Easter is coming!

Easter was easily my favorite holiday growing up. For one thing, it meant getting a new PASTEL dress at ‘BUNNIES’ on 14th street each year. Bunnie’s was an enormous palace of frothy, flammable pint-sized polyester monstrosities that I regarded with the same degree of reverence adults normally reserve for saints, the American flag and the films of Meryl Streep (depending on type of adult).

I imagined that all princesses, fancy girls, and probably Annie, shopped there exclusively and they probably sold outfits for unicorns too if you knew where to look. If memory serves (and it probably doesn’t) the dresses scaled the walls, far above where average people could reach, so that someone would have to come along with one of those claw things to pluck your dream dress down for you to try on. There was nothing plain or simple or ‘English’ looking here. Everything had lace and ruffles and layers and linings and bows, and small pearls and rosettes, and was vaguely (or proudly) shiny. Again, in my mind, “simplicity” equaled orphan, whereas “crinoline-loaded, iridescent and mint green” equaled other-worldly levels of sophistication. Those dresses transformed me.

And of course there were new white tights (frequently with their own googaws and flocked hearts and whatnot) and possibly little gloves and a white hat with elastic that went under my chin. I imagined these items being passed down for generations…

So in addition to my easter finery, there was the hunting for my basket on easter morning. My mom would write and hide various clues and after locating them all, I’d find my basket, usually behind a living room chair, or balanced on an upper rung of a ladder tucked behind coats in the closet. Candy consumption would begin immediately and was followed by a ride on the F train to my grandparents’ house in Brooklyn. I looked forward to the tail end of the ride when the F train is elevated and sun would pour in through the windows and I knew I didn’t have long to wait until I saw my grandparents and cousins – who would, of course, all faint when they saw my dress.

Though not religious myself, Easter was the one holiday where my family would usually attend church all together and it wasn’t actually so terrible because everyone was in good spirits and I liked the way the hosts tasted, and, once again, it afforded the general public the opportunity to see a real live “fancy girl” which naturally would delight them. My mom and her sisters had very Catholic upbringings and all my cousins had baptisms and first communions and stuff but not me! My soul was and is totally unaccounted for which is why I have to make sure no one accidentally steals it.

Anyhoo! After church there’d be more easter egg basketry and sometimes playing with the hasidic kids on my grandma’s block- where our family were the only non-jews. Actually- only one of the kids ever talked to us (Shimmy Simon) and this was probably in contravention to his parents’ wishes. I hope he’s doing well though!

Now that my grandparents live in New Jersey, and my cousins and I are all grown, and nobody goes to church anymore and I’ve realized that polyester is best used for the construction of tents and parachutes, and that more than likely there is no Easter bunny…Easter’s importance to me has lessened. But now I have a daughter! (and soon, a son!) The opportunity exists to make Easter a magical time again – signaling the beginning of spring, a time of growth and renewal, of hyacinths and freesia, chocolate bunnies, pastel dresses, little hats, parades and egg decorating. I hope Virginia enjoys it all as much as I did…

Below are some Easter goodies to help get in pastel chick and bunny-mode. If Jesus-resurrection-mode is more your speed, I’m sure there are plenty of blogs that can help you with that…

bunny booties (chasing fireflies) - $28

Bunny Family enamelware set - $38

the country bunny book - $15

Peter Rabbit mask set - $28

Peter Rabbit tee - $18

Handmade easter garland - $6.49

Vintage easter egg music box $18.50

Vintage White Embroidered Girls Easter Dress - Size 5 $12.00

35 wonderful easter craft ideas for you and some youngsters, courtesy of Martha Stewart

 

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One response to “Easter is coming!

  1. magical! easter was a favorite of mine too! my sister and i always received gifts from my mom! sometimes a new outfit or new rubber boots and raincoats in bright, spring colours. my mom still mails me easter goodies!
    i was deathly afraid of chickens as a child and my grandma always gave me a white chocolate chicken. she had a sick sense of humor.

    my soul is also unaccounted for…glad to be in good company!

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