I’ve been thinking a lot about Easter. Specifically, how to celebrate it authentically in a spiritual but non-Christian home. What traditions to keep, what traditions to scratch, what traditions to create. It’s a funny thing raising your children with no religious affiliation but keeping the Christian-Judeo traditions you grew up with. Lucky for me, a lot of religious traditions were heavily influenced by the Pagans, whose beliefs and traditions I feel more comfortable passing on.
Here are a few of the thoughts I’ve been scribbling down on the subject in the hopes that we can create our own family easter traditions
- No over-commercialization of the holiday- cheap chocolate, excess wrapping paper and plastic toys that are thrown in the trash all too quickly
- Special day for the children on which they can enjoy a few surprises and treats (eg. one chocolate bunny, a couple small wooden toys and an item of handmade clothing to mark the change of season)
*On this note, in Australia, this is the time of year to mark the coming of Autumn, so it’d be nice if this became a seasonal celebration marking the quietening and cooling of Mother Nature.
- Spend some time on the long weekend setting up our seasonal table, putting out fall themed things like fallen gumnuts, gourds, leaves, pinecones, coloured silks etc. The children can become more and more responsible for collecting and creating this as time goes on.
- Keep the bunny and chickens in the picture, but also include some native Australian wildlife- perhaps talk about how they all leave little gifts behind for children to play with and enjoy before the winter comes. But, also make it a reciprocal thing- the animals give gifts in exchange for gifts from the children- perhaps the promise of leaving some food and water out in the cold months (ex/ homemade bird feeders) and the promise to be kind and never hurt them.
- Create a respectful awareness of what others celebrate on Easter- the death and resurrection of Jesus, but I want to make it clear that this is what others believe and that they can believe whatever holds true in their hearts (clearly not a concept I have to worry about just yet as I have a 1 1/2 year old and another in-utero)
- Above all emphasize values such as family connection, honesty, respect and appreciation for Mother Nature, understanding of seasonal changes and respect and love for animals of all kinds
Now I just have to figure out Christmas...