Sunday Stories: Bunny ears, Easter egg hunts, and cloves

As a kid, Easter was my favorite holiday. It wasn’t just about the candy, which I loved. Gold Brick Eggs, bunny ears, the crunchy bunny eye, and speckled, malted milk eggs were my favorites. Don’t give me yellow marshmallow chicks or the pecan rolls my mom liked. Not interested.

Entrenched deep in Catholic South Louisiana, businesses and schools closed for Mardi Gras, so we could get out all our sinning and behave the next forty days.

I often gave up candy for Lent, but Sundays were free days when I didn’t have to honor my commitment. I ate all the candy I would have in a week, plus a bit more.

Mass was a must on Easter Sunday, a time for itchy, frilly dresses and hats, gloves, a little purse, and squeaky patent leather shoes my mom loved to torture me with. She so wanted a girly girl, and I was anything but. I was my dad’s tomboy.

When finally freed from my Sunday clothes and able to eat after Communion, I jumped back into my shorts, and Easter really began for me. I spent the morning going through my Easter basket, deciding what to eat first—always a tough decision.

My grandparents and my aunt, uncle, and their kids usually came over around 11:00 a.m. Lunch, which we called dinner, always included a baked ham with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries toothpicked into place. My mom then dotted the ham with cloves. I hated cloves and insisted my slice of ham be cut well away from them.

Mama let the grass and clover grow in the yard, so she and the other adults had many good hiding places for the Easter egg hunt after dinner. We used real boiled eggs she and I dyed during the week—none of those silly plastic eggs for us. I’m not sure they even made plastic eggs back then.

We always had to dye a lot of eggs because my dad swore the dyed ones tasted better than regular boiled eggs. Even when he was ninety-two, my mom still had to dye Easter eggs for him. He wouldn’t eat the plain white ones.

When they let out the hyped-up-on-sugar banshees for the hunt, we had a free-for-all. My cousins, the neighborhood kids, and I ran around, filling our colorful baskets with our finds. My mom gave prizes to the kids who found the most eggs and a specially dyed egg. It was a great afternoon I looked forward to each year.

My dad, me, and our dog Shep

When all was said and done, the company left, and it was just me and my Easter basket.

If you celebrate Easter or Passover, I wish you a joyous holiday filled with new memories and delights.

Tell us about your past celebrations. Did you observe Easter, Passover, or the beginning of spring? What did this observation look like? Who shared the holiday with you? Let us experience how you commemorated this time of year.

Remember, the only way to do this wrong is to not do it at all.

Until next time, happy writing.

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Holly Martinez
1 year ago

Easter, Pass Over, being trapped as a sinner, and other confusions. The only year I remember celebrating Easter was the year I lived with my Aunt Evie in Wisconsin. My mother had given me to her. Yes, gave me to her. My aunt celebrated Easter. I loved my aunt very much, but my mother’s church taught Easter was a sin. Needless to say, I was caught at eleven years old trying to find any truth in either of these stories. The guy nailed to the wood or the blood on the door. My first experience with Easter was an Easter… Read more »

Lisa Marie Webb
1 year ago
Reply to  Holly Martinez

Oh my goodness. I’m not sure if my stomach would have been more upset from the abundance of cake or from the unnerving wait in a train station alone until eleven o’ clock at night.

Lisa Marie Webb
1 year ago

Those sound like fun happy memories, Patricia. I hope your Easter was great this year too. What do you have now instead of candy? I remember as a child, learning a poem or prose to say at church for the Easter program along with other children. When I when I was little I loved having those patent leather shoes…except for trying to keep them unscuffed. White ones, black ones, and one year I had red ones. There would be a nice outfit and special hair style with curls, maybe. Back then, culturally, young girls didn’t wear their hair “down” except… Read more »

Maureen Heakin
Maureen Heakin
1 year ago

Memories came flooding back to me after reading these two essays about Easter traditions. Happy Easter to you, Patricia, and to all of your writers!! What to wear to church on Easter was always a big deal — Easter dress and matching coat, white gloves and socks trimmed in lace, Vaseline-shined black patent shoes and a pretty straw hat with flowers set the day in motion. First there were photos of us outside wearing our special “Sunday Best” on the way to church. We went to my gram’s house for the big meal of the day, which was sometime in… Read more »

Lisa Marie Webb
1 year ago
Reply to  Maureen Heakin

What a great description. I can picture the activities and almost hear the laughter.

Kit Dwyer
1 year ago
Reply to  Maureen Heakin

What a fun memory! Thanks for sharing it. Reminds me of many hours drying dishes and my sisters jokingly swatting me with a wet dish towel!

Etya Krichmar
1 year ago

Happy Easter, Patricia! Did you get an Easter basket this year?

Kit Dwyer
1 year ago

Lop off the Ears! The first time I saw a lop-eared rabbit at the pet store I laughed! Its ears looked broken, hanging down on either side of its face like that. It didn’t look anything like the rabbits I saw on the golf course. We lived in the city when I was a schoolgirl, and I don’t remember seeing any rabbits in the yards of our neighborhood. Nor did it look like the big chocolate bunny in my Easter Basket. That was the real prize of Easter morning! I remember dressing for church as fast as I could on Easter mornings. I… Read more »

Last edited 1 year ago by Kit Dwyer
Lisa Marie Webb
1 year ago
Reply to  Kit Dwyer

Sounds like such a festive family memory. So many great descriptions totally reminded me of the baskets and treats of my childhood, too. I liked the black licorice jelly beans, too Kit, but not the marshmallow peeps. I think you were right…it did seem like getting cheated when the baskets started using hollow chocolate rabbits. When I was a little older, the Cadbury chocolate creme eggs began to be a favorite of mine. Back then they were only available during Easter.

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