As a heathen family we are in a unique position when it comes to holidays. We can take part in the ones we want to take part in and we can ignore for the most part the ones we don’t want to be a part of. Generally, we see all holidays as a learning experience, so we usually read about them, do an activity, etc. Easter though has been a dwindling holiday in our home, it wasn’t first acknowledged until General Disarray was about 2 ½ years old, that year I put together a small Easter basket of goodies and hid a few eggs. The following year since The Spouse was deployed I tried to make everything as fun as possible with an indoor hunt due to it being extremely cold where we were living at the time, egg dying, and plenty of sweets and treats. They even meet the Easter bunny for the first time that year.

After that though? Well, it has become all about what they are going to get, candies and cheap toys, and that is it, we usually don’t even know for sure what day it will fall on until we see the store displays. We haven’t seen the Easter bunny in two years since the last visit resulted in General Disarray *who was at the beginning of a very long line* pointed at the bunny taking its seat and exclaimed “Hey mom that’s someone in an Easter bunny costume!” Thankfully all the kids right behind us were too young to even understand what was going on so their parents just ignored what they heard, probably thinking the same thing I was, couldn’t they have found a better bunny costume!

Since then we have done egg hunts, given T.B.M. baskets usually bought pre-assembled and ready to go, and that is it. I have no intention of discussing the Christian aspects of Easter with them until they are much older; going over why people celebrate the brutal beating of a man is just not my idea of need to know information before the age of ten. My recollection of Easters from my childhood all center on Mass, a very boring Easter Mass and the Palm Sunday Mass before it. I actually liked those because we would sit in the pew making crosses out of our palm leaves and that was far more interesting than the service. I vaguely remember Easter egg hunts, there were the forced Spring dresses, and a thrown together Easter basket, but Mass was the most important thing. As a non-believer Catholic Mass only pops into my brain as disturbed flashbacks of old white men in orientate robes sing-talking in monotone voices, making the one holiday I directly related to it something I tend to want to ignore and watch pass quickly from store shelves.

Lately, as the store shelves have become even more overrun with Easter throw-up I’ve been discussing with The Spouse the idea of actually ignoring Easter all together. All T.B.M care about are the baskets of candy and trinkets, and I personally don’t want to focus on a day strictly for material gain. Even Christmas in our home is about love, caring, giving, and being thankful for what we receive. The Spouse though doesn’t want to throw out the baby with the bathwater so to speak. He loves watching the kids hunt for Easter eggs and enjoys helping them eat their way through their candy. He just doesn’t care about the religious aspect of the holiday. I feel while those things are fine we still need to actually have something we are focusing on other than the goodies.

Spring is a wonderful time of year and I would hate to watch the season pass without some sort of celebration. Since we do Spiral Scouts and are working our way through the Sabbats, I’ve been learning about Ostara for our lessons on it. It deals with renewal and rebirth, and a celebration of the Earth being at equilibrium. There are religious aspects to Ostara, and while I intend to discuss these with T.B.M. we wouldn’t actively take part in those aspects, but I do feel for our family focusing more on the time of year and what it brings will give Spring more meaning. We won’t “do” Ostara or Easter, but instead celebrate the Spring Equinox.

The Sabbats Almanac has a great article on kite making and flying as a family/friends activity to bring everyone together which I think would be a great tradition to start. Instead of dying eggs we would work together constructing a family kite, and then head out into the first Spring day with kite in hands, and watch as it flies high above our heads, soaring in the Spring breeze.

Would we completely dump eggs? I don’t think so, eggs are a figure of symbolism for Spring, and we really do love watching the boys hunt for them. We just wouldn’t wait until the “traditional” Easter to have our hunt; it would be a Spring Equinox event. We would discuss the symbolism behind eggs, and then set out in search of our brightly colored eggs. Instead of each egg being filled with candy, half will be filled with encouraging phrases or traits to focus on to help us achieve balance, move past old habits, and grow.

I think this would be a nice compromise for our family. We still get to enjoy egg hunting and goodies, but we also get to focus on family, and reverence for the season of renewal after the dark, cold winters.

Copyright(c)2011 Rayven Holmes


  1. Having also grown up feeling very small in the hallowed halls of the old white men in robes chanting monotone, I appreciate your take and ideas. We, too, have all but ignored Easter. If not for every Tom, Dick, and anyhoo stopping us in (insert place of choice) left and right (including family members)and asking (not us) our ds (age 3) if the Easter Bunny visited, we might have escaped that charade. But, the first few times it happened, we were unprepared and sort of got stuck with the minimal acknowlegement (basket, a hunt, and a meeting of the bad bunny costume). Now, thinking of ways to migrate or transition this into something more meaningful. And BTW, the Easter throw up bothers me, too, and far more than the "holiday" throw up. Pastel toys just don't jive with me.

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