MISSOURI, April 4, 2015 — Easter in the 30’s and 40’s was a time of great celebration. Families dressed up in their finest to go to church to celebrate the Christian tradition of the resurrection of Christ.
Churches held Easter egg hunts on the grounds, followed by the families getting together for a lavish meal. Afterwards, there was often another egg hunt at home.
Easter was about family and community, not about major gifts. Many families were struggling to put food on the table, so fancy clothes or expensive gifts simply were not a priority.
Chickens were plentiful, so having enough eggs for Easter was no problem. Coloring of eggs was a family affair. Everyone gathered around the kitchen table and colored eggs. Artistic pride was at stake. Family members carefully thought out the color they would select for their eggs and then add designs. Color of the eggs was a thought process followed by what type of design-if any.
The dinners included large and extended families, and generally included ham. Side dishes were plentiful and often extravagant. Families raided cellars and opened mason jars to create the feast. Remember the wonderful home-made jellies that were additionally sealed with a wax coating on the top?
After dinner there were many activities such as horseshoes and target practice. For target practice, families 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 where the bullets hit the iron if it missed the bull’s eye. If you missed the whole target, you were in for some serious ribbing.
Above all, Easter was honored as the Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Christ. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the centerpiece of the Christian faith, according to the Apostle Paul, who even says that if Jesus Christ has not been resurrected then the Christian faith is worthless and futile (1
Cor. 15:14-17). Therefore, without Easter there is no Christianity.
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, which are one of the building blocks in building a religious foundation, especially for the younger generation.