Before I say anything on this subject, let me assure you that I know what Easter is truly about. I know it’s not about the Easter bunny or who wore what to church or anything like that. I know Easter is the celebration of the fact that my Redeemer lives. Having said that, I have a few more comments on the holiday.
As a child growing up, Easter was always the time of year when we got new clothes—something fancy for Easter, because my mother insisted that new clothes on Easter Sunday was an important tradition.
For me, it was more often the cramming of my body into clothing that was stiff and new and most definitely not of my choosing. There are pictures of me as a child in little green sailor dresses and pastel plaid skirts with pleats and little headbands full of flowers, etc., you get the picture.
Worst of all, believe it or not, were the shoes and stockings. We couldn’t just wear regular ones—it was either socks with stiff decorations on them that made my ankles itch, or even worse, white panty-hose stockings that made my legs itch all over and which invariably had a large blot of mud on them somewhere that I got by climbing carelessly out of a farm vehicle. The shoes were no better, white patent leather, black patent leather, it didn’t matter. They were stiff, uncomfortable and frequently made my stockings snag.
My mother dressed me up in these outfits in the name of “Easter Sunday Fashion.” She couldn’t help it; it’s what her mother did to her and probably what Grandmother’s mother did to her. It was a family tradition of misery that went way back, and while we celebrated the Risen Lord, we itched, scratched, tugged and stained our way through that fateful day.
We usually went to some family dinner or another after church, which meant we had to keep those miniature torture chambers on and try not to get our ham dinner on them—for me an impossible task. We were allowed to change into more comfortable clothes after dinner, but usually I was too stubborn for that. I continued to wear the dress-up clothes and sat tugging at my collar and itching my legs while everyone else ran around and had fun in their old jeans.
When my own girls were growing up, I tried once or twice to go the dress up dollies route, but it seemed I was either too broke or too busy to get the job done right. I was pleased with myself. I hadn’t forced my girls to wear silly headbands or gender-defining tights (at least, not very often.) By the time they could voice a real opinion, they thought that if the jeans were Silver Jeans, that was dress-up enough. As for flowery headbands—forget it. I once used ribbon and a headband base to make them fancy, braided, elegant headbands with elaborate bows on the ends. Those little engineers were far more interested in how they had been made than how they would look in their hair. It took little time for them to deconstruct them, discard the headband base and use the ribbon for something more fun—like, decorating the dog!
No, I was not like my mother. I was not going to force my daughters to dress up as I had to. I was feeling pretty smug about this until today. Today, I was sent a picture of my grandsons, enjoying the Easter holiday. And what were they wearing? Little suit outfits I had sent them crowned by the bunny ears headbands I had put in their Easter baskets.
Hear that splash? That’s the dam breaking as my mother starts to leak through!
© Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In the Well, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jackie Wells-Fauth and Drops In The Well with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.