To begin with, Easter has to be my least favorite holiday. That’s right, even above Halloween. For starters, being a person with faith, I find myself torn between which part of the holiday to celebrate. Sort of.
I grew up in church, and while I no longer attend, I find myself still deeply attached to my faith. That being said, I have a difficult time celebrating Easter from this angle, and for several reasons. One, I’m pretty sure that the date we celebrate as “Easter” is mainly chosen to coincide with other festivals in the vicinity. Two, even if the date was accurate, I feel “Easter Grateful” all year round. Why should I pick one specific day to be grateful for the enormity of what God has done for me? It’s constantly in the back of my head, and I find keeping it that way allows me to appreciate it 365 days a year instead of just one. Three, my memories of this side of the holiday are a little askew. I always felt during Good Friday services that I should feel an enormous amount of either guilt or remorse for what God had to do. Since I could never conjure that up, I instead felt crushing guilt for not feeling… crushing guilt. Easter does serve to give me an extra moment to remember and be appreciative, but year after year, it’s less “take today to remember” and more “appreciate more often”.
It’s also this time of year that makes me feel inadequate as a religious parent. My children don’t go to Sunday School. We don’t read Bible stories every night. And in a way, I’m thankful. Sometimes that gets in the way of truly feeling God. There’s a verse in the Bible that has stuck with me since I was little (and has nothing to do with Easter at all), and it is “Be still and know that I am God.” I want to teach my children to find Him that way. In the meantime, I wake up every Good Friday and Easter Sunday trying to figure out whether I should teach them to celebrate Easter the religious way or not. (Please do not mistake the Religious Easter I’m referring to as what God did… just the holiday and why we celebrate it.) (Please also note that we do have a little chat with God before bedtime, and that J refuses to fall asleep without yelling at the ceiling “GOODNIGHT GOD”)And now for the other half. The chocolate. The bunnies. The turkey you’re supposed to cook that I never do… The other side of this odd holiday. I find this one easier to celebrate. It’s satisfying to celebrate the coming of spring, and since Easter is mostly baby bunnies, and eggs, and tiny chicks that (unbeknownst to my young children) will grow into really ugly but absolutely delicious chickens.. you get the drift. I believe that the bunny side of Easter also has it’s downs, mainly that there’s more to it than the coming of spring. I have no interest in getting my children to believe in the Easter Bunny (other than the Easter Bunny is really Pappy Steve and the “Easter Bunny” brought you some springtime treats *wink wink*). I have no interest in trying to make a large ham or turkey. And since we have two birthdays and an anniversary within the span of three months, Easter really needs to be low key, especially if we’re celebrating on the basis of a commercial holiday with chocolate. I think I’m ok with that. So: A Happy Springtime and Easter to you, whether you celebrate it in church with reverance and gratitude or with your mouth full of chocolate bunny.As for me, I have an ear in my mouth and appreciation in my heart.Cheers.The Handler.PS: If you don’t celebrate it day of, chocolate is 50% off and that’s even better!