Easter in my childhood memories meant the excitement of seeing what treats the Easter Bunny left in our baskets. Usually there would be small feathery chicks, jelly beans, a variety of eggs, and a chocolate bunny. Maybe sitting next to our basket would be a stuffed Easter rabbit. Dying eggs the day before Easter meant dipping hard boiled eggs into cups of beautiful colors and lifting them out with a little wire egg holder. In those days Easter was celebrated at school with cupcakes. Occasionally we might be invited to an Easter egg hunt at a friend’s; I had one particular friend who hosted a hunt every year.
At the local five and dime large trays of dyed chicks and ducklings would be for sale … my mother never would allow such a purchase.
There would be a new “Sunday” dress, often with a straw hat and purse trimmed with tiny velvet flowers and new black patent leather shoes. Going to church would literally be the “Easter Parade.” On that Sunday all of America was celebrating the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
One memorable Easter dress was pale aqua nylon (which was a new fabric). The dress, which was made by my mother, had a full skirt and a smocked bodice. The belt was a velvet ribbon tied with a bouquet of velvety flowers. I felt like a princess in that dress.
In 1957 our family made a trip to visit my maternal grandparents. My grandmother was very ill and in the hospital. My mother decided to remain at her bedside and my dad would return home with us three kids. Before the return trip my mother and I went to the small town dress shop to buy my Easter dress for the year (since she would not be at home by then). I fell in love with a beautiful mint green shirtwaist dress with ruffles down the front edged with lace … but what a high price … $16.00! We purchased the dress and it remained one of my favorites for several years … I was fourteen years old.
When we returned home, my dad allowed my brother and sister to get a dyed duckling each … what would Mama say! My grandmother died in early May and by the time my mother returned home the ducks had met their demise.
Later as I had children, we continued the traditions of Easter dresses and baskets almost always accompanied by a cute stuffed rabbit. Every year I went to our local Hallmark shop to pick out three Easter Bunnies … the shop owner told me one year that she always looked forward to seeing which bunnies I picked.
In the late 1970s, we moved close to my parents’ home and were able to be part of the annual egg hunt that my father had begun. He really enjoyed hiding the eggs and having all his grandchildren have the fun of finding the eggs. Although he died in late 1981, the hunt continued for a few more years.
Since those times I have collected many interesting Easter items including a basket of bunnies, ducks, and eggs.
For more about Always a Collector, checkout the About Me page.