When I was growing up, Easter was a profoundly religious holiday in our home. Most of my memories are of singing in church on Sunday morning... "Christ the Lord is risen today..." The church was usually decorated with lilies or other spring flowers. Some times there was a quick breakfast of donuts or bagels and coffee between the sunrise service and the regular service.
The thing is, secular things like Easter bunnies and colored eggs weren't part of our family celebration. When I married and incorporated new traditions in my immediate family, coloring Easter eggs was part of that new tradition. But I think it was probably also part of my family tradition when I was very young, before my mother died. And I'll tell you why I think this.
One Easter when I was maybe five and my brother was two, we were riding in the back seat of an old black Ford that was probably around a 1940 vintage. We were playing in the back seat with our Easter baskets. Since we lived in Arizona near Phoenix, it was quite warm. I took a notion to roll down the window, but grabbed the door handle by mistake and my brother rolled out of the car into an irrigation ditch that ran along the road.
I remember my father stopping the car very quickly and running back down the road to my brother. And my mother was angry with me and took away my Easter basket. We went to the hospital which was and unheard of event in our family. We missed the Easter church service and finally arrived at my grandparent's house. Funny. I remember how everything that we usually did was cancelled. My grandfather always hid the Easter eggs for us to find, but that Easter there wasn't an Easter egg hunt.
I should tell you that my brother was fine. No broken bones. Not even any major scratches. But I think it sure scared my parents to death. And I have to admit that I never touched the door handles again when the car was moving.
I have very few specific memories of Easter. Most of them seem to run into one long stream of early morning church services. Interesting how that worked, isn't it? Perhaps it's because we don't anticipate Easter for months ahead of time. I'm not sure why that is. In any case, that was one of the few Easters that definitely stood out.