It was a must for the egg hunt, which always took place at my parents’ home in the afternoon after church. All the cousins would get together to hide and hunt eggs.

I understand most now use the plastic eggs instead of real eggs. No fun there. No eggs to dye and decorate and no boiled eggs to eat after they have been hid and hunted several times.

The following is a true story I have repeated many times, but I always laugh when I think about it.

“Teacher said I have to bring two dead eggs to school tomorrow,” a little girl told her mother.

“Two dead eggs?” her perplexed mother asked, “What are dead eggs?”

The innocent child shrugged and answered, “I don’t know but it has something to do with Easter.”

“Oh, you mean dyed eggs!” the enlightened and laughing mother observed.

So why do we boil eggs and dye them for Easter? It has nothing to do with the mythical Easter Bunny. The egg is the Christian symbol of rebirth, and rebirth is the theme of the Easter season and the resurrection.

Easter can be a fun time for children and others, but it is also the most solemn and joyful day on the Christian calendar.

Today is Palm Sunday, the day Jesus rode into Jerusalem hailed as a king, by some of the same people who would participate a few days later in his crucifixion. A joyful time that would turn bitter in just a few days.

Next Sunday is the triumphant day when Jesus the Christ defeated death through His resurrection. The tomb was empty! He arose! This has serious meaning for all Christians.

Easter is also the most attended church day of the year. Make plans to be in church to remember the One who suffered and died for all of us. Such great Love must be praised.

An early Happy Easter to all of you.

Retired Lifestyle Editor Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column and may be contacted at bobann_b@ yahoo. com.