Monday, April 10, 2017

Easter Week Traditions From My Past

When I was a young girl, holidays were always big events at our house.
Mom was both a planner and a decorator and while Christmas was her
 big decorating holiday, Easter was too.  She would spend days on her
Easter centerpiece for the dining room table.   I remember her encouraging
branches to bloom in vases around the house.  Tulips and daffodils were
everywhere.  She planned her menu weeks in advance.  Although Easter
Sunday dinner was always roast leg of lamb and asparagus and new potatoes,
she hunted through all her favorite magazines for the latest appetizer craze
and fabulous dessert.  We were always sure to have the perfect dinner
after church.

Daddy was in charge of hiding the colored Easter eggs.  He was so good
at hiding eggs that we practically had to turn the house upside down to
discover them all.  He never repeated himself though.  After an egg was
carefully slipped into the hem of a drape one year, he never used that
idea again, yet we continued to laugh about it for years.

Since the weather along the shores of Lake Michigan in the suburbs
of Chicago was so unpredictable in spring, Mom always made sure 
that we had our spring coats.  Shopping for a new coat for me each
spring was a yearly event.  Of course, that was back in the day when
there was still a Marshall Fields and a Best & Co. and shopping for
just the right coat was a special event.  One year when I was still
quite young, about four or five, my Mom made me a navy blue coat
with white trim and buttons and the same coat to match for my doll.
On Easter morning, we were all dressed and ready to go to church a
bit early so that Daddy could take pictures.  Daddy was an amateur
photographer and he had a pricey camera with all sorts of settings.
In many of the family photos, no one was smiling because it took him
so long to get all the settings just perfect.  The Easter Sunday I wore
the navy blue coat, I looked quite serious in my close up shot.  I think
I was exhausted from posing so long ;-)

Good Friday was a solemn day at our house.  For my Mom it was a day
of reflection on the sacrifice Christ made for us.  No meat, no television,
no parties.  Mom's rules.  I don't see many adhering to that policy now,
but that's how it was when I was growing up.

What were the traditions of your family and have they changed today?

Big Texas Hugs,
Susan and Bentley


  1. Definitely no meat on any Fridays during lent. We ate lots of fish & tuna these Fridays. Sure looked forward to my momma's ham with all the fixin's on Easter Sunday. Not to mention the Easter basket full of goodies.

    1. I was raised in a Protestant home, so I'm not sure why we didn't eat meat on Good Friday only and not the other Fridays during Lent.

  2. Our Easter traditions were similar. Shopping for Easter outfits that included matching hats, gloves, shoes, purses and Spring coats was so much fun. I'm the baby of a large family and our holiday dinners usually consisted of 25 to 30 people. We lived in a small bungalow in the suburbs of Cleveland, so folding tables and chairs were set up in the basement to provide seating for all. Easter dinner was served after we attended church. (Sunday School and then the actual church service was something we did every week, along with attending Sunday evening service and Wednesday evening prayer service. I was raised Southern Baptist, which involved lots of church attendance!) Easter baskets and egg hunts followed dinner. Such wonderful memories. Your decor is adorable. I love the quilt you have on the white chair. So pretty. Have a great week.

    1. Which suburb of Cleveland? My parents were both from Cleveland. It wounds like you have wonderful memories of Easter.

  3. I grew up in a Catholic household and was the oldest of 9 children. All us girls, (5 of us) got new dresses, (which I usually made once I turned 12), new Easter hats and shoes, and the boys had new suits. We hunted Easter eggs, had Easter Baskets, and then attended Mass as a family. I was always proud of how we looked, despite the fact that I knew we were "poor". We always celebrated all the holidays and had a nice clean home and plenty to eat. I was never embarrassed to bring home friends. We also observed Lent, (no candy, etc.) And Good Friday was the same at out house also. We always prayed before meals, and of course said our prayers at night.

    I actually feel sorry for people who do not have traditions. I think many of us went through a period where we thought doing away with them made us somehow "more modern", but I now think traditions are important for family unity.

    1. I was an only child so I really envy your large family. You describe yourself as being "poor", but I think you were wealthy in love and family and there is nothing more dear than that blessing.

  4. Sounds like you have wonderful childhood memories of Easter's past. I don't recall many memories from my Easter's past as a child. Perhaps it was because my grandfather passed away on Good Friday. I have made an effort to celebrate in a way that my children and grandchildren will love looking back on their Easter's. We do more of a picnic meal with ham and potato salad, jello salad, sandwich rolls. My grandchildren are all too old to hunt eggs so guess I will wait for the Greats to come along.

    1. The wonderful thing about being an adult is that one can choose to either follow traditions or make one's own. Your picnic meal sounds like fun.

  5. I loved reading about your wonderful family memories for Easter. Your dear mom would have been a great blogger! Thank you for sharing. I have just a few lines of what our Easter was for us in NY.
    I'm in love with that rabbit cookie jar, it's just the perfect thing to make your lovely home look ready for Easter.

    1. Yes, my Mom would have been a good blogger. She followed all the decorating trends, loved trying out new recipes and always had the most beautiful roses.

  6. Oh- What a wonderful memory bank you have to draw from for your childhood Easters. I love that your mom was so into decorating and making sure everything was perfect.
    Once my mother started going to church we always got a new outfit for Easter and that was exciting. I never got to go to pick it out though- it was bought and handed to me.
    Love the stories about your daddy! xo Diana

    1. You must have been a very obedient little girl! I always wanted to choose my own clothes and according to my Mom, was rather stubborn about what I was willing to wear ;-)

  7. When my children were little, I would make a big deal out of the holidays - lots of decorations, etc. - I find I'm not doing that much anymore now that they are grown and have adult children of their own. I love your vignettes and wish you a blessed Easter celebration.

    1. I'm sure if we had children, I would be busy filling Easter baskets.

  8. Your home is so pretty. I just discovered your blog and I'll be back for sure for decorating inspiration. Love your bunny teapot!

  9. When I was a child, Easter was a big family holiday as well. Shopping for the easter outfits was a priority, as well as the corsages. My mother was a stickler for the orchids and what color they were. You couldn't wear a white orchid because that symbolized your mother had passed away. We did the Easter sunrise service, then went out to breakfast with friends. The sunrise service was always beautiful at the park where there was a cross picked out in blooming azaleas, so if it was warm, the azaleas bloomed, you had this cross of azaleas. (I live in Virginia) Then after breakfast we quickly went home to change if it had been cold in the morning into our 'easter ' outfits for sunday school and church, them back home for easter dinner . Mom always decorated and she and my dad always cooked a ham which took several days the way they cooked it, with pineapple and cherries. She also decorated a tree outside with the eggs on colored strings.

    I don't think the 'modern' traditions of today are better by doing 'less' , I actually miss it. I have begun to slowly get back into the tradition of Easter of my younger years. My husband was raised Catholic and can remember huge celebrations so we are planning on having a nice Easter dinner as well. We have already had our Palm Sunday dinner this weekend.

    1. I'm not sure I like the idea of doing less either. I'm guessing we are not alone.

  10. Sweet memories. I love that little basket.


Bentley and I LOVE and read every comment.


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