I think sometimes it’s easy to feel left out of holidays in this country when you are not religious. But as a non-religious parent, I am fully going to embrace the holidays and make them as fun as they can be for my kids. When they are old enough to enjoy it – we definitely will be celebrating Easter.
I don’t consider myself an Atheist. I do consider myself highly suspect of organized religion. I do enjoy stories from all different religions and plan on exposing my children to as many as possible. I think it is possible to believe in some greater spirituality without attributing one particular deity to it. I think it makes sense to explain that people – since the beginning of time – have been reaching for something to believe in that is beyond themselves.
I like the pagan story of Ishtar and how every year, on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox, a celebration was made. It was Ishtar’s Sunday and was celebrated with rabbits and eggs. Some may prefer the narrative of Jesus rising from the dead. Ultimately – what I remember about these holidays when I was a child was the excitement they brought. I don’t want to leave my children out of that excitement because of my own religious doubt. Holidays don’t have to be religious.
I know a lot of people feel that these holidays are just another day for Hallmark to make money and frivolous things to be bought. But frankly, I like any day that brings families together to share a meal at a table. I used to love coloring eggs when I was a kid. And what child doesn’t love receiving a basket of candy? I want to have these rituals with my children. Sure, I’ll tell them the story of the resurrection. Why not? Then I’ll tell them the story of Ishtar and any other entertaining stories I find. They can decide for themselves what their favorite is.
I guess the point of this whole post is – don’t feel left out of typically “religious” holidays if you are not religious. Remember how fun it was to celebrate these “holidays” as a child – and make your own traditions.