Easter Brings Happy Colors And Memories

Easter Brings Happy Colors And Memories

Special to the Palm Beach Daily News By: Carleton Varney

Easter and Thanksgiving are my two favorite holidays, but Easter probably ranks in first place. Why? Because I love springtime and Easter egg colors (and not just at Easter). Robin’s egg blue, bunny pink, grass green, sunshine yellow and warm orange are all in my decorating palette. Easter colors are the colors with which I have decorated hotels, resorts and homes all over the world. (I hope the Easter Bunny enjoyed some of them on his visits.)

At Easter time, my parents always dressed me and my sister in new outfits for Sunday services at the Central Congregational Church in Lynn, Mass. The scent of Easter lilies filled the church, and I remember buying a new pot of the fragrant white flowers for our family’s dining room, even though my mom never liked the strong scent of flowers around the dining area. She believed nothing should compete with the delicate aromas of cinnamon and pineapple roasting atop the Easter ham while it baked.

Easter back then also meant that a bouquet of tulips in a colorful mix of varieties topped our large coffee table. There was no problem with their scents, as tulips don’t have a strong fragrance. A bloom or two from Holland also could be seen in a vase in the powder room on the vanity counter. Isn’t it funny what we remember?

Easter also was about baskets filled with bunnies made of marshmallow with a sugary coating. Baskets from Nantucket Island were placed outside our bedroom doors, and we had no doubt the Easter Bunny himself had delivered them (mine with a blue ribbon and my sister’s beribboned in pink).

Today there are so many wonderful basket varieties. But in my view, any basket style is at it best when filled with green shredded paper on which eggs big and small — along with toy chicks and bunnies — are carefully placed.

As a child in art class, I often made a basket or two using woven strips of craft paper. I always enjoyed art class, which in my school days took place three times a week for two hours each session.

Of course, Easter to me is all about chocolate. I especially like chocolate eggs, the kind with the creamy center. In Boston, the Fanny Farmer candy store sold large milk chocolate eggs that I looked for each time as Easter approached. We kept those eggs in the refrigerator and often sliced off a piece of delight to enjoy throughout the whole season.

Easter time was always about not only coloring eggs and decorating the shells with stickers, but also about using food coloring for making bright frostings for Easter cupcakes. Oh, how we got that dye — mostly robin’s egg blue — on our fingers!

Some of my school friends attended Easter egg hunts. Such parties were not a big part of my childhood life in Boston, but I certainly am well aware of their popularity, having organized one or two in my White House days during President Jimmy Carter’s administration.

If you and yours celebrate the holiday, I hope the Easter Bunny brings you a big basket filled with happy thoughts and love for all.


  • Wendy on

    Loved the article ! Just beautiful – I could picture it all! Happy Easter to you and your family !!

  • Georgia McDonald on


    Fanny Farmer chocolate Easter eggs were our family favorite Easter treat and we also sliced them! Your colors are also my favorites! I decorated my first home in 1979 with grass green carpets, bright green and yellow trellis wallpapers in the foyer and breakfast nook, vintage caned furniture upholstered in white Haitian cotton in the living room, with large pink, green, and yellow Marimekko stretched fabric wall hangings! Upstairs, we had a sunny yellow guest bedroom, a blue and white nursery, and master bedroom with Gloria Vanderbilt pink and yellow tulip wallpaper and pink carpet. Several years later, we stayed at the Grand Hotel for the first of many joyful visits!! To me, it was a color filled “heaven on earth”! At a recent Carlton Varney Grand Decorating Weekend, I learned that I also am a “green”! My beds are now covered with your sheets and comforter sets, and the library shelves hold your books! Thank you!

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