When I was young, I remember Easter being a 'special' day. I would receive a 'frilly' new dress, shinny new shoes (they were black patent leather) and a colorful flowery little bonnet to wear. Mum or grandmother would spend the time to curl my hair even though the bonnet would cover it. I had curly hair too.
Pictures were taken after we were all dressed and just about ready to go to church. (I can't find them tho, I think they're packed in a box I haven't gotten around to unapcking yet.) We didn't often get to dress up for Sunday church and when we did.... it had to be a special day. After church those frilly fancy clothes were off and regular playday clothes were on again, those 'new' outfits were carefully put away for the next time.
I recall Easter egg hunts on the church grounds for the little ones, and colorful 'food baskets' for families who didn't have a lot of money. Mum and my aunt would hardboil two dozen eggs and color them for us to eat another time. I never got to help them because it was supposed to be a surprise for us. Thing was, I was old enough ... I could smell them being cooked the night before. Someone put vinegar into the boiling water so the shells wouldn't crack and break (I would later learn). There was a train ride into Boston to stay with the grandparents for the week.
The dinner grandmother fixed was huge as I recall. There was always a lot of food on the table and around the kitchen. The smells were grand making ones stomach rumble (or growl if you will) in anticipation. There was a huge ham, mashed potatoes, green beans, buttery flavored dinner rolls, and a mint jelly and pickle condiment tray. Desert was homemade deep dish apple crisp, peach cobbler, or blue berry cobbler and vanillla ice cream was available to go on top. Our Easter baksets weren't big, but they were overloaded with goodies... chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chicks come to mind.
I haven't had small ones around for many years, so the tradition has been lost .... though as I was coming into the trailer park where I live yestersay afternoon, I was flagged down by a nice man who was inviting all the residents to an Easter egg hunt for the small ones early this morning. That invitation is what reminded me of these long time ago memories.
Happy Easter everyone! What ever you do today ... make it fun and joyful!