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What happened to crinoline?

For The Madera Tribune

Nancy (Whately) Simpson, 6 years old, with her little brother Gary on Easter Sunday, after church and before the Easter Egg Hunt.


When I was a little girl, during early spring we anxiously awaited Easter Sunday morning. Two memorable events happened for me every Easter: 1) Our family attended the church services on Easter Sunday morning (a Sunrise service, then Sunday School, then a regular Easter Sunday church service), and 2) We went to the town’s big annual Easter Egg Hunt on Easter Sunday afternoon. Some cities also had Easter parades, but I haven’t heard of anyone having an Easter parade for a very long time.

Easter is the time we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, risen from the dead three days after being crucified on the cross. We rejoice that he is alive in our hearts and in our world. It is a time of new hope, forgiveness, and renewed love for God and for each other.

On Easter Sundays of days past, people always dressed in new clothes. The women and girls wore hats and gloves. It was a big deal, Easter Sunday morning. In my family, Daddy bought corsages for all of us, and we wore them to Sunday school and church. Everyone was decked out in their new stuff. My sister and I had crinolines under our dresses. A crinoline is a slip that is very stiff so the skirt of the dress poofs out, and often the crinoline was designed to show beneath the skirt. The more crinolines, the better the dresses looked. Most of the girls had these important accessories, and no Easter dress was complete without it. Every year we got new Easter dresses, new shoes (always white), new purses, and a new hat (Easter bonnet); but it was the crinoline that made us feel really dressed up on that special day.

The church was always packed on Easter Sunday morning. Most of the people we knew went to church every Sunday anyway, but there were a few who only came on Easter Sunday. It seemed weird to me that anyone would not attend church every Sunday. It was such an important part of our family life. Even now when I see a family that does not attend church together, I feel sorry for them because I truly cherish the memories of my family attending church and its activities.

When the Easter Sunday church services were over, we would go have lunch somewhere. In those days, people did not eat out regularly, so going to the cafeteria or a restaurant was a big deal for our family. Sometimes we would join other families for an Easter lunch.

The afternoon’s big event was the community Easter Egg Hunt at Peace River Park. The decorated eggs were not plastic ones like you see nowadays, in which you can put candy or money, but they were hard-boiled eggs that had been dyed and decorated by groups of folks for this special occasion. Thousands of eggs were placed all through the park for the children to find. There were prizes for the most eggs found, and for the GOLDEN egg hidden, which brought the grand prize. I never found a golden egg, but I certainly did have fun at this great event.

What if we were to “resurrect” Easter? What if every church were full on Easter Sunday? What if this Easter Sunday we all wore our “Sunday Best” to worship the King in a royal fashion, and to show our love and honor to the One who created us? As for me, I think I will wear a new Easter dress.

What happened to the crinoline?

Have a wonderful, blessed Easter Sunday!

— My love to all,


• • •

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only son, that whoever believes in him shall have everlasting life.”

— John 3:16

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