Artist uses chalk messages to bring holiday greetings

April 15, 2020 | Danielle Eaton

SPRINGFIELD - A Springfield resident found a way to bring joy to community children stuck inside on Easter Sunday.

Christina Bryden, an artist who offers services such as face painting, said she was inspired by the children in her own life who were not able to see each other on the holiday as they typically do.

“I have my own daughter, she’s five, and I have my niece who’s six. They are my world. They’re not going to be able to see each other, it’s a difficult family holiday,” she told Reminder Publishing. “A lot of other families are going to have the same issue.”

As someone who tries “to be creative in anything” she does, Bryden said after seeing an increase in chalk messages, she got the idea to leave chalk messages from the Easter Bunny. After posting a message on social media looking for interested families, Bryden said it “took off.”

Bryden said she would only be able to take on messages for 10 families, but if others were interested she knew people that would be willing to donate their time to help. “I know enough people in the art world that would like to help with some families,” she said.

She added that she chose the number 10 as she “want[ed] to take the time to create something nice” rather than “throw[ing] letters on the ground.”

While the weather was nice enough for chalk messages, Bryden said she had a backup plan in case the weather hadn’t cooperated. She said, had the weather been bad, she planned to “write each child an individual letter” from the Easter Bunny. A letter, she said would provide “something more tangible to keep.”

Bryden and her husband worked together the night before Easter to ensure the messages were written at the homes of each of the families that had signed up. The families resided in both Chicopee and Springfield. She chose the two cities, she said, because she grew up in Chicopee and is currently a Springfield resident. She said in total, there were about 25 between the 10 families who received letters from the Easter Bunny.

She said while she didn’t have the money to donate, she wanted to give back in some way and “creativity has always been my way to help.”

 “I started this because I would get upset about my own children in my life, I wanted to be able to do something for others,” she said.

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