My Grandmother was a professional seamstress and my Mother grew up learning how to sew as well, so every Easter I had a new outfit to hunt Easter eggs in. It didn’t matter if we didn’t go to church, until many years later, It was important that I look nice for that very special day as we always had company and photos taken.
The week before, Mom and I would head out to the fabric store to look a patterns and material. Even at an early age I was always included in the decision making of what I was going to wear. I could be a stubborn child and once the outfit was made if I didn’t like it I wouldn’t wear it. So Grandma and Mom learned quickly to include me. Did I like this color, that fabric, did it feel good, what about that pattern?
Typical Easter Dress
of the 50's
Mom would clear the kitchen table and we would lay out the material and place the pattern on top, measuring, pinning then cutting. After getting it all cut out and carefully folded, mom would start sewing the pieces together and slowly a beautiful to me dress would appear! I would stand on a chair and mom or grandma would pin in the hem of the dress making sure that it hit at my knee or just below. Of course I had to have my crinolines on to make the skirt flair so the hem would be correct. Pin it without the crinolines and it could be a disaster! Once done the dress was press and hung with care until Easter morn. In some respects I feel my Brother felt left out as Mom bought his outfit. It wasn’t until I was about 13 before I started getting a store bought outfit for Easter.
On Friday Mom and I would head to the store to grocery shop and then to the liquor store. She would always get a Manischewitz Red Cream Sherry. We kids would always get a very small glass of it. Boy was it good!
The day before Easter, Mom and Grandma would hard boil 4 dozen eggs. Frank, my brother, and I had a most wonderful time coloring 3 dozen eggs. We would make two toned eggs, write on them, mix
colors and we got to where we were making our own colors and not buying the store bought dyes. We always had a blast. We also learned not to put the eggs once dyed in the refrigerator as they would sweat when we brought them back out, all the color would come off, not good!
Frank and I were so excited to get a visit from the Easter Bunny on Easter morn. When we got up we would get dressed up in our new outfits and go into the living room and there would be our Easter baskets filled with peeps and a big chocolate bunny and lots of candy and of course our dyed Easter eggs. How did the Easter Bunny know where to find our Easter eggs!?
After having breakfast and devouring some of the candy in our baskets, unbeknownst to us one of our parents had slipped out and hidden our eggs outside
and returned the baskets to their spots empty and waiting for us to partake in the hunt. Mom or Dad would come in and proclaim the Easter Bunny had made off with our eggs and we had better go find them. Out the door we would rush with our baskets and
begin the frantic hunt while mom would film it on the old Bell & Howell 8mm movie camera.
Oh such fun, Frank and I would hide eggs on and off all day long. Our cousins would come in from Texas and join us and we would hunt together. Some Easters were so blistering cold we would have to hunt in the house and occasionally we would loose an egg and weeks later suffer the consequences of the rotten egg smell until we would find it in the couch. YUCK!
One year I got a baby duck for Easter, I named him Quack. He eventually went to my Grandma's house to live with her chickens.
Mother and grandma would spend the afternoon in the kitchen preparing Easter dinner, Dad would fix
After dinner we all would pitch in and get the kitchen cleaned up as the TV Network was going to show the “Ten Commandments” with Charlton Heston. Back then there were only 3 stations unlike today where there are a plethora of choices.
Inside Trinity Episcopal
Church, Tulsa, OK
At the age of 14 my mother and I joined the Episcopal church and Easter took on a whole new meaning. Easter for me is a time for reflection, renewal and hope.
Whatever Easter means to you, I hope you fill your day with love.