Easter was always a major holiday for our family. It meant a big ham dinner, Easter Bunny goodies, The Wizard of Oz on TV and springbreak. I also understood and appreciated the significance of Good Friday, and the Resurrection.
Eastertime also meant a new dress and pastel colored coat, shiny patent leather shoes, white gloves, frilly socks and a lacy petticoat, and a little purse to match the dress, coat or shoes. The purse always held nothing but the obligatory hanky, maybe some tissue and some coins to put in church. I remember the coins rattling around in the new purse. And of course there had to be a new hat to complete the ensemble and my hair in curls instead of braids.
But, growing up in Chicago was often traumatic around Easter. There you are with this new pale yellow spring coat that you couldn't wait to wear (and show off) in Sunday School and on Easter morning it's 30 degrees outside and snowing. We only lived a half block from Coppin A.M.E. Church on Michigan Ave.,but my mother insisted it was still too cold to wear the new coat. Talk about big fights and tears.
All dressed up with tear stained face and mouth stuck out and mad, I'd go clunking down to church in boots and winter coat and hat. It would be freezing and I knew my shiny patent shoes, frilly socks and feet would've been soaked. I knew she was right and that made me madder. I just knew I'd be the only one in this heavy gear on Easter Sunday and of course I was wrong. Some girls did get their way though and they got to church shivering and wet, patent shoes squeeking and dull and ruined.
I never told my mom how glad I was that she didn't let that happen to me.