I thoroughly enjoyed looking through my newsfeed on Facebook and seeing so many beautiful pictures of family and friends dressed up in their Easter best. I love seeing happy people.
However, I did find it odd that Easter, judging by the pictures, has become very materialistic, which is extremely disheartening.
I saw Easter baskets filled with iPhones and iPads with an occasional sprinkling of candy thrown in to make it Easter-ish. There were bicycles, skateboards, and athletic shoes. In many cases, it looked like a mini Christmas.
It just seems to me that we’ve come to focus more on the secular aspect of the holiday rather than its true meaning, but make no mistake about it; I’m not judging. Heck, I didn’t even go to Church on Easter Sunday.
Holidays always evoke memories and Easter 2013 was no different.
Growing up, our Easter basket was usually one of those three dollar deals consisting of a bag of jelly beans, a box of Junior Mints, and a plastic football. It was perfect.
We would always go to sunrise service at Elder Congregational Christian Church, a small country church not far from the Tallapoosa River on the outskirts of Dadeville. Most of my family grew up in that church so it was always very special to me.
After sunrise service, we would escape to the basement for breakfast and the delight of Mama Jennings’ sausage and biscuits.
After breakfast, we would hunt eggs, real eggs, at church and then again at my grandmother’s house.
The day was capped off with lunch and more egg hunting at an old log cabin in the woods, the home of my great grandmother, the aforementioned Mama Jennings.
Most of the eggs were boiled and hand colored with crayons. I say most, because, inevitably, someone would throw an uncooked egg into the mix for fun, and that someone was usually me.
From looking at the pictures on Facebook, it appears that most of the eggs today are of the plastic variety, and it seems that most Easter egg hunts are more like Easter egg pick-ups.
The eggs are just scattered around on the ground, but when I was a kid, the adults did a great job of hiding them.
They hid them so well that oftentimes we wouldn’t find them until the next year.
We, of course, had a golden egg, too.
I remember one year in particularly when my brother found the golden egg. I just cried and cried until my Uncle Curwood gave me some money to basically shut up. At the time, I was glad he did that, but looking back on it, I wish he hadn’t. Everyone can’t be the winner.
As an adult, my most memorable Easter was April 11, 2004. I was in Iraq and the insurgents were relentless in the mortaring of our chow hall. They mortared us frequently; however, they were extra generous on this day, the holiest of days.
It had already been a very emotional week and their persistent bombing didn’t help matters.
The previous day, we’d held a memorial service for my two soldiers who were killed that week.
On Sunday, April 4, their vehicle was struck with a chain of roadside bombs.
Specialist Rogers was killed instantly, whereas Specialist Felder succumbed to her wounds three days later.
This was our tenth Easter without them, but our brother and sister are never far from our thoughts.
Whether it’s Easter, Christmas, or Memorial Day, it’s important to surround ourselves with family, friends, food, fun, and fellowship, but it’s even more important that we remember and reflect upon the true meaning of the respective holiday and honor those for which the holiday was created.
We’re never promised tomorrow, so we might as well get it right today.
Jody Fuller is a comic, a speaker, and a soldier. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit www.jodyfuller.com.