Thursday, March 20, 2008

Hurry! It's Almost Here!

At age 52, I've been around for plenty of Easter celebrations, but this one has to be the earliest one ever. It caught me unaware (just ask those church friends who heard me exclaim words of disbelief when our pastor announced Easter service as being next week - loud words of disbelief... I blurted out quite clearly for all to hear, "No, it's not next Sunday, is it?!!")

At any rate, I am running fast to catch up. Easter around here is traditionally a big deal. That's because it is a big deal. In fact, it's the biggest deal I know of. Why, without the reality of that first Easter morning my whole life would be a hoax, a sham, a pile of worthless hopes and dreams. But...

Hallelujah! Christ is risen!
Hallelujah! He is risen indeed!
On Easter morning those are the first phrases we speak to one another! What a glorious day, indeed - remembering the power, the victory, the hope and the fulfilled promise of that morning! Shout Hallelujah!
Yesterday was "let's get the clothes ready" day. No small task around here. Mom puts together outfits for all the resident kids - seven to date - plus parents. Nine outfits. And I was just starting. Yikes!
Last year there were completely new outfits for all, but the budget for 2008 was saying, "Nope, nothing doing." I had a new tie for one of the guys and that set the color scheme (we all match on Easter day) - blues. Liana searched closets and bins, finding a plethora of blue items. She also had a new coral sweater so that settled it: blue and orange would be the mix.
Here's what I did. Hold on to your seats; this may scare some of you. Needing to fill in some missing pieces would be tricky. There was no time for a shopping trip so I ordered hundreds of dollars of items from Old Navy and Target. Liana and I also hit up all the shops in Potsdam on Tuesday, finding a great orange sweater at Giant Tiger (that was all.) Yesterday I shopped the local mall with my daughter Brietta. More hundreds of dollars and bagfuls of clothing items later, I arrived home to begin the process of sorting, trying on, rejecting and adding. Several possible outfits were laid out on my bed when Liana took a peek. "Oh, Mom, we're all going to look great for Easter Sunday!" Success! That would be the point of all this!
"Whoa," you are saying, "what about that budget?!"
Here's what works for me. I shop only at places with great return policies. Instead of dragging everyone to the store, I drag the store home. Tomorrow my online items will arrive. I will put finishing touches on planned outfits (Camilla still needs a dress - she has grown so much that she has hardly anything to wear - and Carina had no blue so we're still working on that one) then everything else will be returned. I have shopped this way for years and it works for me. I love bringing it all home. You get to mix it with what you have, really take time trying it on, see it with shoes, have the next one in line try it if it doesn't fit the intended daughter, etc.
In a few days, I will have several bags of returns. (I won't give a final tally amount - some of you would pass out or call it heretical...but, don't worry - most of it will be returned.) We have a planned trip to Syracuse for a concert in early April - perfect! I'll do it all then.
Easter has always included nice clothes. It doesn't have to be expensive (don't forget - most of my hundreds will be returned - I just needed options in styles and sizes.) I found sweaters along with mens' shirts and pants and even a new pair of shoes all for $8.98 each at Steve and Barry's. J.C.Penney's Liz Claibourne collection at 50% off filled in my own missing items. TJMaxx supplied an assortment of orange hued sweaters and a funky tie in all the right shades for Jamie. A navy blue tank for $5 from Walmart works for me! And the dresses coming from Target and Old Navy were all reasonably priced ($20-$40) - not so bad!
It just took some time and energy; preparing meaningful celebrations does demand such things. But it is worth it. The remembrance, the emphasis, the reveling - food, traditions, clothes, songs - whatever it takes to make it special for you and yours.
But you better hurry! It will soon be Resurrection time! The Day of Great Rejoicing is at hand!


Blogger TrashTidBits said...

I like bargins too. I'll be wearing a nice wool blazer that I bought for $9 during my trip to Texas last month on Easter Sunday. It is the right color too for Easter - pink. Can't wait to see all the outfits on Sunday.

9:23 AM  
Blogger Cassandra said...

Thanks again Darlene! My eldest has been asking me to do something nice for everyone's clothing, but time and money don't always cooperate. I think it's worth it though, and you have helped stir the fire! I think I'll get a little creative.

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must admit that on our way to church this past Sunday Nathaniel asked me how many more days until Easter and at that moment it hit me that it was one week away! I chuckled when you made that comment in church-I was right with you!

7:03 PM  
Blogger Paige said...

Happy Easter, Darlene! Love you ~

12:49 PM  
Blogger abigaildaniels said...

I love how you shop. After I met you I started doing this. My Mom was a bit surprised when I returned from a recent shopping trip with many bags. I already knew that I wouldn't keep them all, but I needed to try them on (hard to do with the baby in the wrap!) and get opinions!

10:07 PM  
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