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I have some memories of Easter as a kid.

I say “some” because when I really think back my brain can only recall bits and pieces of Easter. We were not a religious family. There were no trips to church in our spring time best. That’s not to say we didn’t dress up, or have family dinners. Oh, we did all of that. We just did it without the trip to church.

I have tons of pictures of me as a small child dressed up for Easter. I have photos of my mom and various relatives with corsages and bonnets. Sometimes there was snow in the background. Sometimes there were crocuses. But in almost every photo we had bad hair and home-made dresses courtesy of my wonderful, thrifty, did her best to stretch a buck mom.

So here is what I remember best about Easter:

  • Chocolate bunnies. Every Easter comes with a chocolate bunny. They were hollow and ultra sugary with eyes that tasted like dried frosting.
  • My Mom’s Easter Ceramics. At one point my mom took various courses. One was in ceramics, but not the kind of ceramics I knew. This was a joint where you took a pre-molded form and just painted it. Then some flunkie fired it in the kiln for you and voila! You had a very nice, professional looking piece of ceramic-ware. She must  have taken this class in the late winter because she had a variety of bunnies – really cute bunnies that she would lay out around the house. One was a candy dish shaped like a bunny rolling joyfully on his back in the grass atop an Easter egg – you could lift and get a handful of jelly beans or chocolate eggs in pastel tin foil.
  • pysankyThe Slovak Eggs. We had these very delicate, finely painted Easter eggs from Czechoslovakia that would be displayed in a wicker basket. She would use something like excelsior for bedding. They were so beautiful to look at, and also so dangerous. Very fragile – one false move and you were grounded until Memorial Day.
  • Cadbury Cream Eggs. I don’t quite recall when I got turned onto these things, but I know they were relatively new when I was in my “tween” years. I had one. And then two. And then 6. And then too many. I gave one to my daughter when she was around 12 and she said they were gross. Oh well. It was for the best that she found them repulsive.
  • 1337_2_The Lamb Cake. Oh, the lamb cake. If only I could stumble into a Michaels store and find the lamb mold in the clearance bin. My mother had a 3 dimensional lamb cake mold and every Easter she’d make one and decorate it with white frosting and green colored coconut and jelly bean eggs. Oh, it was so wonderful to slice into that furry little bastard after dinner!  I’ve seen the molds online, but have never had the nerve to waste the family’s money on one. Now that my oldest is almost off to college, I fear I have waited too long. Plus, I sorta suck at baking.
  • The Ten Commandments. Okay, I already said we weren’t a particularly religious family, but have memories of watching this in our living room. Dad would be on the floor doing his leg and stomach exercises with a cup of Sanka by his side. I’d be looking forward the part where the old lady almost gets crushed between the stones.

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  • Pin Curls. When I was very small my Aunt Carol lived with us. That is a future post that I have to write about. She would put our hair in pin curls the night before Easter and we’d wake up with heads of freakishly curly hair. Oh, and the dresses in the above photo were all made by my mother. I have her Singer, but it does not sing for me.

My kids? I haven’t failed them in the Easter memory department. They will remember egg hunts, rain or shine, dying eggs, and baskets filled with a lot of crap they sometimes never really used. I never, ever did the pre-packaged baskets. I always went overboard – sometimes Easter was like Christmas part deux. But not this year. The year of the jobless mommy.

This year it was a chocolate bunny, and some marshmallow eggs along with coupons for movies at the bargain theater, picnics and foot rubs. Maybe I should try some pincurls. Nah. But I would like to buy that lamb mold…

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