I Hate Easter (and love it)
I’m not completely sure why, but all the crap that goes along with Easter has always repulsed me (though my overindulgence in Cadbury eggs during my college years didn’t repulse me as much as it should have). Here are a few of the reasons I think the cultural side of Easter is my least favorite of all the holidays.
- Pastels. Every holiday has it’s colors, and someone somewhere decided for Easter we’d just use all the colors that make you want to vomit. The wimpy colors on the palate had no where else to go, so they landed on Easter. Maybe it’s because when you color eggs you can’t really get them dark, they just turn out pastel. If I had to live in a house painted Easter colors I would sleep on the floor at Starbucks.
- Stupidity. Colored eggs? A bunny (who is usually scary looking)? Cheap chocolate shaped into rabbits wrapped in cheap foil (and usually hollow, so you get totally hosed)? Who came up with this stuff? And that is a rhetorical question. I’m sure there is some wonderful meaning behind it all, but if I can’t figure it out without delving into the annals of history or at least wikipedia, I don’t want to know. Really I just hate it all so much I don’t want to know.
- Did I mention eggs? Easter is supposed to be about new life, but when you hard boil eggs there is no chance of them resulting in new life. Just pointing that out.
- Easter grass. You know the large sheets of colored cellophane that’s shredded into little strips and then you shove it in Easter baskets? That crap is ugly. And it makes a huge mess. And it’s ugly, in case I didn’t say that.
Those are the only things I can think of right now. All the silly ugliness kept me from fully engaging the wonderful truth behind Easter for a long time, but in recent years I’ve been able t0 reclaim a passion for Easter’s true meaning. Here’s what’s done it for me.
- I’ve started observing Lent. I’m not much for empty religion and if people give up something for Lent because they have to I think they should take a pass. But for me giving up something has become something that leads me to reflect on Jesus’ life, suffering, death, and resurrection. Religious acts are a funny thing–done purely for the religion they suck, but if you use them as tools of faith they can be profound.
- I really engage Good Friday. I have made this a day of mourning. I try to remember that most of the disciples of Jesus didn’t really believe he’d rise from the dead. Good Friday was the end of their hopes for salvation and it ended the life of the person who was supposed to be their Savior. I try to engage the hopelessness they felt.
- I celebrate the resurrection. The resurrection is THE reason for hope. It is the defeat of death and promise of eternal life (not one that extracts you from this one, but that begins now and continues beyond death). It is the breaking of the power of sin. That is something to celebrate. And having back whatever I give up for Lent is a part of the celebration. Really engaging Good Friday helps me really celebrate Easter.
So I love the part of Easter that celebrates the resurrection of the Messiah, and I hate the part where you decorate things with ugly pastels.