Memories from Easter Time

By Jeff Salter

Of course, I know the real point of Easter Sunday has nothing to do with bunnies, egg hunts, or candy.  And it’s not supposed to be about new dresses with frilly gloves and bonnets and shiny shoes.  [Or, for boys, a scratchy new sports coat and a new button-down shirt with an itchy stiff collar.]

But those are the contemporary trappings for many who take notice of this special day.  Consequently, most memories of childhoods at Easter time likely involve something about baskets of candy and more-dressy-than-regular clothing.

Childhood memories

And, yes, I have such memories.

My favorite aspect of Easter was dyeing eggs.  I still remember that pungent smell of vinegar (and boiling ? water?) which was mixed with different concentrated tablets to make those several cups of vivid coloring.

Actually, regarding the outfits, I don’t recall the clothes.  I more remember seeing those old black-&-white snapshots … and recall that I always felt gawky and uncomfortable in the clothing.  In my case, however, it usually was NOT new clothing.  My family practiced the time-honored tradition of hand-me-downs … so my ‘new’ trousers were my big brother’s old slacks and most likely didn’t fit me at all.  Same for the shirts and sports coats.  My parents splurged on the shoes, however, likely because they realized the physical harm of wearing wrong-sized shoes.

But the candy was perhaps the biggest snack event of the year.  At no other time in my childhood were we lavished with tasty treats containing absolutely NO nutritional value whatsoever.  It was wonderful.

I had different tastes than the others in my family, however.  It seemed everybody else liked something called “Heavenly Hash” and another called “Gold Bricks”.  I didn’t care for either of those, but I would eagerly trade with siblings for other goodies which I DID enjoy.

My all time favorite, of course, was pure milk chocolate.  Most, I suppose, were molded as a bunny, and I loved both the solid and the hollow types.  Still do, in fact.

One of the biggest retail days of the year – for me and my brother – was the Monday after Easter, when we’d ride bikes to town and visit the dime stories and drug stores looking for half-price candy.  We never had a lot of money to spend, so having it go twice as far was a real victory.

Grown-up reflections

As a grown-up, I still like to catch the candy on sale.  I have a bit more money now, but still relish the bargain prices.

And I love seeing the grandkids get excited — about the new clothes, the basket of candy, and hunting eggs.

Yeah, the oldest grandkids already know that Easter is really about our risen Savior, rather than a benevolent bunny, but it’s still fun to see the excitement in the eyes of the littlest ones.


What do you remember about childhood Easter time?

Do you have a favorite candy?


About Jeff Salter

Currently writing romantic comedy, screwball comedy, and romantic suspense. Fourteen completed novels and four completed novellas. Working with three royalty publishers: Clean Reads, Dingbat Publishing, & TouchPoint Press/Romance. "Cowboy Out of Time" -- Apr. 2019 /// "Double Down Trouble" -- June 2018 /// "Not Easy Being Android" -- Feb. 2018 /// "Size Matters" -- Oct. 2016 /// "The Duchess of Earl" -- Jul. 2016 /// "Stuck on Cloud Eight" -- Nov. 2015 /// "Pleased to Meet Me" (novella) -- Oct. 2015 /// "One Simple Favor" (novella) -- May 2015 /// "The Ghostess & MISTER Muir" -- Oct. 2014 /// "Scratching the Seven-Month Itch" -- Sept. 2014 /// "Hid Wounded Reb" -- Aug. 2014 /// "Don't Bet On It" (novella) -- April 2014 /// "Curing the Uncommon Man-Cold -- Dec. 2013 /// "Echo Taps" (novella) -- June 2013 /// "Called To Arms Again" -- (a tribute to the greatest generation) -- May 2013 /// "Rescued By That New Guy in Town" -- Oct. 2012 /// "The Overnighter's Secrets" -- May 2012 /// Co-authored two non-fiction books about librarianship (with a royalty publisher), a chapter in another book, and an article in a specialty encyclopedia. Plus several library-related articles and reviews. Also published some 120 poems, about 150 bylined newspaper articles, and some 100 bylined photos. Worked about 30 years in librarianship. Formerly newspaper editor and photo-journalist. Decorated veteran of U.S. Air Force (including a remote ‘tour’ of duty in the Arctic … at Thule AB in N.W. Greenland). Married; father of two; grandfather of six.
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30 Responses to Memories from Easter Time

  1. You’ll have to wait until tomorrow for my favorite candy, Jeff! But, OH, those highly-anticipated Easter baskets! The kids today don’t understand the uniqueness of the candy, in type and volume, that we experienced as kids, huh? I think, since we had less, that we had more in a way, don’t you think? It was all so very special.


    • jeff7salter says:

      For all the years I can remember at home, I had the same basket each year. I think they may have been second hand when my mom got them. My older brother had one nearly identical but there were some color variations which made them easily distinguishable. My younger sister had one of a diff. style… perhaps hers was actually purchased at a real store!


  2. Same kind of memories. Back in the early days, new dress, hat, gloves, and patent shoes etc. then as I got older that whole glove/hat thing passed out of the culture and it was just a dress and shoes. I always got a white chocolate bunny as a kid because regular chocolate was a migraine trigger for me- I was happy when I outgrew that trigger so I could indulge in reg. choc.


  3. Use to love those big chocolate eggs with different flavors of cream inside. Especially like candy with pecans inside.


  4. I too remember the new dress, new white shoes, new hat and new spring coat. I suppose some of the new clothes were necessary because I was growing, and last year’s stuff wouldn’t fit. But it was so exciting to wear them all on Easter Sunday, when we would go to church and listen to all the wonderful, uplifting hymns. And the big basket of treats after dinner was so special. I miss the excitement of those days. Maybe it’s because as an adult, we’re the ones who have to work so hard to make all those special things happen.


    • jeff7salter says:

      I think you hit the nail right on the head, Patty — as adults, we wanted to make events like these so special and so perfect … that there would be no disappointments or inconveniences for our kids (or grandkids). So we heaped a lot of extra stress upon ourselves.


  5. Judy Dutruch says:

    I remember that every year, my mom would take out our previous year Easter hats and get them ready for Sunday morning church service. One hat in particular of mine had a stand up brim and she sewed big silk shasta daisys across the brim. I am so glad that my dad took photos that year. I will. always be able to see that little daisy hat, atop the head of a tiny girl, sitting on the sofa with her older sister, Pat, both with faces that say “I would rather be eating my Easter candy than having to be this dressed up.” Church ladies were always decked out in their finest and most wore beautiful springtime hats….I actually miss those days.


    • jeff7salter says:

      I love this memory, Judy … and would love to see the photo of little Judy on the sofa in her Easter hat.
      Yeah, it seems all the Easter pix I’ve seen of my family back then, the kids had that same expression: “enough already … we want to put on our play clothes!”


  6. Shea Ford says:

    I mostly remember the egg hunts. My Uncle Pete loved to hide the eggs. I’m chuckling now as I remember. Every year, he’d make it harder and harder. He even started in with the camoflage! 😀 When we were too old for the Easter Bunny, we still did the egg hunts anyway because we always had so much fun with them. 😀


    • jeff7salter says:

      Every family needs a person like your Uncle Pete, who enjoys such things and makes it especially fun (& memorable) for the kids.


  7. Great memories! Chocolate was and still is my favorite. =)


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