Springtime. Adorable baby chicks. Pastel colors everywhere. The punchy smell of vinegar as Mom prepares the colors for dying eggs. A line of little coffee cups hold the little colored tabs fizzing away. I claim the red one. And the purple. A beribboned Easter dress in shades of pastel pink or lavender, maybe even yellow. Frilly socks. Easter bonnets. Eggs. Eggs everywhere. Egg hunts. Candy! And that dreaded of all seasonal substances, the infamous, the unconquerable Easter Grass, the sprigs of which litter the house for months, even years after the Easter season has passed.
As a child growing up in a Catholic household, I learned that religious holidays were a big deal, huge festivities celebrated with tons of family and good food. Christmas has always been my favorite, namely because it is the only holiday that comes with months and months of preparatory singing. When I was in high school, our chorus would begin singing the Christmas music in August, in order to prepare an audition tape for the Candlelight Carols festivities at Epcot in December. So from August through the Epiphany (that’s January 6th for the non-religious), Christmas and its attendant carols were a huge part of my life! As a woman who loves to sing, how could I not adore this holiday?
Add to that my penchant for highly contrasting colors and Christmas is a recipe for blindie bliss! It provides a season of bright red, which has always been the easiest color for me to see, and dark green (another easy contender), and the trimmings, in glaring silver or gold, stand out quite nicely. Let’s not forget the crisp white of snow, which we Floridians only encounter in synthetic form, or the faux-fur that trims all Santa’s cheery apparel. Even candy canes are blindie-friendly; they’re striped in contrasting color, and hey, they’re canes!
No wonder the ad agencies tout Christmas as a magical time. Between those tiny jingle bells that adorn so many decorations and the satisfying pointy scent of evergreens, it’s a blindie’s paradise! Maybe in the blind section of Heaven, where there are braille labels on all the keypads and scratch-and-sniff maps on each floor of every high-rise, it is Christmas every day…
So, what about Easter?
Well for one thing, those damn pastel colors are a recipe for disaster! You can’t escape them! I’ve never been able to tell the difference between baby pink and marshmallow-chick yellow. Not even the M&Ms are safe! They’ve been painted in pastel too! This is why I always claimed the red, purple, and occasionally, orange from the egg-dying kit! It’s just not fair to make a little girl with low vision use the pale green, pale yellow, and robin’s egg blue to dye her eggs. I wouldn’t even be able to tell if my eggs were strongly colored!
(Needless to say, my dyed eggs were always a bit dark and gothic – I’d leave an egg in the red dye for as long as I could before my siblings coveted the color. Deep red eggs! Now THAT’S Easter!)
And let’s not forget the Easter Egg Hunts! Hide the indiscernible pastel-colored plastic eggs in the bright green grass and set the kids loose! Luckily, I have a kind family, and some considerate relative always followed me at a discreet distance and coughed meaningfully to direct me to an egg, cleverly concealed in a potted plant or tucked into the crack in the sidewalk. I can’t complain too much; my Easter baskets were always full.
As far as holidays go, Easter does out-cute all the others. The bunnies and chicks that cluster in fuzzy profusion on the supermarket displays or crowd the shelves of the candy aisle are thoroughly adorable. Especially those baby chicks that peep when you hold them, now that’s cute! I can ignore that they are a hard-to-see yellow and just close my eyes, stroke their soft fluffy surface, and listen to the sweet mechanical chirping.
Also, those hard-to-find eggs usually contained chocolate, which is VERY easy to see! So the commercial side of Easter is not wholly bad or off-putting.
I’m just affronted by the pastel M&Ms. And I can’t blame Easter alone for that. They’ve become quite popular at baby showers, and other places where pastel colors are The Thing. Maybe I will order myself a supply of exclusively contrasting M&Ms!
No, I think I can suffer through the pastel-flooded, low-contrast ambiance of springtime once a year. All the other holidays are kind to me in vibrant colors. If Easter’s pale washed-out tints didn’t frustrate my vision so, who knows how much I would truly appreciate the lush hues of Halloween and autumn or the bright primary brilliance of Christmas?
Bring it on, Easter! I am ready for you!
But don’t be surprised if all my eggs are red, purple, and possibly orange.