09 April 2006

a new easter tradition

This year is the first time that we'll be spending Easter alone as a family. In the past we've always gone to my mom's house, and had the same kind of Easter celebration I've been having since I was a kid. This year, for the first time ever, I don't have to do that. Not that there's anything wrong with the way I've spent Easter all of my life, but I'm starting to like the idea of creating our own family traditions.

Greg is the textbook example of an atheist, and I've labelled myself an agnostic -- part of my overall undecisive nature, I suppose, to say that I can't really know for sure and won't completely exclude any option that hasn't been disproved. But we were both raised Christian, and we were raised with Christian traditions, and we both see the value in those traditions even if we don't really believe in the Resurrection.

So we're making our Easter celebration a celebration of spring. This is one of my favorite times of year -- new life, the earth becoming green again, the return of beauty after a long dead winter. It's kind of an excuse to do the eggs and bunnies and chocolate crap, because what's an American holiday without consumerism? But we're also going to focus on the newness of things in the spring. We're going to plant flowers and dye Easter eggs, and hopefully we can use this holiday to help our kids better appreciate the natural world and all of its magic. And I think it's appropriate that Earth Day follows so closely on the heels of Easter: on Easter we can focus on appreciating the new life and growth of spring, and on Earth Day we can focus on caring for the earth, because of that appreciation for nature.

On a related note, my niece's birthday is on Earth Day, and my family will all be gathering at my mom's house to celebrate. Last year for Earth Day, a group of people in our neighborhood walked around together to pick up litter and clean up the public areas. Well, James loves his cousin, and is excited about her birthday party, but he was genuinely distressed when he heard that we wouldn't be here to pick up the neighborhood on Earth Day. I had to make him a promise that we would go for a walk to pick up litter in Grandma's neighborhood. So I think our environmentalism is already beginning to rub off on the kid.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

James has got to be the most enlightened kid on the planet!

I've always liked the renewal aspect of Easter myself, and it's a lovely thing to be able to start your own holiday traditions and celebrate in a way that makes sense to you.

Much love, Heidi.