The Cottages of Rivendell has started sprucing up their mailboxes for each Easter.
April 2020 was a bleak time for Marilyn May and other residents of the Cottages of Rivendell neighborhood community. Every institution seemed to be shutting down for a time, and local churches were no different. That was hard enough, but the arrival of Easter with no place to worship made things especially difficult.
One neighbor suggested a spirited and crafty way to celebrate Easter — decorating mailboxes with Easter bonnets, eggs, flowers, colors and more. It was an absolute hit, and the neighborhood turned the craftmaking into a tradition. Easter 2021 had several neighbors putting out colorful craft Easter Hats creations to celebrate the holiday.
"Last year it was a big hit," said May. "Even though some churches are open and some people are going this year, some still are not. So we decided to extend this tradition."
The original idea was to have decorative Easter bonnets — a nod to the lively tradition so many churchgoers still practice — but has spread out to Easter Bunny designs and other colorful creations. May and her husband Jim figure more than 20 neighbors kept on with the tradition this year.
May, who has had a career teaching first graders, says she has a crafts background and has approached the new project with gusto. While her mailbox has the typical Easter bonnet, she has gone on to include a drawn Easter Bunny design as well as an Easter basket hanging below. Seeing what other creations her neighbors have drummed up has brought a feeling of joy to her Easter morning.
"What's great about this is no one's judgmental and everybody is creative." May said. "The creativity is what's flowing, there's a neighborly thing. All morning people walk around and (appreciate the mailboxes.)