Growing up in a non-religious household, we still celebrated Easter. Only, Easter becomes more of a lesser Christmas (ironically), meaning you get to wake up to less toys in the morning. Mostly candy, really, and a bunch of plastic confetti.
The funny thing about Easter is that the secular world has successfully separated itself from the traditional, religious undertones of the holiday. At least with Christmas, we still have all those Christmas songs that remind us about the baby in the manager, or the birth of a Savior that happened one holy, silent night. As a culture, we even hold onto that idea that Christmas is a moment to sit back and be selfless—to love your neighbor as yourself, no matter what god you believe in.
However, Easter has managed to make candy and cute, pastel animals it’s number one priority. Without church, there is nothing to remind someone of Jesus’s sacrifice and resurrection, except maybe that one weird kid in school with ash on his forehead. Thus, I had no idea Easter had anything to do with Christ until I was well past elementary school.
I remember my favorite Easter at home. I came home from dinner with my gram, and when I opened the door there was candy spewed all over the floor. My basket had been tossed around as if it were a football! There was also this giant carrot sitting amongst the chocolate with a toothy bite taken out of the top. My dad then informed me that he had accidently fallen asleep on the couch, only to wake up at the sound of the Easter bunny hopping around with our baskets. He’d scared him off and made a giant mess.
Needless to say, my belief in the Easter bunny was at its height that year. The teeth marks in the carrot were so real!
However, my belief in a real, personal God was at an all-time low. And the danger of believing so faithfully in a fictional character is when you realize you were just caught up in a childhood fantasy. What was fun at first really gave way to cynicism in my mind.
These days I really appreciate all the fun Easters I spent with my family. Looking for hidden eggs, eating lots of home cooked food, and getting to eat chocolate until my stomach hurt was awesome. I even got a skateboard once! But even though I always celebrated Easter, I never really celebrated the Resurrection, which is what we are called to remember.
Therefore, I strongly urge those who might think it’s obvious to their kids what Easter means to talk with them. It’s not always as obvious as we’d like to believe, and we aren’t always as ready to talk about our God dying for us as we are our favorite candy.