Have a Troll-y good Easter this year!

Easter’s coming and since the minute before Valentine’s Day was over, the shelves in all your favourite retailers have been shoved full of eggs, easter grass, candy, toys and baskets (and of course some weird items coated in pastel to pass off as necessities to celebrate the Resurrection…). Target, I’ve noticed, has taken this to another level with the Trolls from last year’s Dreamworks film and they’re not holding back on the Target Exclusives. If you’re a troll fan, get going over to the Bullseye and clean up!

Yello80s Easter Countdown day 1!

Waiting for dinner or candy or something!
Waiting for dinner with my Paas eggs
  Hello 80s fans! We had plenty of Easter goodness back in the 80s from the Cadbury Bunny to M&Ms in our Easter Baskets (pastel! Woo!) and Reece’s Eggs. We’re going to do a little countdown this week to get in the spirit so make sure you check back on the blog and relive some sweet memories. Because Easter is a Christian holiday, the countdown will go from today, Palm Sunday, until Maundy Thursday, which is 3 days prior to Easter and then return to our regularly scheduled posts to allow a break out to celebrate. If you are not familiar with Easter, here’s a quick primer: Lent: Lent is the 40 days before Easter which start with Ash Wednesday (The day before this is Mardi Gras /  Shrove Tuesday) and commemorates the passage in the Bible about Christ spending 40 days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan.  Palm Sunday is the Sunday before Easter in which we honour the passage of the Bible which describes Christ riding into Jerusalem on a donkey. To respect Him as a king, people placed palm branches before Him on the ground, which is where we get the name Palm Sunday. Maundy Thursday is the first day of the Paschal Triduum/ Passiontide (the most important part of Holy Week). Most Christian churches have special services on this evening as we recall that traditionally this would have been when Judas the apostle betrayed Christ at the Last Supper. Good Friday: The day Christ was crucified.  There is often not a service on this day as it is a mourning day. Holy Saturday: The proper last day of the Lent season, Easter Vigil services are held at night and are often very long and very late. Easter: the most important day of the Christian calendar in which we celebrate the reason for our faith, the resurrection of Christ. The Lent/ Easter season is the most important in the Christian church, a higher holiday even than Christmas. During this season every denomination participates in at least some of the following observances: fasting, praying, almsgiving, stations of the Cross, mass or service, confession, reconciliation, self-scrutiny, sacrifice (giving up or taking on for Lent), giving up meat/sweets/bad habits, attending passion plays, acts of charity, visiting relatives and friends, taking on extra church roles, vespers, veneration of relics or holy objects, reading of specific Biblical passages, covering the cross on Good Friday or removal or Eucharistic host, refraining from Communion on Good Friday, observing the 12-3pm hours on Good Friday, taking the Easter dinner items to be blessed, taking pets and animals to be blessed, greet each other by saying Christ is Risen! (answer: He is risen, indeed), dye red eggs or make braided Easter bread. But most also: Make Easter baskets, candy and dye eggs, take the kids to see the Easter Bunny at the mall, attend community pancake breakfasts, Easter egg hunts, Egg Rolls and school Easter parties, have Easter dinners with families and friends, buy new Easter clothes for church service, watch the Easter cartoon specials on tv.    

Yello80s advent countdown: Day 16: Some Children See Him

Three small children with Christmas tree and p...
Three small children with Christmas tree and presents. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It’s so hard for me to pick a favourite Christmas carol but being that today is my birthday, I’m going with the most possible top favourite (the favourite of the favourites?) and as I am a picky carol-fan, this is the ONLY version I have ever liked (though I admit, this isn’t one I’ve heard too many recordings of, but both James Taylor and Kenny Loggins did their own versions). Double greatness: this is sung by my most favourite of classic Christmas crooners: Andy Williams. Some children see him Lily white The baby Jesus Born this night Some children see him Lily white With tresses soft And fair. Some children see him Bronzed and brown The Lord of heav’n To Earth come down Some children see him Bronzed and brown With dark And heavy hair. Some children see him Almond-eyed This Savior whom We kneel beside Some children see him Almond-eyed With skin Of yellow hue. Some children see him Dark as they Sweet Mary’s son To whom we pray Some children see him Dark as they And, ah They love him, too. The children In each diff’rent place Will see The baby Jesus’ face Like theirs But bright With heav’nly grace And filled With holy light. O lay aside Each earthly thing And with thy heart As offering Come worship now The infant king ’Tis love That’s born tonight. Courtesy blazedbuddha

Yello80s Advent countdown: Day 15: Good King Wenceslas

English: King Wenceslas of Bohemia and Poland ...
English: King Wenceslas of Bohemia and Poland (fragment), Toruń Old Town Hall Polski: Król Wacław Czeski (fragment), Ratusz Staromiejski w Toruniu (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The story of King Wenceslas is an old one and an allegory of the LORD G-d’s humbling Himself to come to humankind disguised as an infant (different denominations believe variations on the deity / human duality but I’m going to use the term disguised here). He was an actual 10th century Bohemian duke who was sainted and considered a martyr. He was given the title as king after death by Roman Emperor Otto I and people of the Middle Ages would have understood this to be a title of ‘righteous kingship.’ There was an actual King Wenceslas in the royal sense several centuries after the one mentioned in the carol.  My favourite bit is the very end of the last verse: Therefore, Christian men, be sure, wealth or rank possessing,  Ye who now will bless the poor, shall yourselves find blessing.  I actually favour the Mormon Tabernacle Choir version but stumbled across Judy Collins’ recording last year and wanted to include that here.  BTW, the feast of St. Stephen is on December 26, also celebrated as Boxing Day. Good King Wenceslas looked out On the feast of Stephen When the snow lay round about Deep and crisp and even Brightly shone the moon that night Though the frost was cruel When a poor man came in sight Gath’ring winter fuel “Hither, page, and stand by me If thou know’st it, telling Yonder peasant, who is he? Where and what his dwelling?” “Sire, he lives a good league hence Underneath the mountain Right against the forest fence By Saint Agnes’ fountain.” “Bring me flesh and bring me wine Bring me pine logs hither Thou and I will see him dine When we bear him thither.” Page and monarch forth they went Forth they went together Through the rude wind’s wild lament And the bitter weather “Sire, the night is darker now And the wind blows stronger Fails my heart, I know not how, I can go no longer.” “Mark my footsteps, my good page Tread thou in them boldly Thou shalt find the winter’s rage Freeze thy blood less coldly.” In his master’s steps he trod Where the snow lay dinted Heat was in the very sod Which the Saint had printed Therefore, Christian men, be sure Wealth or rank possessing Ye who now will bless the poor Shall yourselves find blessing Courtesy Cleopatra Records

Yello80s Advent Countdown: Day 13: The Infant King

property PotteryBarn.com
property PotteryBarn.com
Also filed under Sing Lullaby, this beautiful lullaby is one I used to catch myself singing when putting toddlers down for naps when I worked in a daycare. While the words reflect the real tone of Advent to Easter cycle, the sweet tune is from a Basque carol. 1. Sing lullaby! Lullaby baby, now reclining, Sing lullaby! Hush, do not wake the Infant King. Angels are watching, stars are shining Over the place where he is lying. Sing lullaby! 2. Sing lullaby! Lullaby baby, now a-sleeping, Sing lullaby! Hush, do not wake the Infant King. Soon will come sorrow with the morning, Soon will come bitter grief and weeping: Sing lullaby! 3. Sing lullaby! Lullaby baby, now a-dozing, Sing lullaby! Hush, do not wake the Infant King. Soon comes the cross, the nails, the piercing, Then in the grave at last reposing: Sing lullaby! 4. Sing lullaby! Lullaby! is the babe a-waking? Sing lullaby! Hush, do not stir the Infant King. Dreaming of Easter, gladsome morning, Conquering Death, its bondage breaking: Sing lullaby! Choir of King’s College courtesy drwestbury

Happy Easter 2014 from Yello80s!

A blessed Easter to you and yours from Yello80s! These photos taken from an 80s classic, The Nelson Children’s Bible, illustrations by Lyndon Evans Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia Earth and heaven in chorus say, Alleluia!  Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!  Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply, Alleluia! – from Christ the Lord is Risen Today And here’s another 80s Christian classic cartoon- The Greatest Adventure: Stories from the Bible, the Easter story courtesy Coptic Love
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80s Food Week Easter Edition: UK

Easter goodies -goodwoods.com
Easter goodies -goodwoods.com
Easter in the UK is a slightly different deal than the US celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ. For one, kids manage to wrangle off a fortnight (that’s 14 days) from school compared to our once Good Friday to Easter Monday that’s dwindled down in some schools to Easter Sunday itself (can you say complete jip? Nobody goes to school on Sunday! Except for…ahem…Sunday School and try arguing having a holiday off Sunday School on Easter.)
Simnel Cake - celtnet.org.uk
Simnel Cake – celtnet.org.uk
Christian British families of course attend church and just like in America, if you haven’t made it to church all year for anything other than funerals and weddings you tend to get there for the holiest day of the year. There a couple of slight differences in the Lent/Easter calendar to observe: Lent, the 40 day period before Easter is kicked off by Pancake Day or Shrove Tuesday in the UK where over here we get it going with Mardi Gras. They eat pancakes (more like crepes to the American palate), we eat King Cake. They break Lent up with Mothering Sunday and a Simnel Cake (a sort of fruit cake with 11 balls of marzipan on top representing the Apostles minus Judas), we leave Mother’s Day until after Easter and take Mum to Dairy Queen for an ice cream cake.
Hot Cross Buns- thegingerbreadmum.com
We both agree on Hot Cross Buns which aren’t so widely eaten outside the Catholic/ Lutheren/ Episcopal churches here but if you haven’t had one they’re basically little spiced buns with raisins or currants and an icing cross over the top representing The Cross- yes, that one unless you know of another. And of course the UK has an Easter Bunny though he very well may have an accent. Not growing up in the UK I rely on my husband’s eloquence about the grand old Easters of yore (read: 80s) when they congregated around a table full of Easter eggs and Cadbury’s made up any yearly deficits in profits within the 48 hours between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Let’s face it, Hallmark invented Valentine’s Day for the Americas and Cadbury’s cornered Easter- they got the bunny, and the eggs. I’m not talking a table full of little Creme Eggs, I’m talking big monster eggs from the major candy manufacturers- hollow eggs in special boxes containing small versions of popular candy bars either in the eggs themselves or in the packaging. So you may have an Aero egg with a couple of small Aero bars or a Smarties Egg filled with Smarties or this year I saw a Smarties egg box shaped like a barn with a cow-shaped chocolate filled with mini Smarties. At any rate this is what British children are hoping to score from the Big Bun. Getting them here is a challenge and a large expense but we always manage- these are a couple I have on authority from the Rabbit himself are going to be found in the Quayle Easter baskets this year… Eggs aren’t the only treats that may pop up on UK tables… many candy companies put out other special merchandise this time of year to complete the Easter experience such as these funky square Cadbury mugs. All I’m saying is, let’s ditch those little foil eggs and get some real loot!
Cadbury cube mug - Yello80s
Cadbury cube mug – Yello80s
  Cadbury’s Caramel Bunny ad courtesy HallOfAdvertising
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80s Food Week: Easter Edition USA

English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny.
English: A milk chocolate Easter Bunny. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Egg hunting on Easter Morning probably 1983
Egg hunting on Easter Morning probably 1983
Let’s be honest, Easter in the 80s was pretty much like Easter in every other decade except perhaps for the amount of candy and junk available for the bunny to tote along and perhaps the loss of those pre-70s REALLY SCARY TO HELL Easter Bunnies mothers insisted scarring their children for life with for an Easter photo at the mall everyone would remember. The reason for the season hadn’t changed; people still piled in the car on Easter Sunday Best to go to church, stole candy from their brothers and sisters; hunted for their basket on Easter morning and dyed eggs with those PAAS kits. What the 80s could claim solely, however, was the Cadbury Easter Bunny (known as the “Clucking Bunny’) hopping onto screens everywhere to lay Cadbury Creme Eggs in 1982 (the Cadbury Creme Egg itself as we know it today debuted in 1971 but he bunny ads are only shown in North America- lucky us!). Cadbury Bunny Tryouts courtesy McGuireLindsey Decorating for Easter has always been a favourite pastime; getting those cheap plastic eggs strung up over the bushes, placing panoramic sugar eggs and crosses on the dining table just so, dying real eggs and buying pysanka eggs because who has time for that? I recall most houses getting those cheapo plastic blowup bunnies holding a carrot from Kmart and tying them to the porch or just to poles outside in the yard like some kind of warning that the Big Bunny better bring chocolate and none of those RainBlo eggs or else. Our own particular colouring tradition came from my Grampa J- he always dipped the last egg into all of the colour pots to make a nasty looking grey egg for some reason. I dunno but we still do it every year! Easter morning came and in our haste to get downstairs to find all the eggs *and* the basket *and* negotiate for more than one jellybean before church *and* whine that while dying the eggs was fun and finding the eggs was fun, nobody wants them for breakfast, we completely forgot to thank our mums and dads for the new bonnets and shoes and ties. Nobody ever head of getting toys instead of candy in baskets- if the Bunny didn’t leave you with at least 1 filling and a crown he’d better not come crawling back next year- the Tooth Fairy would take care of him by golly. My parents tried the ‘if you’re not good the Easter Bunny won’t come’ but I didn’t buy it. What did the Easter Bunny care if I was good or not? What did a basket full of sweets have to do with the resurrection of Our Lord? Jesus cared if I was good and He didn’t come around one night a year and hide our eggs. As long as I got my favourites it was all good- Cadbury Creme Egg, Reeces Egg, those little foiled Hershey eggs (not those cheap buggers where you could see the mould seam through the foil thanks), some jelly beans (no black or red, please), a few gumdrops, a panoramic sugar egg, a Palmer’s chocolate bunny, a Russel Stover coconut creme egg and a white chocolate cross. My mum was partial to those malted Robin Eggs and the little chocolate baskets with chocolate eggs (that one bought at an actual candy store and not through the checkout of Dollar General) and my dad was partial to those 1 lb chocolate eggs with the peanut butter filling and a sugar flower on top though he usually ended up getting something like a Pizza Hut juice glass. One year he got Grumpy Bear and I got Tenderheart Bear although he’ll argue to the death the Grumpy Bear glass was in my basket. Nice try pops. And I think I was the only kid in school who hated Peeps.
Easter eggs // Ostereier
Easter eggs // Ostereier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The particular draw about church at Easter was taking home a lily from the altar and showing off my new little purse with a clasp (extremely haute couture) that fit all of a golf pencil, string of mardi gras beads and possibly half of a mini New Testament. I didn’t always understand that portion of the Gospel and after I’d shown off my stuff and bragged about my Easter basket I was just trying to get home to it because frankly, Easter clothes itch and we didn’t have any of those Resurrection Rolls or cool crafts they have now to keep kids quiet during Sunday School because of course this is the most important holiday in the Christian year. And there was no getting out of Easter Service- my mother was the pianist and choir director. Then home to Easter Dinner (pick the palm cross from the Sunday before up off the floor and reaffix to the door after every guest walked in until dad took it down for the day).  Easter Dinner was a total letdown for kids. Unlike Hallowe’en where the last thing in your mouth before you and all the other kids went to bed was something right out of your booty bag, you had one whole day to go through eating stuff other than candy before another chance at getting said candy which was on display in the same room as all the other stuff you were expected to eat and be glad about because mum and gramma and whoever slaved all morning over a hot stove. Ham with pineapples and cherries, potatoes and corn and  beans, little peach bird nests with cream cheese ‘birds’- ugh, just turn the oven down so it doesn’t melt my chocolate! And some ultra lucky kids got to top the day off with a Baskin Robins Easter Bunny cake cos noBunny knows Easter like Baskin Robbins right? Except Cadbury. You betcha. What are some of your 80s Easter memories?  Favourite candies? Wierd places you found your Easter basket?  Cool stuff you did at church? Sources: Kitchen Daily Wikipedia
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