For me, Easter is all about the books.
Obviously, the holiday is about chocolate and – for some of us – family and church. In my world, Easter has been (and always will be) connected with reading.
I wasn’t a kid who indulged in a lot of candy. I had quite a few dental woes as a child, including one tooth being so decayed that it required a silver cap when I was all of three years old. Good times, those.
So, whether it was because he was particularly sensitive to my parents’ having adult-sized dental expenses for their fun-sized toddler, the Easter Bunny who was assigned to my house got a little creative when it came to filling my basket.
There was a ceramic bunny which looked uncannily like the real deal and which made its appearance every year, long after ceramics were no longer A Thing. (Hey, this was the ’70s. Ceramics were IT.)
There were a few Hershey’s Kisses and the requisite plastic eggs.
And there were the books.
Oh, the books.
Because he hangs with Those Holiday Things Who Magically Know Stuff About Children, the Easter Bunny knew how much I loved to read. Perhaps the fact that my birthday was (and, hey, it still is!) around Easter might have been a giveaway. But every Easter morn, there it was: a brand new book with a springtime theme tucked in my basket, inscribed with a message written especially for me.
To Melissa, age 5
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real, you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real, you can’t be ugly, except to folks who don’t understand.” ~ The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams
All these years later, I still have each of these books that the Easter Bunny put into my basket.
More importantly, I have the love of reading that several special people – bunnies and all – gave me, too.
And that’s much better (and less cavity-inducing) than all the candy in the world.
~ Melissa F.