Saturday, April 11, 2009

Holiday Ambivalence

I have a hard time getting excited about most holidays. I don't know why, but I tend to be a holiday scrooge.

So, because tomorrow is Easter, I'm forced to face and examine my scrooginess. It actually does cause me angst. I struggle and wonder why can't I just go along with the crowd and happily celebrate the holiday-of-the-day?

So, about Easter.

First of all, I do not count myself a Christian. I do not go to church, I don't read the Bible, I don't acknowledge any authority in the institution of Christianity. That is not to say that I don't believe in God or some sort of higher power, because I do. I just choose not to practice a formal religion.

I also believe that every single person has the right to make spiritual and religious choices for themselves, and since Easter is such an important Christian holiday HAPPY EASTER to Christians everywhere.

The problem I have with Easter, as with most other holidays, is that we all seem to be forced to acknowledge, if not celebrate, it in some way. My kids have both Friday and Monday off from school. For a religious holiday that always fall on a Sunday. Can't we just get it all taken care of on Sunday? Why do we need extra days off? It makes me cringe that Christianity is so deeply rooted in our government and public institutions.

And what if you're not Christian? You have to silently suffer this religious purchasing and celebratory frenzy. New clothes for church! Sunrise services! Easter eggs! Chocolate bunnies! Easter baskets!

Although I find the eggs, bunnies, and baskets humorous because by purchasing these things Christians are indulging in ancient pagan springtime rituals. I think that's ironic.

At our house we color and hide eggs, give the kids small Easter baskets, and we have a nice dinner. But that's the extent of our celebration. We may watch a movie together or play a board game, but we'll also work on homework and probably tidy the house.

I guess the most important part of holidays in our house is not going through the expected motions of whatever the particular holiday happens to be, especially if it's a religious one, but rather it's celebrating and appreciating the time we get to spend together as a family.

Whatever your feelings about Easter, if you plan to celebrate it, I hope you get the joy, satisfaction, peace, and renewal you seek from the day.

1 comment:

Kathryn Magendie said...

What I really want is a deviled egg (hey, more irony!*laughing*) and a chocolate something....but then I guess I could do that anytime - it's the holidays that give me an "excuse" to eat things I normally wouldn't *teheehehehe*

I wrote a yog post about being a christmas scrooge this past christmas....lawd.