So, I guess I don't have to remind you that today is Easter Sunday. I, on the other hand, actually did need to be reminded.
For the past 16 years, Easter, for me, has been a formality. I've celebrated it, not because I rejoice in Christ's resurrection, but as a courtesy to those in my family who do. Please don't misunderstand, I am happy for Christ having risen. And I'm happy for all those that are happy that Christ has risen. I simply don't follow in the same footsteps as those that rejoice.
When I was a child, Easter was indeed a major holiday. Almost as grand as Christmas...or at least, to my child's mind, it felt that way. My Mother would take me for a new Easter outfit every year. I'd wait with the same breathless anticipation of the Easter Bunny as I'd had for Santa Claus. The evening before, we would sit at the kitchen table dying eggs and on Easter morning, I would wake to a basket overflowing with jelly beans, chocolate eggs and a huge chocolate rabbit. But, when it was time for the Easter Sunday Mass, it would be my Aunt Mary that would take me to church rather than my parents. I really don't remember my parents attending any type of formal religious services unless someone married or died. And while I may have sat patiently through the Mass as a child, it wasn't until I was much older that I actually understood the meaning behind the celebration.
Sure, I enjoy celebrating the Christian holidays. I've always loved the warm fuzzy feeling that the "Spirit of the Season" brings. Given that Christ is one of the Deities I honor, and that I have Christian family, I will still celebrate his birth, but that doesn't mean I feel the need to celebrate all the holidays in his honor. I honor him more often, along with my other Deities, with devotions and offerings on my altar.
In light of my father in law's recent passing, there didn't seem to be a reason for a formal Easter celebration this year. Our Christian family members are scattered too far and wide for us to celebrate together. Our kid's are currently "undeclared" in terms of their religious beliefs, or at least for holidays where there are no actual gifts involved, and have long since outgrown the Easter Bunny. Although, they so bemoaned the tragedy that is their lives without their Easter baskets, that we broke down and bought them each a chocolate bunny.
I must confess that, while at least for me Easter seemed more of an afterthought this year, we will be celebrating it. We will celebrate in honor of my father-in-law, Mike and all those who find hope and strength in their faith. And while Christ might suggest that a celebration in his honor belongs to everyone, I believe, I've finally reconciled that I no longer consider Easter one of mine.
On March 21st, we celebrated the Pagan holiday of Ostara or the Spring Equinox. It is also a celebration of the return of the sun and is a time of rebirth. And although the outfit I wore was not picked out for me by my Mom, it was the one she saw me come into the World wearing!