I like Jesus, too, and so did my Mom, so as a kid I also got a chocolate cross in my Easter basket every year. It was usually white chocolate, my favorite at the time. I would hold off eating it until everything else was devoured, for what reason I’m not sure. Maybe in a way I was saving the best for last. I was a pushover for all those once-a-year goodies like coconut nests with jelly bean eggs, coconut cream eggs with a yellow “yolk” middle, chocolate bunnies and hens, malt balls shaped into colorful eggs and jelly beans galore, including my favorite – black licorice flavored. I’m drooling as I write this.
Easter meant getting a new little outfit to wear along with a hat of some sort, white gloves and frilly white anklet socks. (Yes, I was such a priss.) One year when I was about seven, I wore a pale green derby that matched a little green pleated skirt and jacket. I was thrilled with it and wore it all day since it looked like a very proper English horse riding outfit and horses were my passion at the time.
Easter meant sunny warm weather, the sweet smell of hyacinths and bright yellow forsythia bushes in bloom. It was sneaking that first taste of a chocolate bunny before Mass after a Lenten season of “giving it up.” It was a yummy dinner of ham and kielbasa with homemade babka with fresh butter and potato salad. It was sitting outside on the steps of my grandparents’ row home in the Polish section of Trenton afterwards with my cousins playing games we made up.
Easter meant family all together with good food, fun with my cousins, laughter, lots of love and a white chocolate cross to remind you that Jesus likes you, too.