Posted by: chlost | April 24, 2011

New ways

Today is Easter Sunday. What are my plans?

Well, my husband is working today. He won’t be done until 6 pm. My son is going to a baseball game. My other son is working, his wife and daughters are trying to pass the time until the baby is born. They live an hour away from us. My mom is having a nice Easter dinner at her assisted living place. My daughter lives thousands of miles away. My brother is spending the weekend meeting his new girlfriend’s family.

I am going to spend the day alone, in a quiet house, with the dog.

It hasn’t always been this way.

When we were kids, Easter was a big day in our family. We always dressed up in fancy Easter clothes. We loved to have a beautiful spring dress, shiny new shoes, even a little purse-

Easter, 1961

Aren’t the hats wonderful? Back then, every REAL lady wore a hat on special occasions.

There was always an early morning church service, a big family dinner, and of course the Easter basket and egg hunt. My parents didn’t do the egg hunt in the yard,  we had to find jelly beans around the house.  There was always a chocolate bunny and those yellow peeps in the baskets.

When my children were young, Easter was a fun day for our kids. After we began attending a church, we usually made it to the service. There were jelly beans hidden around the house, a basket for each of them with a chocolate bunny. I am not including photos of them searching for the jelly beans while in their underwear. They enjoyed it, but we found that damn cellophane grass around the house months later. There was a big family dinner. Even up to last year we had dinner at our house.

This year, no one is attending a church service (well, my brother probably is-I think the girlfriend’s family is religious), and even our granddaughters are not participating in any bunny activities. No one is interested in the traditional religious holiday.

When I was younger, I loved the music that came with an Easter church service. I still do love the music. But I don’t have any religion left in me. I don’t think I could sit through a church service, on Easter or any other time.

Each generation has moved farther away from a traditional Easter. The day now marks the (hopefully) impending spring. If I were to make baskets now, I think they would contain flowers, fruits and chocolate-good quality chocolate.

Things change. People change. I feel as though I have grown up. I know that many others are celebrating their faith and will take offense at this. I respect their faith, even though it is not for me.  I only ask that everyone respect the beliefs of others.

For me, I believe that the best way to spend the day is to celebrate the beautiful sunny weather by getting outdoors. Maybe a little gardening, maybe a little sitting on the deck.

I might even see a bunny.



  1. Cool. I don’t celebrate Easter either! 🙂

    My son is out bike riding this morning and later on I intend to take a nice long walk along a river. Finally some blue skies…

    • Ah, but you do have Passover. I think being outside is the sensible thing.

  2. We’ve a house full of family but that is to do with the public holidays, not with celebrating Easter. I’ve been celebrating nature, and had a little snooze in the sun.

    • The snooze in the sun sounds magical.

  3. I still wear hats to church and have a nice collection. Jeff used to tease me about it. Your photos remind me of me and sister when we were small. I’m not doing much either. I went to Easter vigil mass last evening and have mostly relaxed or tried to get caught up with blogging.

    • You should do a post sometime on your hat collection. I love them, but can’t pull them off. Something about being tall, I just don’t feel comfortable adding a hat on top.

      • What a great idea for a post!!! Thank you!!! If I decide to do it, you’ll get credit!!!! And I used to feel the same way about hats (insecure about standing out or somesuch) because I’m tall, too — 5’10” and shrinking. It’s part of the baggage I dropped when I left my husband. Maybe I should share my ‘little black dress’ collection, too. Audrey Hepburn would be proud!

      • Yes, I think it would be a good post, and I will look forward to reading it! I would love to see pictures of you in the hats as well as the little black dresses.

  4. In a rogue Catholic family, when we were kids we went to church on Christmas and Easter. I should dig out my old pictures of my mom wearing white gloves and my sister in her new pink easter dress.

    • Huh, Robert, why does it not surprise me that you were a rogue Catholic? My mom also wore white gloves, and we did once in a while, too.

  5. “But I don’t have any religion left in me.”

    Me, neither, dear. I’ve gone Druid, pagan, in love with an endangered Nature. I spent my Easter planting vegetables and flowers, doing some gentle pruning and caregiving in the yard, and it felt just right.

    Maybe a new tradition, then. I love your idea of an Easter Basket. I would rename it an Ishtar Basket, to be historically accurate: flowers, fruit, wine, and good, good chocolate. Perhaps some seed packets. Send it out to all the women in your life, those who remember the hats and white gloves, and those who don’t have a tradition of their own.

    Today, I clean house and listen on my iPod for the second time to James Tabor’s The Jesus Dynasty. There’s only one church I can stomach, the First Unitarian-Universalist Church of San Diego–too far away, today. But the historical study of religions continues to fascinate me.

    Happy Ishtar, honey! You are not alone.

    • I like the new holiday idea. I also like the historical study of religions, and am always amazed at what I learn. Happy Ishtar to you as well!

  6. Oh, I like you so much. Amen, atheist sista. I actually have struggled a bit on Easter with the tension between religion (NO) and my desire to throw candy into my children’s paths. Mostly, I’m dumb and irreverent about the religion and happy and delighted to eat from their baskets.

  7. Another thing we have in common – no religion. I too dressed in spring finery for church (as a child). One of the girls in that photo, could have been me. Spent my day fixing a special dinner. Baked ham, coleslaw, waldorf salad, potato salad, fresh asparagus and deviled eggs. It rained so stayed indoors. Each family member spent the day in their own pursuits, occasionally crossing paths in the kitchen.

    • Your dinner sounds wonderful, close to the menu I have made every Easter for the past 20 years. I have to say I didn’t really miss it, though, although I missed having my husband’s aunt here this year.

  8. Ditto for the religious thing. I raked manure that went into the pile that turns into lovely nutrients for the many gardens (ours included) that supply real food to my friends and neighbors. It’s really good poop.

    • That seems so appropriate somehow. Horse poop is a valuable commodity.

    • Spreading manure? You must be a member of the clergy! 🙂

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