When I was a kid, Easter Sunday always meant going to church in a new outfit. It might be a new hat, white gloves, shoes, a dress or any combination but it was something brand new. The custom of wearing your Easter best, which originated in Europe, honoured the coming of spring and the meaning of Easter. Both these events signified renewal and The Resurrection. This fashion trend, however, didn’t become popular in North America until the 1880s. It then reached its peak in the late 1940s after the war, a truly perfect time to celebrate the restoration of life. I can remember my dad singing the song, “Put on your Easter bonnet with all the frills upon it.” This Easter tradition more or less died out in our community in the late 1950s but as a young child, I was part of this ritual.

Fast forward in time. Today, going to church is still an important event for families as they celebrate the most important holiday of the Christian calendar. For many, Easter is also a time to eat chocolate, to give baskets filled to the top with candy, to decorate eggs and to participate in egg hunts. A book or a puzzle may even find its way into a child’s stash if the parent wants to cut back on the sugar intake.

I remember Easter mornings with our two children. Now I must tell you, our kids loved to retain childhood celebrations long past their due dates and Easter Bunny was no exception. I’ve been through all their life stages with this rabbit.

When they were little, Tam and Steve would easily find their baskets the minute they woke up. Breakfast was not a happening on Easter morning at the Pilon home. As they got a little older, their baskets were hidden and it took them a few minutes to locate their loot.

Teenage years arrived and along with that age was their full expectation that Easter Bunny would still put in an appearance. I decided to instill the work ethic in them. Let them work for their chocolate breakfast. So, the night before, I would rack my brain trying to come up with clever little riddles for them. These tips, which were specifically aimed at the seeker, also contained subliminal messages for the participant. The first hint would lead to the location of the second clue and the second clue to the third clue etc. until the last eighth or ninth riddle, depending on how creative I had been the night before, resulted with the discovery of the sought-after basket. For example, a suggestion for Tammy might read, “a place Tammy does not know exists.” (answer – dishwasher) or Steven’s suggestion “a hanger-less closet” (answer- under his bed.)

As the kids got smarter to the ways my weird mind worked, it became increasingly more difficult to come up with challenging clues. That poor old rabbit hopping around our house was seriously considering retirement. But alas, that wasn’t in the cards just yet.

With their twenties, came spouses and now the work load increased to four Easter gifts. At this point in time, the baskets were just plunked down on a table in plain view for these young adults to see. Easter Bunny was cutting back on her effort. With the arrival of the grandchildren, it was definitely time to change the program.

Because Easter signals rebirth and new life (our Grandkids were now on the scene) I felt I had the perfect gift for our four adult children’s last Easter gift from Mrs. Bunny. The day arrived. A few chocolate eggs plus a note sat in each basket. Written on the envelope was the message, “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” The card inside contained a date, a time and the address of our lawyer’s office. Chuck and I had made appointments for all four of them to have their wills and powers of attorney drawn up. You may think this is rather a silly idea but I have always believed that everyone over the age of 25 should have these legal documents. Now I could relax. The task was getting done. (But that is another story which I discuss in my May newsletter, “That’s All She Wrote.” lyndapilon.ca)

I wish everyone a joyous Easter as we celebrate this holiday, the day that marks the very foundation of the Christian faith. It is a time for new beginnings, a time for hope.