I have been following the blog, Our Lady of Perpetual Bread Crumbs, for a while now. Each Sunday she posts a controversial topic then asks others to blog about it. This week she has asked AMoment2Think to host. This week’s topic – whatever you want to blog about as long as it is inspired by another’s blog post. You can discover all the rules here.
For me, today’s post is inspired by AMoment2Think’s post titled, The Other Thing I do on Sunday. In this post, she describes the reasons that she goes to church although she defines herself as agnostic. I felt that this was an appropriate post for this Easter weekend. Easter is a deeply religious holiday but also one that seems to be celebrated without thought of its meaning. Her post made me think about the importance of reflection and instilling meaning in our lives and those of our children.
Pastel bunnies and egg themes adorn windows. Daffodils and lilies are ready to take home from the market. There are hot crossed buns and Easter bread in the bakeries. Stores stock walls of chocolate and cutesy bunny-themed gifts. Good Friday is a statutory holiday. And the holy week is marked by Christian pageantry such as carrying a cross through town.
Today is Easter Sunday. And last week I got the question from the Bear, “why do we celebrate Easter?”
Until this year, I thought that Easter clearly had two sides – the Christian tradition of celebrating the resurrection of Christ on one side and the commercialization of the Easter bunny and chocolate on the other.
And here were MJ and I, somewhere in the middle – respecting the Christian message of rebirth and indulging in a bit of chocolate with the Bear but remaining non-committal to either side. No communion, no Easter basket, and critical of the consumption that holidays like Easter tends to inspire.
But I learned something new this year. The Easter holiday originally stems from the celebration of Eastre, a pagan Saxon goddess. Eastre was the goddess of dawn, spring and fertility. Her symbols included the hare and the egg – both symbols of fertility. Later, the Christians found it practical to continue celebrating Eastre’s holiday and Christianized the holiday to emphasize the resurrection of Christ. The symbol of the egg also has roots in many earth-based traditions as a sign of spring and new beginnings.
How does this relate to this blog, you may ask?
I believe that an important part of parenting is being mindful of why we do the things we do. If we want to encourage our children to ask the question ‘why,’ then, as parents, we must be prepared to empower them to explore the answers. Rather than just accept holiday symbols around us, it is our responsibility to give them life.
So today, we went to church with my family. And the Bear had some Easter chocolate. But ultimately we celebrated spring.
However you choose to celebrate this day, I hope that it is done with mindfulness. Happy Easter.