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!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. 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.Kitchen Daily Wikipedia
Better Homes and Gardens, the media giant that puts out, obviously, the Better Homes and Gardens Magazine, has also been publishing volumes upon volumes of instructional books to tutor you in everything from planning your garden to making Hallowe’en costumes to sewing pajamas to cooking and decorating for Christmas. The 1980 volume of Better Homes and Gardens Treasure of Christmas Crafts & Foods focused on crafts, décor and recipes for an internationally-flavoured Christmas and the photos alone are great evidence of what mothers and wives in the US hoped to make for their families. The recipes tend to be a little heavy- well, it was pre-90’s dietary fare so bring on the cream and butter and the tabletops were pretty far away from minimalist. I got this one at the public library; if you want to purchase a copy you’d probably need to look in Amazon Marketplaces or eBay.