April 12, 2017

Easter Was Barely a Holiday

Easter
I was raised to be a Christian by a Christian family in a predominately Christian region of a predominately Christian country. Because of this, one could easily be forgiven for thinking that Easter was a particularly important holiday during my childhood. The reality was that it was a minor holiday at best. My family did not seem to be unique in this regard. Easter was no big deal for most of my childhood friends and their Christian families either. I've never been sure why this was the case. It seems like Easter should be the most important holiday for most Christians; however, this was not even close to what I experienced.

As a child, Easter meant that there would be no escape from attending church with my family. Along with Christmas and whenever a religious grandmother would visit, Easter was one of those occasions where schedules would be changed to accommodate church. It did not matter what else was going on or how inconvenient it might be, we'd be at church. Others seemed to have the same idea because the church was always packed on Easter. But aside from that particular horror, Easter didn't seem to mean much else except for dyed eggs, candy, and a somewhat more elaborate evening meal than usual. And before I entered my teen years, most of that would fall by the wayside too.

I am sure that some Christians do make a big deal out of Easter and celebrate it as a major religious holiday. I just didn't seem to know any of them when I was growing up. Several of my Christian friends did not seem to observe Easter at all, aside from the added importance of making an appearance at church. Many didn't even mess with the eggs and candy. It seems kind of odd thinking about it now, but Halloween was a much bigger deal than Easter. Even Valentine's Day was more important.

As an adult, Easter has never held any meaning for me. I can connect with some other holidays through the nostalgia of fond childhood memories, but this just isn't the case with Easter. I don't have any positive Easter-specific memories. It always seemed kind of silly. I never understood what Easter eggs and chocolate bunnies had to do with Zombie Jesus exiting his tomb and roaming the Earth to feast on the brains of his followers. Once I left Christianity behind, the closest I've come to observing Easter has involved using it as an excuse to write something critical of Christianity for this blog.

Today, I suspect that churches see Easter primarily as a promotional event in much the same way a retail business would regard a sale. It is probably one of their best attended days of the year. That being the case, I cannot help feeling a bit happy when I see them advertise. There is no way they should need to advertise for Easter services. If they are advertising, this has to be a positive sign that attendance has been dwindling. At least, that is what I tell myself when I see their ads and want to feel optimistic rather than annoyed.
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