Breland: Easter eggs represent new life

Published 10:24 am Friday, April 15, 2022

After watching Palm Sunday services from a couple of churches during the week, I certainly had Easter on my mind as I was making a little basket arrangement for my dining table.

I gathered up a couple of things, including an old straw basket and some flowers. I looked for some plastic Easter eggs, but I suppose mine have been used elsewhere along the way.

Many years ago, the late Don and Jo White, local photographers, gave me a beautiful ceramic mother bunny and two babies. I have enjoyed them for many years at Easter and I think of the Whites every time I see those bunnies.

I placed them in the basket with the flowers and it made a pretty nice little arrangement. I placed an empty crystal cross beside the arrangement, just to keep Easter really traditional.

While bunnies have nothing to do with the real meaning of Easter, and neither do Easter eggs, they are old traditions we carry out year after year for the children.

Easter is a religious holiday, but some customs, such as Easter eggs, can be linked to old pagan traditions. The eggs, a symbol of new life, were used with old festivals celebrating spring.

The Easter Bunny tradition is not really related to Jesus and His resurrection. Eggs may be said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Eggs were formerly a forbidden food during Lent, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of Lenten period, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Apparently the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who brought their tradition of an egg-laying rabbit. Their children made nests in which the rabbit could lay its colored eggs.

The bunny and the eggs are also both considered symbols of new life — but the links to Jesus and the real celebration of Easter, really end there.

Like Santa at Christmas, we have to let our children know this is a fun thing for the holiday and both have nothing to do with either the birth or the resurrection of Jesus.

I never had anything against the Easter practice of boiling, dying and hunting Easter eggs, and I never thought I was lying to my children about either Santa or the Easter Bunny. I did always hate the mess of dying eggs. The kitchen counter would be covered with dye stains until scrubbed away. Plastic eggs are better, but there are no real boiled eggs to eat after the egg hunt.

I loved sewing new dresses for my girls, making them pretty for church on Easter morning, and dressing up my son. They have happy memories of going to their grandparents’ house on Sunday for dinner and a big egg hunt with the cousins. It was a fun time and gave them the opportunity to play with the cousins and other family members. They are doing this now with their children.

Easter is at a remarkable time of year. It is spring, and we see the fresh newness of growth on plants, grass and flowers, making everything beautiful. Winter is going away and it is getting warmer outside, a new time of year.

It is a very joyful time to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, to teach us about the real new life we have because of His act of love on the cross, and His rising on that beautiful morning.

Hallelujah! He arose!

Happy Easter!

Retired as Associate News Editor, Bob Ann Breland writes a weekly column for The Daily News. You can email her at bobann70@att.net.