It made me think back to one of my own pictures from 1979 where I’m in my Easter Sunday finest at my Grandma and Grandpa Stewart’s house. I’m donning a bright red wool coat, with a little yellow and white dress peeking out, white knee socks and of course, those shiny church shoes! Whatever made my mom think that red and yellow were a good fashion choice, I’ll never know! But that meme on my Facebook page the other day did start me thinking about our family’s past Easter traditions. Does your family have any?
Easter stayed the same fairly much all through my younger years. My mom was great for making monstrously huge baskets brimming with candies, decorated eggs, coloring books or other treats. We’d go to church service followed by egg hunts at one of the grandparent’s houses with a family dinner thrown in there too, though we seemed to spend more Easters with my mom’s side and Thanksgivings with my dad’s side for some reason. My grandma Clara Lou (Peters) Stewart used to bring us these big handmade chocolate eggs with thick peanut butter creme filling inside them from the ladies at Saint Paul’s Lutheran Church. They have these hard little icing flowers piped on top that nearly broke your teeth off if you tried to eat them but slicing into one of those eggs was sheer delight – they were so good!
My mom would buy my sister and I pretty dresses that all too often were matching or coordinating somehow and she’d usually do our hair up in pink sponge Goody curlers the night before so we’d have perfect curls in the morning for church! My dad would buy my mom a corsage for church and as we girls got older, he began to buy us corsages too. He’d pick them up from the flower shop and they’d sit taunting us in the refrigerator until Sunday morning when we’d get to put them on finally. You felt super fancy then! Hers usually had a large lily or a a grouping of gorgeous roses while ours were smaller pastel colored carnations with baby’s breath and not nearly as elaborate or as pretty as hers.
Food has been a very large part of our family gatherings and Easter was no exception. (or should I say, egg-ception? har har!) It always seemed everyone had that signature dish to bring to any family event. Aunt Amy always made deviled eggs, Aunt Lori did a honeyed ham, her husband Robert made oodles of homemade croissants, mom made her famous “I’ll take the recipe to my grave” macaroni and cheese (or chicken and noodles) and grandpa Archie would usually bake a pie or two. Grandma Stewart could be counted on to thaw a box of Christmas cookies she’d stashed away from the holiday cookie swaps at church and I’d always hope she’d squirreled away a Buckeye ball or two in there somewhere as those were, and have been, my perennial favorite treat.
The men might go golfing if weathered permitted or would at least would chip balls (or grandma’s cookies in one case) in grandpa’s back yard down towards the creek. The ladies would clean up and mill about the dining room table, nibbling on second helpings of desert while chatting as us kids ran around like mini mad people thanks to our candy fueled energy. All in all, good times… good times.
Does your family’s traditions sound similar to ours?