When I was little Easter was big. Huge, even. I was forced to attend Sunday School and church every Sunday of my tortured childhood so there was a lot o' Easter there - palm fronds and shit, too. And church was really the big impetuous for The Easter Dress (and shoes and socks and little hat and, in a good year, a little Easter purse). Seriously big deal. And usually all pastel. The shopping and procuring of said Easter outfit was also a big deal but, honestly, I don't remember a lot about that.
I remember the obligatory picture of us lined up in front of the house all dressed up. That was also a big deal. But, the biggest deal was the hunt.
At our house it was before Sunday School and before we got into our Easter clothes. It was, in reality, not really a big deal, maybe a couple of dozen real hard boiled eggs that we had colored on Saturday scattered around the lawn. Inside we had jelly beans on the plate next to our cereal bowls. It really wasn't much, honest. But, to us, it was HUGE. Jelly beans with breakfast??!!
A couple of other Easter Things Of Yore.
There was one shopping center in town. It was a strip mall that had a Woolworths in the center of it. Every Easter that I can remember there which is roughly 1955-1964, for the week before Easter, Woolworths had, for sale, outside their store, live baby bunnies and live baby chicks. And the chicks had been died pink and purple and yellow and blue. I am not kidding. Go in, get your thread or curlers or whatever it was you were shopping for and, on the way out the door, pick up a bunny or a pink chick - they would put them in a little cardboard box for you.
You would take them home where the city laws, more than likely, prohibited chickens and probably rabbits. And they would either die soon after or (as I suspect in my case) my Mom gave them to the lady who delivered eggs to us every week and then told us they died.
Every Easter. Yep.
And finally... we lived in North Carolina. Which at that time was the only state that had Easter Monday as a state holiday. In our town, it was traditionally a day of tea dances. The grownups would get all gussied up at noon and go party until godknowswhen. We always got a babysitter which Mom locked down the year before because babysitters were impossible to find for Easter Monday tea dancing. On the Tuesday after Easter we'd start lobbying for Mom to get her hooks into our favorite and lock her down for the next year.
Now, some 60+ years later, I rarely even know when Easter is except seeing random kids with empty baskets going in for the hunt like this morning. I do get a chuckle at the thought of the OUTRAGE that would ensue of Walmart or RiteAid tried selling bunnies and dyed chickies outside their store.