There are so many fantastic things about Easter! About sitting in church on Easter morning! The flowers, the music, the singing, the words spoken, the mass of people, the many greetings, the colorful banners and of course, the scores of children.
Children of all sizes, shapes, and temperaments. Children we normally don’t see in church service because they are in their separate Sunday School classes. Children bright-eyed, scrubbed and dressed to the nines. Girls in their pretty dresses, some with hats and sparkly shoes. Boys in suits and ties, shirts tucked in (at least at the beginning) and shoelaces tied (at least at the beginning).
Getting dressed in one’s finery for holidays, especially Easter, is not something new. I have many memories of my two brothers and me being stuffed into new clothes every Easter dawn. They in matching suits with vests and sometimes new shoes. Me in a beautiful dress made by my mother with hat, gloves, purse, matching socks and shiny patent leather shoes.
Photos were always taken outside in front of the house, with us standing in birth order, very straight and still and a little uncomfortable in our new clothes. My brothers never smiled, their arms hanging down at their sides. Me? I loved it! And the memories are now priceless!!
Today is no different. I thoroughly enjoy the look, the feel and even the smell of new clothes, new shoes and a new purse. And making these memories for children now is just as important as when I was little.
It is said that clothes make the person, but I think clothes can also make the occasion. Along with decorations, food, rituals and gifts, special dress can make an event even more memorable for a child.
Getting dressed up means you act different, talk different, do things differently, and use your best manners. Special clothes on a special day means special things will be happening – visiting with special people you haven’t seen for some time, eating special food, singing special songs, giving special gifts, playing special games. All of it is very, very special, requiring lots and lots of photos for those very special memories.
What all this means is, it’s worth it. It’s worth all the time, expense and worry to get it together for an event for a child. I remember a time during fourth grade when I was invited to a birthday party almost every weekend. My mother, the great seamstress. made a new dress for me for each party. When I expressed my wonder at her extreme effort, she said, “If you have a good time in a dress once, it’s worth it.”
That’s not to say every child needs new clothes each time he/she walks out the door. But it does mean that every child deserves our effort and time to make their days worth remembering. I does mean that if it’s an occasion for fun, food and festivity, it’s worth getting dressed up.