Easter Memories of Growing Up in Highland Park

Easter 1959

Easter 1959

My mom enjoyed every holiday on the calendar. She wanted to make each holiday special for her family by decorating for each holiday and help us get excited about the upcoming occasion. Easter was no exception. Mom made this holiday very special to us.

My Easter celebration started sometime before Easter with a trip to Robert Hall clothing store on Woodward and Candler. Normally, my clothes were purchased at Sears and Roebuck, or the Hudson’s Budget Store, but for Easter Mom would go all out. A trip to Robert Hall meant a new suit to wear for Easter. I never liked suits (I still don’t) but to Mom it was important that we looked our best on Easter. Mom would pick out a “perfect suit” for me and then get a clip-on tie to go with it.  I don’t know what Dad thought about the cost, but I was now ready for Easter!

The old Robert Hall building on Woodward and Candler

The old Robert Hall building on Woodward and Candler

Before Easter was Palm Sunday. I never learned until later the meaning of Palm Sunday, but it was a special occasion at the Highland Park Congregational Church where we attended.  Normally, the children didn’t enter the church sanctuary, but on Palm Sunday we had our chance to have a small part in the worship service.  We would be given a palm leaf. Then we would line up and march down the long aisle of the church. This seemed to make the older people happy.  For me, it just seemed neat to see people smile.

The center aisle of the sanctuary of the Highland Park Congregational Church

The center aisle of the sanctuary of the Highland Park Congregational Church

During the week before Easter, Mom would get everything ready to color our Easter Eggs.  She would buy special egg coloring and then boil the eggs that we were going to color.  Mom would prepare several bowls with different colors. Mom would give me an egg dipper for my egg. I would place the egg tenderly in the dipper then place it inside the bowl.  I would marvel as the egg would change colors before my eyes. Though I enjoyed coloring the eggs, I never ate them because I didn’t like eggs in any form or fashion.

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When Easter morning arrived, our job was to find our Easter baskets. Mom would take great pleasure in hiding the baskets from us.  I remember one year she had hidden my basket in the clothes dryer. Once the basket was found, the eating began. The baskets generally had jelly beans, small chocolate eggs (my favorite) marshmallow eggs (not my favorite), a few small chocolate bunnies and one large chocolate bunny.  The treats in the basket would last awhile. It wasn’t often that we would have so much chocolate to enjoy.

After we had a start on the baskets, then I would go with Mom to church. I don’t remember much about Easter in church because the children had their own church time. I am sure we heard something about the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, but at that time in my life, the death and resurrection of Christ were very vague to me.

As I look back upon my Easter celebrations, I know that I didn’t really understand the true meaning of Easter, but I am thankful for my mother making it a special occasion in my life.  I know that she went out of her way to make us happy to this special time of year.  When I was young, I just took all of this for granted.  I am thankful for my Mom who cared enough to do the extra little things in the life of her family.

Looking good in our Robert Hall suits.

Looking good in our Robert Hall suits.

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