Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter


Despite our upbringings, Dan and I are not particularly religious.   Without going into my religious beliefs in depth, I’ll just say this:  I have always felt closer to God while out hiking, camping, or exploring the outdoors, than I ever have in church.  

I waiver, but for the most part I am of the not-religious camp.  I ardently support the separation of church and state and truly believe that each person has the right to believe and practice whatever religion they choose.  As long as they don’t try to recruit me.

Easter was a big day to our family when we were kids.  We did all the fun stuff.  We woke up to Easter baskets and egg hunts, one of which was at church.    My mom made me a new Easter dress every year until I was probably 10.  She stayed up late finishing it almost every year too.

Now I’m the mom and I want to make as many special traditions for my kids as my mom did for me, but all the holidays are rooted in religion.  There’s the big one, Christmas, then Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, followed by a few not religious but very American holidays , then Halloween, and Thanksgiving.   Teaching in public schools taught me well about how to celebrate these holidays without any mention of the religion behind them.

It didn’t happen this year, but eventually one of my kids will ask why we celebrate Easter.  I suppose, we will tell them the Easter story, but they’ll have to decide on their own if it is true.  Dan and I don’t seem too eager to push the idea of the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus, for that matter.    So, as far as I can tell, this family celebrates Easter because we can.  I wonder if there is anywhere else in the world where holidays are so commercialized that you don’t even have to be of a particular religion to celebrate it.  It is kind of weird.  I wonder what holidays I am missing out on.  Surely there is a market for another holiday with more candy, more cards, more stuffed toys, more, more, more.

Anyway, our kids woke to baskets filled with fun stuff and one tiny chocolate bunny sent from Gramma, which they promptly ate before breakfast.  I got them each several books, a toy train for Benton and a watch for Oliver (I was going to get it anyway, why not for Easter?). 

Maybe it is weird.  No church to go to, no loads of candy, no mention of the Easter Bunny.  The hard boiled eggs were pulled off the counter onto the floor days before the egg hunt. So, our egg hunt was with plastic eggs with organic bunny grahams inside.    Who hides the eggs, you ask?  Daddy does.

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