Today is Easter Eve. As you read this, I am at the end of a week off from work in which my plans included spring cleaning and sleeping. And praying for no more snow.
The last of which isn't unusual at Eastertime when you're a Yooper.
A Facebook post earlier this month by a lovely friend of mine, Guin Kulie, got me to really thinking about Easter and my memories of this most sacred of Christian holidays.
Guin posted: "Easter is NOT Christmas. Man, I was happy to get a basket of candy and a new swimsuit when I was a kid. My unfortunate children will be getting similar baskets."
Guin, your children are not unfortunate, at least not in my estimation. Because like Christmas, Easter has devolved into a gift-giving extravaganza rather than a holy day.
For us Christians, Easter was once a time of reflection and of thankfulness for the Savior's sacrifice for our benefit. I respect other people's religious beliefs and practices, but I have no hesitation in saying as a Christian, I try to keep in my heart Easter's profound significance: If not for the sorrow of Good Friday and the joy of Easter, Christmas wouldn't really matter.
All that being said, Easter was an important day in my growing up years. We went to church just about every Sunday in my youth, but we did not miss Easter services. Period. Snow or rain or busy schedules did not stand in the way of getting to church for the celebration of Easter.
My parents made sure of that.
The Easter Bunny made his way to our house as well, but as Guin points out, it wasn't a blowout "make your house look like a toy, electronics or sporting goods store" kind of day.
Guin is much younger than I am but her childhood recollections are similar to mine: The Easter Bunny brought a basket of candy - and at our house new shoes, not a new swimsuit - but that was about it.
Unlike some of my childhood friends' experiences, Mr. E. Bunny did not hide eggs at our house which I am sure was at my father's request. He was a hunter, but not of Easter eggs.
A Prusi family Easter meant we looked at what the bunny brought, had a quick breakfast, then went to church. We came home to the incredible aroma of the ham my mother put in the oven early that morning. Dinner with all the trimmings followed, with various relatives in attendance through the years.
During my college years at Central Michigan University, we only had Good Friday off, so my parents would make a trip to Mount Pleasant, arriving on the afternoon before Good Friday. During their visit, my dad would golf and my mom and I would shop and we'd go out to dinner. And we would also go to church before they headed back to the U.P. Easter Sunday afternoon.
In the years since my parents have been gone, my Easter service attendance admittedly has been spotty at best. But Guin's post really got me to thinking about how beautiful and important Easter Sunday is. I thank her for that.
No matter what, this Easter, I plan to be among the faithful at church services, celebrating the joy of this beautiful holiday.
No matter what the bunny brings to you this year, my wish for you this Easter is that it's a time with family and friends, enjoying the blessings of your life.
Renee Prusi can be contacted at 906-228-2500, ext. 253. Her email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.