The Story of Easter

Our Backyard Tree in the Dead of Winter

I’ve written before about how I’m not big on the whole structured religion thing and as my children get older I ponder how I should go about dealing with the topic of religion. Today was Easter, which of course brought the whole religious thing into question, again. So how do I explain Easter? I mean truthfully Easter originally is a Pagan holiday (Eoster) which (like Christmas) got painted with the Christianity wand. So what do I tell them?

Well I opted for a simpler tale of rebirth. Outside we have a huge tree that shades half of our backyard in the summer. It’s one of the most gorgeous trees I’ve ever seen. During the winter the tree has been bare but in recent weeks it’s slowly began springing back to life with tons of bright green leaves. Also in our backyard are the sprouts in both our vegetable garden and flower garden. There are coming to life as well and slowly growing into the full rich colorful gardens they will be throughout the summer.

So instead of trying to explain the story of the Resurrection I took my kids outside. We looked at the beautiful tree that had been dead all winter and examined all the signs that it was indeed coming back to life. That, I told my kids, was what Easter was about. The changing of the season. When the cold harsh winter moves away and all that was asleep or dead comes back to life again.

I think by giving my kids a good spiritual base that is more about nature and just the life force that flows in and out of all of us, I’m giving them a strong foundation to help them as they grow older to seek the path that works for them.

Or maybe I just don’t feel like going to church.

So if you’re not exactly overly religious, or not religious at all, do you make any attempts at trying to explain holidays like Easter? Or do you just let them thing the whole thing is Easter Bunnies and chocolate eggs?

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Marcella
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 15:20:10

    Honestly, I think it sounds all wishy-washy and weak.

    If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything. If your kids are taught one thing really well, they won’t have a firm foundation to stand on. I see that first hand – my mom went to college during the 60’s era. The thinking was to raise your kids (like you are doing) going to church, but exploring everything else. We were raised in one denomination but my mom was very open to attending other churches and “open” to other ideas. I say “raised in one denomination” loosely. We went to church on Sunday, but didn’t really embrace the beliefs, didn’t study the bible. Of four kids in my family – one is a sorta budhist (never married, no kids), 2 are involved in a cult that has sucked their lives and money out of them (1 divorced, 1 headed to divorce), and me – a born again Christian who studies the bible and teaches my kids about our beliefs. We don’t put down people of other faiths, but if I don’t believe what I am learning/teaching with my whole heart, than I don’t really believe it.

    As far as paganism roots – Jesus rising from the grave is the end all, be all, of the Christian faith. It WILL be celebrated. So what if there was a celebration that was pagan at that time. If you are going to teach people a new way of thinking, and they already have a huge celebration at this time, do you come into town and announce everyone should stay home this year – or do you say “look, we know in the past this celebration represented x, but this is what you should be thinking about instead.”

    Raise your kids right – they may stray when they go off to college, but will find their way in the world with a true, clear understanding of at least one thing. You are raising your kids in a fuzzy way and they may get sucked into a yuck lifestyle as adults. Give them a foundation so they have a benchmark to compare new ideas to. I know from firsthand experience as well as observing this in others lives.

    Reply

  2. Maggie
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 20:53:57

    Marcella, Sounds to me like you’re putting down people of different beliefs. “wishy washy” “weak”, “You are raising your kids in a fuzzy way “. Sounds kind of judgmental and closed minded to me. Just saying. I raised my kids with a foundation of love and kindness to each other and to others. And a healthy respect for nature. As adults they are wonderful loving human beings. Are you right? Am I wrong? NO, you’re right for you and I’m right for me.

    Reply

  3. Marcella
    Apr 05, 2010 @ 23:15:27

    Maggie –
    Yes, I am being judgmental. Yes, I stated my opinion. However, you are making the assumption that because I disagree, it equals negativity and hatred.
    Reread what Meg posted, and posted in the past about religion and beliefs. She is not certain and has nothing to guide her. Her posts keep stating this (“religion + parenting=fail, I couldn’t answer him.So what do I tell them?”) . She is wishy-washy in her beliefs and that is a fact. It doesn’t bother me at all that she went outside and contemplated the tree and its new growth. That is a wonderful thing – I can think of all kinds of great things about that: she is teaching an appreciation of nature, teaching her children to slow down and observe their surroundings, etc.
    What she is missing out on is having a strong moral base. She is posting a blog about parenting – Meg states that she thinks she is giving her kids a strong spiritual base. Consider this – we have standard for weights and measures. It is located in France. The world has agreed that this is the standard to measure everything against, no argument, and every shopkeeper/business in the world can confidently measure everything against this. Your pound of sugar is my pound of sugar is Meg’s pound of sugar.
    If we believed like you about everything, than there would be chaos. Maggie, you made the statement “you’re right for you and I’m right for me”. You are in the religion of Relativism. If it feels good, do it.
    I am arguing for providing our children with a good strong base in order to view things from a perspective they would otherwise not have. Whether they decide against being a Christian or not, going to church or not, believing in God or not, at least they would know true facts about Christianity. They would have the standard to measure things against. They would not be easily swayed like my siblings were. Like my mother was/is.
    There is an emptiness in the Relativism way of thinking. I promise.

    Reply

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