As a little girl, I remember our Easters being a big “to do” at my house. In a family of three girls (plus mom) I’m sure my dad dreaded the annual shopping bills from buying Easter outfits. In those days, we all had to have the works. We got new dresses, new tights or frilly socks, new purses to match the dresses, new shiny patent leather shoes and new accessories to complete the outfit. Sometimes I even had a new Easter hat! You see, back in those days we all made sure that Easter Sunday was treated in a special way. We celebrated the spring season (where everything is made new) by wearing fine new clothes. While the rush for all the new duds seems to have calmed down a bit with this generation, I think making sure to treat Easter as a special day is still something that is important for us to remember.
When my own kids were little, we started out strong. Their first few years, they all had new Easter outfits each year. As they got older and our checkbooks were drained from the other million things they needed in day to day life, our Easter funds decreased drastically. We decided that a new shirt for my son and perhaps a simple cotton sundress for the girls was “good enough”. No one ever questioned their attire at church so we continued the less formal Easter wear tradition.
In the past several years, my family has chosen to wear our normal Sunday clothes on Easter Sunday. We don’t buy anything at all new unless it was already time to replace a pair of pants or shoes. That is partly due to funds being minimal and partly due to the males of my household hating to shop. It is much simpler to go to church this way, and when the next Sunday comes, no one else remembers what we wore on Easter anyway!
Our good friends, Jason and Mandy Glasscock, have opted for a whole other type of Easter tradition with their family and I couldn’t love it more! Several years ago, they began looking for a different way to clothe their family at Easter and settled on a less formal but far more spiritual approach. They buy T-shirts for each member of the family that support local or national ministries for groups that have impacted their family or those around them in the past year. Each year, they research and find new groups to give their money to, choosing to share their finances with groups that will make major changes in the world and continue to do so even after Easter Sunday. They wear jeans and those new T-shirts to church on Easter. I love this idea!
These last few years, one thing has changed for me. I view Easter differently than in previous years. While it used to be an important day, for me that was mostly due to the traditions involved—the egg hunts, a new outfit and getting a chocolate bunny. It has taken on a much more serious, somber tone now. Perhaps maturity and seeing it for all the spiritual importance that it is has finally struck a deeper chord than it did when we were younger. My focus at Easter is driven by the sacrifice made for me by my Savior and His miraculous resurrection three days later. I really don’t care about the clothes and the bunny and all the other trappings of the holiday when there is a much greater thing involved. We still have plenty of traditions we take part in at our house, but so much has gone by the wayside as I’ve grown up. It’s just not that important to me to see everyone dressed in their ‘finest’ if their hearts aren’t into what the holiday is really about. So, if you see me at church on Sunday in jeans, it’s not a lack of respect for the day, it’s just that my focus is on something greater than lace and ruffles.
What does Easter look like for you?
(Contact Liz by email at Lizreeves2@aol.com)