Lost Easter eggs and lost traditions

Published 7:32 pm Saturday, April 4, 2015

Nostalgic memories of Easter abound for most adults, and little children are still creating their own childhood remembrances of Easter events.

A little kindergarten child came home and told her mother that the teacher said to bring two dead eggs to school the next day. At first the mother scratched her head trying to figure out the term “dead eggs,” then fell out laughing when she realized the child was talking about “dyed” eggs for an Easter egg hunt. So funny!

I scarcely remember Easter egg hunts at school. I know we probably had them, but I just can’t visualize it. The brain will only store so much, and I’ve been storing for more years than I care to remember. As we get older, it takes longer to pull up what we do remember, but I can’t bring up even a fleeting memory of an Easter egg hunt at school.

One Easter egg hunt that does stand out in my mind wasn’t at school at all, but at home. We really looked forward to Easter Sunday and the egg hunt, but that year it was pouring down rain and our mother took pity on us and said we could hide the eggs in the house. We counted the eggs before we hid them, so we would be sure to recover them all.

Mother hid the eggs, and we children scrambled through the house hunting them. We did a pretty good job because we found every egg but one, which eluded us. Mother thought back to the places she had hidden the eggs, and we looked, but the lost egg didn’t turn up. She told us not to worry about it, that it would turn up sooner or later.

Those were prophetic words, especially the “later” part.

We soon forgot about the lost Easter egg. In the fall of that year, my older brother prepared for squirrel hunting season by getting out his gear, and when he reached for the bag which held his shells, the smell almost knocked him down. There in that bag was the lost Easter egg, much the worse for wear. So much for hunting eggs in the house.

Our family tradition was taking the children to my parents’ house on Sunday afternoon for an egg hunt with the cousins.

My children and grandchildren enjoyed dyeing eggs for Easter as much as taking part in an egg hunt. I disliked the mess of boiling and dying eggs. Rather than be a party pooper, I did it anyway and tried to have fun because it was important to them.

They are all past the age of egg hunts, and we have no little ones coming on so I suppose dying eggs has become a thing of the past for me.

Thinking about that made me realize just how Easter traditions are changing. Instead of boiled, dyed Easter eggs, many children today only know colored plastic Easter eggs. They are easier.

Another tradition for Easter is the changing of winter into spring and a new outfit to wear to church on Easter Sunday. While many people do still purchase a new outfit to celebrate the change in seasons, it is not nearly as important as it once was.

I remember one Easter when I bought fabric and made matching dresses for my three little daughters and me. By the time I got the fourth dress made, I was so sick of the fabric that I don’t think I wore that dress but once. The girls didn’t think too highly of being dressed alike either. That was a first and last for that idea.

Easter baskets have always been a fun part of the season. Thinking about the Easter Bunny bringing a new basket filled with candy gets smiles and thumbs up by most children.

While we give importance to the traditions of hunting Easter eggs, Easter baskets and new finery, this is but the fluff of the season. The emergence of new life as the trees spring into full leaf, and as flowers break the earth to burst forth with new blossoms should cause us to stop and remember that what once was dead is alive again.

This reminds us of the importance of the season, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, which brought hope to the world.

With all the fluff, may we never lose sight of this important event.

He arose! It is a time for joy!

Happy Easter!