Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter Circa 1981 and Guarding Against Gobbling

In 1981, Easter signaled my family’s arrival at the local Kmart and our frantic search through the giant, Easter hat bin.

Easter indicated the end of my scuffed-up, too small, white, patent leather shoes, and the celebration of a new pair of shiny shoes.

Easter meant taking the dried-up, palm cross down from the previous year and putting up a new one.

Easter equaled dying eggs rainbow hues and staring at stained fingers.

Easter meant attending mass and then booking my new shoes back to the car and listening to the end of Casey Kasem’s countdown.

Jesus proved to be a key player in Easter, but mostly just when I clicked my new, white, patent leather shoes to and from church.

Oh, my, how times have changed.

Or wait, have they?

It’s truth time.

Over the last few years, life pounced on Easter and gobbled it up. In fact, usually before Easter afternoon hits, I find myself walking around the house, picking up tiny foil wrappers from chocolate eggs and feeling pretty empty. No, not pretty empty, really empty.

Of course, we go to church and teach our kids Easter is about the cross and not the bunny, but something still seems missing. Celebration absent. No, no, not the ham and potatoes kind of celebration. 

I'm talking about the kind of celebration that happens when you realize the pinnacle of our Savior's story is upon us. The kind of celebration that screams death cannot end us and sin cannot ruin us.

This year Holy Week arrived exactly on time (amid the wrong-sized bridesmaid dress, a camping trip, and a summer job that fell through) but instead of trying to beat my usual manic rush, I'm guarding against life's gobbling ways.

Quality reflection and utter amazement of our God required. 

Marshmallow Peeps optional.
What are some Easter memories from your childhood? How do you celebrate Easter today? How do you help your family stay focused on Jesus? 
: :

A big PS:
Discovered the resource The Twelve Voices of Easter. It's Easter told from the point of view of twelve people in the Bible. Thanks for the lead, Ann.



HopeUnbroken said...

many of my memories are the same as yours. new dress, new shoes, and my dad always bought corsages for us "ladies" in the house to wear.
and casey kasem. wow. i miss him, too, i suppose :-) the blogging world seems to be intent on giving me flashbacks lately. (this morning it was Andy Gibb!)
we celebrate with family today, plain and simple. and that looks drastically different depending on which side of the family we celebrate with.
i'm taking cheesecake to my Mom's this year. and i need to make a gluten-free crust. she happened to buy some cookies the other day that we think will do the job. the ironic part? they are bunny-shaped. my daughters chimed in this morning, "Death to the Easter Bunny! We'll just eat him instead!" hmmmm. while we don't shun him, he never makes much of an entrance around here. i have to admit to my amusement with that proclamation.
our biggest "tradition" is blossoming a wooden cross that my Mom pulls out every year. i love how this celebrates His resurrection and helps me remember why we're gathering together.
yep. flowers on the cross, which i adore. and in addition this year, we're killing all the little bunnies :-)

The Wyatt Family said...

I laughed out loud at 'wrong sized bridesmaid dress', just FYI.

Easter was just as much about family and candy and celebration when I was a kid as it was about Christ. We've tried to keep it a bit more Jesus-centered, especially this week, discussing the cross and our need for it, etc. But it seems like the candy will always be a strong competitor for my young children's attention.... looking forward to seeing what your other readers do for this season.

Gaby said...

No childhood memories of Easter for me. I did not grow up in a Christian home. I live vicariously through my kids. This year we are going to make one of those cross/tomb gardens that have been going around on Pinterest. I want them to know all that I didn't know about Easter growing up.

messymiddle.com said...

I only have a few very specific memories -- one we were in a motel on Easter (no idea why or where, now that I think about it) and my mom hiding our Easter baskets around. Another is a snap shot of my sisters and I in our front yard -- new Easter dresses on, squinting into the sun. I love that photo! Amy

messymiddle.com said...

I only have a few very specific memories -- one we were in a motel on Easter (no idea why or where, now that I think about it) and my mom hiding our Easter baskets around. Another is a snap shot of my sisters and I in our front yard -- new Easter dresses on, squinting into the sun. I love that photo! Amy

Kendal said...

ummmm. just where is the picture of the 1981 amy?

always new clothes at easter. and flowers on a cross. and chocolate, chocolate, chocolate.

Slamdunk said...

It was church, everyone being dell dressed, and of course the easter egg hunts. I remember the dog being very curious at all the activity as well.

Glad you are able to keep your family grounded as to the most important part of the Easter holiday..

Jen Ferguson said...

Ah, the countdown of Casey. How do we go on?

THere are a lot of shoulds going through my head right now -- things I should have done/not done during Lent.

And yet, it seems that as the anniversary of my grandmother's death is here, I focus on the cross naturally, as His death signifies eternal life. Which means I will see my grandmother once again.

Amy Sullivan said...

I know how much you miss her. I think of your grandma every time I make her monkey bread.

Amy Sullivan said...

Thanks! It's our crazy green kitchen table. I love how it's bright and crazy.

I looked everywhere for a circa 1981 Easter pic...loads of Christmas, but no Easter!

Jean Wise said...

You know Amy I think many of us spend more time celebrating his birth than Jesus' resurrection. Both are powerful moments but Easter really is the high point.

I have had years when it seemed just another Sunday. I have intentionally been open during Lent this year, read a lot, went on retreat, prayed and feel much more excited, impacted and connected to Easter this year.

good thoughts here today. thanks!

Michelle said...

Oh Easter traditions....growing up it actually meant watching a relegious show. We watched more movies focused on Bible stories than we even did at Christmas. It also meant a ham dinner and chocolate bunnies. Now it means a ham dinner and chocolate eggs and focusing on Jesus everyday, not just one day. :)

Nancy said...

Oh, you're Easter memories took me back. They were very much the same as mine, Baptist version.

I miss the smell of vinegar and the row of coffee cups lined up with Paas tablets dissolving in them. I actually got weepy walking through the mall looking at little girls' Easter dresses. Those days went by much too quickly for me and my children.

I am, however, enjoying the quiet of this Holy week. As a Baptist, u wasn't really familiar with things like Holy Week and Maundy Thursday. The stores in my hometown used to close down and church bells would chime at noon on Good Friday.

By the way--did you know that the 70s station on Sirius replays old American Top 40 broadcasts on Saturdays? Great fun. Sometimes I actually remember the original broadcast, especially when Casey reads a letter from a listener. Great fun!

Happy Easter, Amy. The Lord is risen indeed!

Courtney said...

I remember traveling down to Mississippi to see my mom's relatives, and feeling like the dress code was definitely stepped up a notch in the South. The dress, shoes and hat = big deal. I remember egg hunts on my great aunt's front lawn and cousins with thick accents. Happy family memories, for sure, but I think adulthood is when the stunning magnitude of Easter really kicks in. It is hard to grasp, to be honest. But I love trying.

Kris said...

I remember whete straw hats and sailor dresses, white gloves and folded down-ruffled ankle socks with white patent leather shoes. Attending Catholic mass and holding out my little gloved hands in the communion line... egg hunts in the back yard and chocolate hangovers by Sunday dinner. thanks for sharing your Easter memories, praying you find your Easter evening full of the glory of redemption, of ressurection--
sweet blessings, Amy!

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