It’s Easter today.
I don’t think of Easter as a Christian holiday at all. Sure, a small and ever-reducing percentage of the population goes to Church and tries – in vain – to convince society that this holiday is a Christian one. Friday is still called Good Friday, and the TV news will still pay a bit of lip service to the whole Christian thing, in the hopes of placating its Christian viewership and the vocal Church groups that are around the place.
But the truth is that Easter is increasingly reverting to its Pagan roots. Just like Christmas is. It’s not the same as it used to be, nor can it ever be really. You’ll hear people bicker about which Goddess and rites the holiday originally takes after. You’ll hear others (sometimes the same people) moan about the whole consumerist nature of the thing.
My view? None of it really matters. Enjoy yourself, have a bit – or a lot – of chocolate – and enjoy the long weekend.
I see Easter as being a form of “new Paganism”. People take what they want from whichever religions and traditions suit them best, pile it all together, and make it their own. Eclectic family traditional paganism. Or something.
No family celebrates exactly the same way, and that’s just fine. Nobody seems to have any problem with how other families celebrate these holidays either, and that’s all good too. There’s a general acceptance and tolerance that goes with these remodelled versions of Easter and Christmas that is fun and friendly and positive.
Some families get together; some don’t. In the case of Christmas, blended and extended families might celebrate one meal with one part of the family, and another meal with the next section. Christmas lunch at Mum’s, Christmas dinner at Dad’s, and Boxing Day brunch at Nanna and Pop’s. It’s all good.
Some might choose to ignore it all. These holidays might not be part of their religious and cultural backgrounds, or they might just have decided that they don’t want the fuss and / or the consumerism any more. That’s fine too.
One thing is clear: all our Pagan holidays are a mishmash. What matters is here and now, and what we choose to do. In my family, we celebrate Easter. The Bunny comes to visit my kids, and leaves behind a pile of chocolate eggs and goodies on Sunday morning which the kids then gorge themselves on.
It’s the one day of the year that I do NOT tell the kids “you’ve had enough!” It’s the one day they can be greedy pigs, and I just laugh and encourage them to have another chocolate egg.
And why not?
The amount of chocolate my six year old can eat is truly horrifying. My eight year old can eat even more. Kids need to be kids sometimes, and in this day of kids being told that Food Is Bad, and Fat Is Bad, maybe it’s a good thing to have a day where there are no food rules, and everyone can be a little – or a lot – greedy.
In the case of my kids, they eat extremely heathily the rest of the time, and don’t get many sweets. They’re both lean, as are their father and myself, and I figure that one day of gluttony won’t hurt. Maybe it’ll do some good – neither of my kids will want any chocolate for quite a while after their eggs are gone!
It’s now nearly dinner time, and the chances of me doing anything proper are remote – the kids are too full of the sweets they’ve been eating all day to need a meal. I’ll offer them some brown rice and veggies, and that’ll be about it.
Whatever you celebrate, and however you celebrate, I hope your day has been lovely, and full of the “good stuff”, however you see it!