Easter season changes; Easter reason hasn’t

Published 10:04 am Monday, April 14, 2014

Something About Nothing by Julie Seedorf

The sun is shining, the earth is warmer and it is time to examine my wardrobe for the spring. Easter Sunday is almost here.

As I thought about my wardrobe I remembered my youth where we dressed up for church on Easter Sunday with our dresses and our bonnets. Men wore suits to church, and we had Easter vacation. We attended special church services during Holy Week and the churches were packed.

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Easter Sunday started with an early church service. When my kids were young, the youth served breakfast and 6 a.m. services were normal. The youth participated in the services, not always willingly, because they loved their beds, but they did it because we dragged them out of bed to do it.

In the end they always seemed to enjoy the activity, and it is a part of their memories of Easter, just like my memories of my youth with family and Easter Sunday.

As I contemplated my spring wardrobe and the time of year I realized how much things have changed. As I am writing this I am wondering what I am going to wear to a grandmother/mother/granddaughter tea this weekend. It is dress-up event, and I usually dress down these days. I do own some dresses because I go to this event every year.

My problem this year is that my body didn’t remember the size of the dresses. I think it has increased in size and I am not sure if those dresses that have been hanging in my closet, though various sizes, have increased in size along with my body.

I rarely dress up anymore. I haven’t tried those dresses on for a year, since last spring. I did wear a winter dress once this winter, and, this is sad, I can’t remember why I had to dress up. I do remember thinking how nice it was to dress and go out dressed up. You would think since I only dressed to the nines once this year I would remember why.

When I was having issues with my health a few years ago it was a chore to fix my hair, put on any makeup and care about my clothes. A friend of mine that has had health issues for many years gave me a bit of advice that I remember. She told me to get up and make the effort to do my hair and put my makeup on and dress in something colorful. It would make me feel better. She was right.

We have a way to dress to feel comfortable. We have a way to dress to feel more polished. We have a way to dress to feel daring. We have a way to dress to please other people. We have a way to dress for occasions, at least we used to. I know I feel differently about myself depending on how I am dressed. That may be weird.

I recently did an interview with my grandson for his school. He asked me what was different about school then and now. I told him that girls wore dresses and boys wore pants, no jeans allowed.

This carried on through high school. It was a big deal to have jeans day in school. We had school clothes, dress clothes and play clothes. It might have seemed work for our parents, but we didn’t have as many clothes as kids do now. What I will tell you is that our behavior seemed to be a little different depending on how we were dressed. I am not so sure a dress code in school was a bad thing.

Yes, society has changed. Easter vacation has become spring break. Many families don’t remember Holy Week or know what it is, especially kids. Some churches have given up the early morning service and given up on the kids serving because it is too early for them to get up.

I don’t buy special clothes for Easter Sunday. I don’t know if others do, but I don’t see too many Easter hats anymore. Easter celebrations in churches may have changed. We are a culture of many different nationalities and beliefs, and we have a hard time accepting that we are now a country of many nationalities and religions that celebrate different traditions.

Recently I did an interview with a friend, Alissa Bruss Ellingson, who lives overseas with her family in Malaysia. One of the aspects of her interview that impressed me was the fact that they are integrating and accepting parts of the culture of Malaysia into their daily life.

They are able to practice Christianity a world away from here, but while doing that they are teaching their children about other cultures and religions.

This is one little bit of what they had to say about this; “We have realized over the years that exposing our children to so many different cultures and religions at such a young age has actually helped them to firmly accept our Christian morals and beliefs. We have had some amazing discussions with them about the differences between Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam and Christianity while touring various temples and mosques — and they can readily see for themselves the differences in worship practices and beliefs between the religions.”

You are probably wondering what that statement has to do with clothes and Easter. The way we dress for Easter has changed.  What we call vacation at this time of the year has changed, but for Christians the reason we celebrate Easter hasn’t changed.

We can still embrace our traditions while learning about and respecting other cultures that now reside right here in our country. That is the great thing about America. We have the freedom to practice religion and learn about other religions. What could be greater than that?

Happy Easter.


Wells resident Julie Seedorf’s column appears every Monday. Send email to her at thecolumn@bevcomm.net. Her Facebook page is www.facebook.com/sprinklednotes.