I’ll just say it plain:
We don’t do the Easter Bunny at our house.
I don’t think the EB is a symbol of paganism or anything dire like that, but he’s also not my idea of a good religious symbol, and for me, Easter is about Christ, not chocolate eggs.
So, I go past those colorful displays of plastic and tinfoil. I don’t buy baskets or fake grass. I don’t make decorated cookies, or zillions of hardboiled eggs to dye. There’s no frenzy, no guilt, no extra shopping… we get to ease into spring with all the optimism, and none of the stress. I like that.
Between now and April 4, we’ll need to pick and choose which family celebrations we’d like to do this year.
We might have a Welcome Spring day with the kids, and that might involve hunting for treats in the yard, but it won’t be during the Holy Week.
We’ll want to re-read some scripture, and do a bit of study about the Holy Land, and culture at the time of Christ. We’ll have some good family chats about repentance and redemption around the dinner tables.
We’ll plan a few celebratory meals for Holy Week.
We’ll pull out maps, and grab some books about modern Jerusalem from the library (which reminds me, I need to make a book drop, or my fines are going to make a Caesar blush!)
We might choose to enjoy our heritage as part of the Body of Christ, and celebrate a Passover Supper. It’s my opinion that Christians are blessed to inherit all that is wonderful in Judaic tradition, as well as the New Testament goodness. The richness and solid foundation of the Jewish holy days are beautiful to me, and Passover is one of the most lovely.
As a Christian reading the Old Testament, and the story of the Passover, I can see every point of symbolism and prophecy fulfilled in Christ, and that’s exciting. I like to share with my children the perfection and completeness of God’s plan for us.
I was also fortunate as a child to have parents who were eager to let me see the beauty in many faith traditions, who cheerfully accepted when a friend’s family invited me to a Passover Seder in their home. It was… so many things: solemn, joyful, peaceful, full of life… full of interesting food and good company and a celebration of God’s blessings to us all.
We’ve done our mini version of a Passover Seder twice in the past, with a simplified Haggadah. Learning the phonetics of the various prayers is not the easiest thing in the world, but it’s very worthwhile.
Last year, we spent Easter moving out of the hotel and into a new home, and sort of skipped a lot of the symbolic celebrations, and they were greatly missed. We won’t make that mistake this year. The turnings of the liturgical year lend such a solid ground to the passing of seasons, and my sense of placement in the world and in the eternities. Missing an Easter leaves me feeling unsteady, as though I’ve skipped a few chapters, and haven’t quite got a grip on the plot. Celebrations are much more than presents or decorations or candy… they are the checkpoints that keep us solidly attached to our mortality, while looking forward to something more.
Adapting a truly ancient tradition must be done with respect and care, of course; I’ll be happy to share what I find and use as we get closer. (I’m very blessed to have some dear friends who don’t mind sharing their Jewish faith with Christian me, and that’s a pretty cool thing.)
But, for now, it’s enough to know that we’re not stuck with the Bunny. We have more reasons to celebrate than the Holiday Industrial Complex could ever imagine, and we’re boycotting their version of our Holy Days.