Being on this earth for 42 Easters thus far I’ve learned a thing or two about Easter fashion and finding the perfect Easter dress for myself and my two daughters. Having been a mother for the past 19 years I’m also well aware of the Easter candy shuffle. There’s a lot of man hours dedicated to compiling a legendary Easter basket that contains the perfect consistency of sugary confections and trendy items, most of which will likely be lost or broken before the following Monday.
When I was a child we didn’t have a lot of extra money, but my mother always made sure we had an Easter dress. It may have been purchased from a clearance rack, a hand me down from a cousin or neighbor, or even from a garage sale, but we always had a dress. It was deemed one of the only Sundays where you had to be presentable. It didn’t matter if we looked like ragamuffins the other 51 Sundays of the year.
Being a preacher’s daughter and a preacher’s daughter-in-law (for 22 years) I’m well versed in the different styles of Easter Sermons that come along with the fanfare of Easter Sunday morning. It’s that obligatory church attendance that will have you wondering who all of the new faces are in church. More times than not, you may not see these people until next year unless you run into them at the local Walmart.
Easter Sundays are different for a preacher’s family. There are weeks of preparations that go into the sermon, crowd control, and special music. They’ll arrive at church earlier than normal and typically stay longer as well. Meaning, the family doesn’t eat until much later, which has them running a high risk of having “hangry” kids and inpatient Preacher’s wives.
My favorite Easter Sunday growing up was when my dad invited a lot of extra people over for lunch and my mother was very much unprepared. But, her four-letter vocabulary was very prepared for the occasion. We still chuckle at the thought of my soft spoken mother articulating her displeasure with her entire bank of swear words.
There is no stress like Holy Week stress.
The Easter stress finally caught up with me this year as I told my youngest daughter to text me a few things she may want in her basket this year. I was met with dead silence, then she weakly uttered the words, “the Easter Bunny isn’t real.” Oops. Sorry kiddo. Life is full of little white parental lies.
This year has been different for so many reasons. When I stopped long enough to do the math on the amount of time, energy and money that was dedicated to purchasing 42 Easter dresses for myself, 18 for my oldest and 10 for my youngest it was completely overwhelming and a little disheartening. So disheartening I’m thinking of wearing jeans Sunday morning.
Easter isn’t about the dress or a fashion show. It’s not about the perfectly filled basket. It’s not about the perfect family meal. It’s not about the perfect guest list for lunch. It’s not about perfectly well behaved children and a dozen pictures posted to prove how perfect our life is.
I’m a Christian who is ashamed to admit that her prior 42 Easters were all about the perfection. All about the dress and stress.
I am walking into my 43rd Easter as a divorced and flawed Christian believer who’s faith has been tested tremendously for the last 10 months dealing with the loss of a family unit. But, due to this it’s the first year I’ve spent time reflecting on the events that led up to the Crucifixion of Christ. My eyes have been opened and my heart filled with the true meaning of Easter Sunday for the first time in my life and I am grateful for this tragedy that has brought me closer to him.
“Then Jesus came forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate said unto them, Behold the man!”