Saturday, March 26, 2016

What Do You Celebrate? Easter Edition

Easter has always confused me. Most holidays are a mixture of sources, traditions, and meanings--but usually I know which of these I celebrate. Christmas, for instance, is for me a pretty seamless blending of tradition (the presents, lights, and trees) and meaning (the Christmas story). But I don't know what Easter is to me.

It's all of the pink and yellow, the bunnies and the baby chicks that throw me off. There is a part of Easter that seems like it should be more serious than other holidays (the death of Christ); but then there is also an extremely celebratory and joyful aspect (the following resurrection and the salvation that comes with all of this). 

So I suppose it makes sense to me when people take Easter in two parts: the serious time beforehand and then the celebration on Sunday. But that's usually more Catholic; Christians usually just celebrate Easter Sunday. By celebrating, there's usually just a special church service, people have friends or family over for dinner, and children get candy.

In a way, none of it seems big enough for the grand scale of what the holiday means--as if you might as well not even have it be a separate day, but just something that you think of all the time. And if I try and consider the less meaningful side of the holiday, I love candy, but I don't really need a holiday that's just about candy--and all the Easter decorations are too pink for me (I have a pair of chocolate bunny figures that, even though they're just brown and I do like them, I already can't wait to take down tomorrow).

So that leaves me wondering how I celebrate Easter--or if I even really celebrate it at all. I guess I didn't grow up with specific Easter traditions. As children, we would get Easter eggs and candy. But I'm not a child anymore, and I can buy candy whenever I want. As far as church services, it's always been like this: if I'm going to church when Easter comes around, I'll go to their Easter service--but if I'm not, I don't go to one. I happen not to be going anywhere right now. 

That's about all I have to say on the subject--except that I'm starting to feel like I should have my own traditions for Easter. (By the way, I think part of my problem with this holiday is that I don't like the irrelevant, girly name--but saying Resurrection Sunday sounds weird, too.) It's a time for remembering the sacrifice and for celebrating the resurrection. It is a holiday about life--eternal life. I need some traditions that fit with that. For now, I think I'll just celebrate by listening to Rend Collective: "Who is this man upon a cross who left his throne to ransom us, who died to save us at our worst, who rose to give us Heaven's best . . . How our hearts race at your glory, Lord Almighty, we are yours and yours alone." (The song is "One and Only.")

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