Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Easter outfits leave lasting memories

Easter 2016
LAS CRUCES – A garden of pretty pastel little dresses blooms in a superstore lobby, awaiting small girls and an Easter parade. A tiny tot in a gentleman shirt with vest and bow tie picks up his bunny basket and  gets ready for an egg hunt.
All over the Mesilla Valley, kids, parents and grandparents are planning family gatherings, meals and church visits on Easter Sunday.
Styles change and customs evolve, but whatever your religious preference, spring is a time for rebirth, new perspective and often, a brand new outfit.
Memories of what we wore on other special childhood occasions, like Christmas, may be blurred or overshadowed by visits from Santa or favorite gifts. Our first memorable fashion statements, for many of us, were made in the spring, and we retain vivid memories of those outfits and the fun of getting dressed up.
Tiger Elliott, assistant manager at Kmart in Las Cruces, surveyed the store’s selection of dress-up clothing for little boys and recalled his own first spring stylish moments, when he was growing up in Gallup, N.M.
“I had a black, three-piece suit, with a blue shirt and tie. I remember it very well. I think I was about 5,” Elliott said.
“I remember a spring outfit with gloves, and I had an Easter bonnet and a little fur muff. I called it a muffin. I was very young,” said Sue Moore of Las Cruces.
Dressing a child for Easter may not take it a village, but it is often a pleasurable process and labor of love that involves fond memories, sometimes for three or four generations.
Memorable history was in the process of repeating itself for Minerva Gabaldon, who checked out a selection that included frilly pink, yellow, aqua and blue dresses as she searched for perfect choices for her granddaughters, Abigail, 4 and baby Sophia.
“I’m trying to find just the right ones. I remember having a beautiful little pink dress. It had three ruffles and little white daisies,” said Gabaldon, glancing over to a checkout line where her husband was guiding the wheelchair of Gabaldon’s mother. There were two, pretty little pink dresses, hanging from the wheelchair’s armrest.
Parental rather than personal Easter outfit memories are dominant for Scott Patterson, Las Cruces Kmart manager.
“I remember dressing up our two girls, or I should say, my wife dressed them up. They were afraid if I got involved, I’d add football cleats to whatever they were wearing,” Patterson quipped.
The quest for the perfect Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it, may be a thing of the past, giving way to glittered pink baseball caps or trendy hair accessories.
But chic seasonal chapeaux live on in the memory of Rhona Holden of Las Cruces.
“I remember having the pretty little white hat, and the pretty little frilly dress and the big ‘ole basket to get all the eggs,” Holden said.
A new group of little Millennials are ready to have a say in making their own memories.
“My mother used to make my clothes. My favorite outfit was really simple and I liked it a lot. There was a hat, too,” said Rosa Sandoval, doing some spring break shopping with her grandchildren, Lillian and Anthony Lopez.
“I like this,” said Lillian, 8, plucking a sleeveless aqua dress from a colorful rack in the girls’ clothing section and casting an eye down an aisle stocked with princess gowns and dresses enhanced with tulle tutu skirts.
“My parents are Amanda Sandoval and ‘Big’ Anthony Lopez. I think they want me to get something like these clothes,” explained Anthony, 6, whose tastes seem to run to outfits with long-sleeved shirts, vests and ties with coordinated trousers.
The siblings picked out some favorites and decided they were ready to go outside and play on a sunny spring day and leave the final choices for later.
It’s worth a little thought. It seems that those childhood spring outfits could be something they’ll remember for a lifetime.
S. Derrickson Moore may be reached at  575-5450, dmoore@lcsun-news.com or @derricksonmoore on Twitter.
You’ve scored the perfect spring outfit, prospective Easter Paraders. Now, where do you strut your spring stuff? Here are some ideas
What: SpringFest 2016
What: Egg hunts, hands-on children’s activities, playground, Easter Bunny, entertainment
When: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday March 26
Where: Young Park, 1905 Nevada Ave.
How much: Free
Info: 575-527-1111
• Family gatherings
• Services and celebrations at your church or place of worship
• Saturday Las Cruces Farmers’ and Crafts Market, Main Street Downtown
• Easter Bunny visits, Mesilla Valley Mall. Noon to 6 p.m. daily.

Jaeda Urbina, in a springy outfit with a polka-dot cardigan, fills her basket at a recent SpringFest egg hunt while her mom Diana Alarcon cheers her on in the background. This year’s event will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. March 26

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