You’ve probably bought a bucket load of chocolate delicacies for the kiddies to devour. Or you might have made plans to go out for a few drinks with your mates for an afternoon session. You might’ve hidden eggs around the garden for the curious kids to find or you might’ve helped to decorate an Easter bonnet for school. You could have received a handmade, PVA-glued, glittery card from your little treasure, which takes pride of place on the fridge. You’ve probably had a family day out to ‘make the most of the extended weekend’. After all, it’s Easter Bank Holiday – but what’s it all about?
During the Easter break, I love a toasted hot cross bun smothered in butter and I don’t have to be persuaded to polish off a milk chocolate egg (or two). Unsurprisingly, I’m grateful for some time off work with the other half and we usually have a day out. We buy chocolate eggs for our nephew, our godson and goddaughter and some of our friends kids. (I’m sorry if I sent a gift last year and didn’t this year – or vice versa!) Other than that, I’m a bit lost. I don’t know if you’re meant to send cards? If so, who to? A select few? They look like they’re breeding in the local supermarkets. Am I supposed to cook a roast dinner? Am I supposed to go to church? I’m all confused about the Easter expectations, you see?
“I feel a bit of a fraud celebrating Easter when I don’t know if I believe it all. I don’t think I’m alone in this”.
Me, I celebrate Easter because ‘that’s how it’s always been’. A tradition. It’s been more about my upbringing as opposed to a commitment to religious observance; it’s never been about my beliefs on the matter of Jesus. Yet, I feel a bit of a fraud celebrating Easter when I don’t know if I believe it all. I don’t think I’m alone in this. Does that make us ignorant?
I went to primary school in South Yorkshire, in the 1990s and we sang hymns in assembly. It was the expectation of our school leaders as opposed to a devout appreciation of God. We took part in Easter Bonnet competitions where Mum’s creativity had the chance to shine. Straw hats covered in little yellow chicks – What’s not to like? We received milk chocolate eggs from family members. I’ve got a sweet tooth so I didn’t mind. We hunted for eggs on family fun days, received gifts of eggs, books and cuddly toys. We had time off school, played outside with friends and spent time with loved ones.
Considering why I mark the Easter break, made me wonder if I’m an Atheist. But then, I’m not completely opposed to God. I could be Agnostic; I just don’t have enough evidence to prove or disprove his existence. I suppose I’d say, I am more of a humanist; I believe in morality & ethics. Like most ordinary people, I’m respectful of other religions but I’m not happy if a particular one is being imposed on me. I believe that labels don’t really matter, if you have an open mind but don’t tell me what to believe; I’ll decide for myself.
In the past, however, I have prayed (a handful of times) particularly when my parents have been ill. Were my prayers answered by an omniscient entity or were we just fortunate to have medical expertise and luck on our side? Who knows?
Five years ago, I spent Easter Sunday in a church in South Africa. I took part in collective prayer. I was moved by the passionate gospel singing and seeing everyone proud to be in their best clothing. Having never been to church at Easter, it was an education for me, the adults and children who were part of our expedition. Nevertheless, it hasn’t changed my beliefs, just my understanding and tolerance of others. I continue to view the Easter Holiday as a break from the everyday stresses of modern life…and if there’s some chocolate involved then I won’t protest.
“It’s a chance to take some time out”
So, whether you believe in the story of Easter or not, and however you choose to mark the holiday – it’s a chance to take some time out. Whether you’re stuffing your face with chocolate eggs, making the most of your time at home, out at a family fun day, doing DIY or tucking into roast dinner – make it a good one. The clocks have changed and today, we begin to have lighter nights. It’d be good to make the most of it. Hope you enjoy it; remember there’s no work tomorrow!