- I would get to wear a pretty new dress that probably involved a very scratchy petticoat underneath.
- There would be a big basket of candy and colored Easter eggs hidden in one of the closets in our home.
- And Jesus was alive!
I am not sure what each of those things has to do with the other, but I would never turn down a chance for candy and new clothes. If we celebrated Jesus by munching on sweets and wearing some sparkly white gloves; that was perfectly fine with me.
As I grew up, the order of importance regarding these 3 things changed a few times. On my 5th Easter Sunday, I came bursting into my mother’s Sunday School class after being dismissed from mine. Apparently I caused quite a scene because I was shouting,
“Mommy He’s alive, He’s alive!”
Somehow, my Kindergarten Sunday School teacher found a way to get the true message of the day across to a room full of kids hyped up on a sugar-high. I have no idea how she did it. I do remember a chalkboard full to its edges with the declaration that Jesus Lives surrounded by sunshine and hearts and exclamation points. That teacher got through the haze of candy and new clothes long enough to make a huge impression on me that Sunday.
In later years, I was all about the dress. Here in California it is often a sunshiny holiday, but we can also wake up to rain and cold wind on our Easter mornings. So more often than not, a big old comfy coat covered up my springy little Easter dress. I hated that and the coat would come off as soon as we parked our car near the church. Why bother wearing a new dress if you can’t show it off? I may have been shivering, but I was cute while I froze.
Easter candy is still a favorite of mine and I loved preparing baskets for my kids when they were little. But I often wondered who came up with the idea to combine messy candy and brand new clothes on the same day! There is no way to hand your kids chocolate bunnies (or crosses) and expect to be ready for the perfect church presentation in the space of a few hours.
Pretty dresses, candy and Jesus. These three things describe Easter for me. As a mom and now as an empty nester and writer, I have never worried about the various icons of this holiday. Bunnies, soft yellow chicks and piles of sugary candy do not scare me or hurt my view of this major Christian holiday. Jesus is still at the center of it all and no one can change that.