Real gifts of Easter are free

Laney Storey, daughter of Katie and Matt Storey, enjoyed a ride with Mr. Bunny at the FPCA Easter Egg Hunt. (Contributed)

Laney Storey, daughter of Katie and Matt Storey, enjoyed a ride with Mr. Bunny at the FPCA Easter Egg Hunt. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

What does Easter mean to you? According to our different ages it is everything from Peeps, chocolate of unlimited description, Reese’s Pieces, Hersheys, Peppermint Patties, Snickers, Musketeers, Nestles, Pangburns, Whitman’s, Cream Eggs, white chocolate bunnies, brown chocolate bunnies and dozens and dozens more.

An old-fashioned egg hunt inspires folks young and old to hunt for the eggs (especially the prized golden egg).

Older children might have “trinkets” like bracelets, rings or necklaces, miniature figures or yo-yos in their eggs.

Most kiddies received a plush Easter bunny too.

New Easter clothes use to be more of a big deal. Now I see kids dressed more casually for church and Grandma’s house.

My special made Easter outfits were something to behold.

Faille suits with plaid taffeta petticoats that showed “just a little,” matching hair bands to match an overlay mini skirt – the list and the memories are good. (Don’t forget gloves and hats, ladies).

Men decked out in perhaps a straw hat and sports coat and of course a tie.

Perhaps you have pictures made in front of showy shrubs (we chose Azaleas at the park in Mobile) or perhaps pictures of everyone hunting eggs or gathered around the dining table.

Whatever the setting or weather we always made do.

After all it is definitely a family occasion and a “holy one” too.

Many people have observed “sunrise service,” one of my favorite memories.

To sit in the near darkness, quietly and reverently waiting for the sun to peep over the horizon and light up three crosses was a beautiful reminder of what God did for us and continues to do for us each and every day.

The whole stadium in my hometown was full. Large egg hunts and refreshments were followed with church service; later, relatives and food galore.

Yes, Easter is a fun time and can be costly, but it is more about the free things – the real gift – anticipation, reverence, gratitude, love and forgiveness.

Where on earth would this world be without the saving grace of Jesus and his precious gift to us? Thanks be to God!