We’re leaving town tomorrow to spend Easter with my parents in Virginia. I’ll be back at work on Tuesday, but I prefer to think about the long holiday weekend ahead.
Easter is my favorite holiday, although the energy I devote to it wanes each year. David and I used to hunt Easter Eggs (the plastic kind, of course) hidden by his parents in their back yard when we were dating. (Actually one year, we hunted Hershey “hugs” in lieu of eggs, and that year David’s dad hid an even amount, so we tied.) David’s dad was always impressed that we held on to our youthful spirits, but I think my grip is loosening now. I haven’t colored eggs in years, and although I light up at the idea of making Easter Baskets, I never do. (I just look at Martha Stewart’s.)
In high school, my gruff History teacher insisted that Easter is the most important Christian Holiday—that the birth we celebrate at Christmas wouldn’t have been significant but for the rebirth we celebrate at Easter. His comment really struck me at the time. I had never thought about it, and I was (and still am) inclined to agree with him.
For some reason (har har) Christmas gets more emphasis. I’m sure the disproportionate attention has nothing to do with the commercial aspect of the Christmas Season. To be fair though, I love Christmas too. It is nice to have such a splendid occasion stuck in the middle of shivery winter. (I also like how Christmas coincides with Winter Solstice—The light of Christ coming into the world at the darkest time, when days begin to get longer. Did I mention that I’m coo-coo for symbolism?) Easter isn’t quite as commercial as its winter cousin. Although, I did receive my first Cabbage Patch Kid—Ace Blake, a boy with brown curly hair—on Easter. (He looked something like this.) Maybe Ace boosted Easter’s signal on my subliminal radar.
I’m not very religious (at least in the traditional sense), but I like the church activities that surround Easter. I like the idea of Lent followed by the release of Easter. I like going to church on Good Friday, the day of crucifixion, when the church is silent and dark on the cusp of a great joy. I like Maundy Thursday, the celebration of the First Communion at the Last Supper, even though our Lutheran pastor wouldn’t let my senior year boyfriend (gasp…a Pentecostal) participate in the service. When we lived in West Virginia, we went to a regionally famous sunrise service that took place on a large hillside. (West Virginia, Mountain Mama, is pretty much on the whole a large hillside.) I remember cold, moist air, crowds, and a real live man on a cross. I think the service scared me a little. I don’t know if it was the early waking, the cold, or the dangling man.
Really though, I think I love the spring traditions associated with Easter most of all—pretty new dresses for ladies and girls, Peter Cottontails, eggs colored and hidden in newly green and dewy yards, baskets full of plastic green grass and candy and gifts. My childhood Easter basket was covered in pink crocheted yarn. I always made a mess with the plastic grass.
UPDATE: Our youthful spirits still survive! David and I hunted Easter Eggs (in the form of Nestle Crunch type Easter candies) at my parents’ house. Mom remembered to hide an odd amount. I won with a score of 12. David tried to say that the ones he found were more valuable and therefore counted more, but he was just jealous of my victory.
How long have you had "previous enteries" showing at the bottom of each of your sections?