By Alissa Sheppard
An oversized bunny carrying a basket full of colorful eggs is my earliest childhood memory of the holiday many of us know as Easter. As a child when Easter rolled around that is all I ever saw, eggs, a bunny, and lots of chocolate. For me this holiday was almost as good as Halloween, I got to pop open little plastic eggs and eat whatever I found inside of them.
When I started to get a little older I began to realize that this day meant a little more than just eating candy out of an egg It was a special day and I realized this because everyone always wore their best outfit. A week or two before Easter my mom would pile my siblings and me in the car and we would go to get clothes for church. But this was not an ordinary church outfit. My brothers would wear nice pants and shirts and they even got to wear ties like older men. My sister and I would get very beautiful dresses and ruffle socks that would make our ankles itch, which was my least favorite part. We also got to buy purses and if we were lucky we could get little white ruffle gloves to match our itchy socks. If this wasn’t the life, then I don’t know what was.
We would go to church and everyone would be there, people I didn’t normally see on a regular Sunday, it seemed like the church house was extra packed on this day. After church we would take a million pictures. Then we would go change in to a relaxed outfit for the rest of the day.
My mom would drive to my grandparents’ house and all my cousins would be there, and the games began. We would dye eggs. Then the adults would hide the plastic eggs in my grandparents’ big yard, and tell us not to look, but we always did. After hours of playing outside, eating and enjoying fun with the family we would go home and Easter was about to be over.
It was not until I was older is when I found out the true meaning of Easter. I learned that Jesus died for our sins and was resurrected on the third day to give us new life. He died on Friday and rose on Sunday so we celebrate his “new life.” So I began to wonder where did this bunny and these eggs come from? This tradition has nothing to do with the Christian faith. After I learned what Easter really meant, I began to study why we celebrated Jesus rising with a bunny and colorful eggs. This was brought over to the United States by settlers who used the bunny and eggs as “new life.” The rabbit just has to do with spring-time. These symbols were adapted by Christians and that is where we get the Easter bunny and his colorful eggs. To this day children still go on Easter egg hunts to find goodies that were left for them.
I loved Easter because of the gifts I received as a child, but now that I have grown up and know the true meaning, I love the real gift that Jesus gave to me.
Alissa Sheppard is a senior majoring in communication, you may email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.