I have vague memories of my mother making a big deal out of Easter when my sister and I were really young. Mom would take us out shopping for new Easter dresses. Kim, always admittedly the more fashionable out of the two of us, would spend hours going through racks of dresses before finally settling on the perfect pink flowery frock. I, who would’ve spent that time sitting in the middle of the racks, hoping to scare the crap out of Kim by grabbing her arm when she reached for an outfit, would then promptly select the exact same outfit as my big sister. Good times.
Mom would dress us up in bonnets and gloves, and make us go to church. Here’s the thing: you never, ever, want to put my sister and me in the same church pew. We will inevitably get the giggles at the most inopportune time, like when the priest is describing the nails being pounded into Jesus’s wrists at the crucifixion. Once we were thrown out of church early, we would then head home, where we wouldn’t bother to change before playing outside. Within minutes, our pretty hats and gloves and new dresses would be splattered with cow manure and mud.
Once Mom gave up on the whole church thing, we really started appreciating Easter more. We’d wake up that morning and go through our baskets, then gorge ourselves on jellybeans and chocolate-covered coconut eggs. (Also important: don’t give a kid one of those pretty eggs made out of sugar and frosting with a diorama of bunnies ice-skating inside. If that kid is me, I’ll eat it.) Two things you should know about my mom before I continue: she likes to be warm, and she knows her chocolate. So our Easter egg hunts, which happened before breakfast, were always indoors (warmer) and consisted of searching for Cadbury Crème Eggs or Reese’s Peanut Butter Eggs (quality chocolate).
Over breakfast, my sister and I would be too sluggish and nauseated to move, so our father would regale us with stories about how good rabbit tastes in stews, on toast, or lightly braised and served on a bun. Then he’d wonder aloud how many pounds of meat one could get off the Easter Bunny. Again, good times.
The rest of the holiday was spent sleeping off our sugar highs. Really, what else was there to do? Occasionally we got up to eat more, but we knew instinctively we needed to conserve energy. Because in our house, Easter came with a secondary holiday: The Post-Holiday Easter Candy Sale.
Mom would again get us up early the next day, and we’d dress quickly and head out the door before the stores opened. We’d wait outside for CVS to open, and then we’d hit the sales, hard. There were Peeps, Juju-bunnies, jellybeans, and marshmallow eggs to be had at 50% off or more. It’s also, incidentally, why nobody in my family starts a diet until at least a week after Easter has passed.
Sure, you might think we’re missing the point of the holiday. You would be wrong. We always remember to pray and count our blessings this time of year. Just the other day, my mother sent this text: Just found Cadbury mini-eggs on sale at Walgreens! Thank the Lord!
See? We're religious.
Happy Easter, and/or Passover, everyone!