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Springtime Memories: Easter Sunday back in the day

Written By | Apr 14, 2017

Missouri, April 14, 2017 – As a child growing up in the 30’s and 40’s many can remember the families getting dressed up in their finest to go to church to celebrate the Christian tradition of the resurrection of Christ.

They would have Easter egg hunts on the church grounds followed by families joining together for a lavish meal. It was very simple and not a lot of expense was incurred for fancy clothes or gifts. We lived in a rural area where department stores filled with frilly dresses and festooned hats had to be ordered. Plus there was a cost for something you could not eat or plant to grow the food for the table. Fancy clothes were not a priority.

Chickens were plentiful. Therefore, having enough eggs for Easter was no problem. As a side note families would sell eggs to a man from the town that in turn sold them to the grocery store. This was a way for the women earn “pin” money for items they might want to buy on their trip to town – the occasional store-bought goods.

Easter through the eyes of a woman

The coloring of eggs was a family affair. Everyone gathered around the kitchen table and colored eggs. Artistic pride was at stake. The color of the eggs was a thought process followed by what type of design if any.

Now several adults of the family did the hiding of the eggs on Easter Sunday early in the morning to ensure no early discoveries by the potential searchers later in the day. The egg hunt took place after the major dinner. A side note is what we called dinner, is now called lunch and what they call dinner today was known as supper.

Big families were in in those days. You needed help on the farm and folks accepted what family God sent to them. The result was that in those days so there was always a crowd on the church lawn for our feast where ham, and friendship, were both plentiful. The fixings were also great. We had everything imaginable. The cellar is where the fruits and vegetables were kept in those one and only Mason jars. Remember the wonderful home-made jellies that were additionally sealed with a wax coating on the top.

The fixings, or sides, was everything imaginable. The cellar is where the fruits and vegetables were kept in Mason jars and there was always plenty of home-made jellies that were sealed with a wax coating on the top, just waiting for buttery biscuits.

Via Dolorosa: Where Jesus walked

After dinner activities included horseshoes and target practice. Target practices were you hung a square piece of iron on a tree with the hole in the middle representing the bull’s eye. The piece of iron was painted with axle grease to help determine were the bullets hit the iron if it missed the bull’s eye, and if you did not see it in either place well you missed the whole target, which resulted in much friendly ribbing.

Amongst the food, the egg hunt, and the game, no one ever forgot the reasons we gathered. Easter is Christendom’s most important holiday as it celebrates the resurrection of Christ. Unfortunately today, for far too many, Easter has been secularized and commercialized more and more. IN a time of uncertainty, both home and abroad, let’s remember to celebrate this holiday first from a religious perspective followed by a day of family and friends getting together and experiencing love and friendship, the building blocks in building a religious foundation, especially for the younger generation.

However, that’s from a time and place I am from.



Charles Vandegriff, Sr.

Charles spent a fifty-four-year career in technology, retiring at the director level from three major corporations. Followed by three-plus years as a freelance columnist, he has published three books, made over three hundred speeches to senior organizations, and been involved in numerous radio interviews and one television commercial. He has been married for sixty-five years, and has four children, seven grandchildren and thirteen great-grand children. Charles is also a Navy veteran.