Watching videos of kids screaming and crying, when confronted, or being forced to endure photos or surprises by the Easter bunny, I couldn’t help but reflect. A few belly laughs later, I wondered how the original stories of Easter began. All I know is that even my husband became disenchanted with Easter bunnies, years ago, after seeing one buy a package of cigarettes, in a mall, in full costume.
As such, my focus for this week is on reflection. I choose to reflect because it amazes me how many things we buy into, believe, or do, out of habit, tradition or ritual. According to the stories of the real reason behind Easter, I was almost hiding the other day, as I purchased some $3.99 hollow, milk chocolate Easter bunnies with the candy eye. (Believe me, they are hard to find these days, so I had to stock up.)
Easter, along with some of the holidays that Canada actually lists as legal statutory holidays, is generally based on a belief system of one religious organization. Yet, we tend to celebrate it by buying chocolate, hunting for Easter eggs and eating a lot of food. It seems weird to still have these holidays, when so many people do not believe or even know why we celebrate them.
I am actually not going to get into any of those reasons. This weekend, I just became vividly aware that we often do things without knowing, understanding or maybe even caring about why we do something.
I remember that I wasn’t supposed to eat meat on the Friday before Easter, but I couldn’t recall why. I remember that there was a big celebration after the resurrection of Jesus, but for the life of me, I cannot remember why we take our children to get photos with scary and creepy looking Easter bunnies, in the mall, and eat mounds of chocolate bunnies and eggs.
Don’t get me wrong, I love the chocolate and I was right there this past week, being a proud Grandma, as my daughter propped my two adorable grandsons on the lap of a tall, white, skinny, furry bunny, as I snapped photos. I also have extremely fond memories of my Zee Zee arriving with several chocolate Easter bunnies in tow, every Easter. Zee Zee was apparently the best pronunciation that I could muster, for my uncle, when I was a wee child.
Easter ranks right up there with Halloween, as far as my favourite snack days of the year, but there you have it, I can’t even remember why we walk around the neighbourhood to collect junk food from perfect strangers.
I feel uneducated, out of the loop and extremely naïve about some of the things we engage in, as a social community. Reflection is a way for me to stop, focus on the present moment and decide if I will or will not continue such traditions. Since anything that involves chocolate will likely be kept in the ‘pro’ column of activities that I will continue to do, in the future, my reflection might all be in vain.
I feel quite like a rebel, though, as someone who may just decide to discontinue some things that are no longer in line with my values. I want to figure out what all of these holidays and traditions really mean to me. I want to decide to celebrate for the reasons that resonate with me and make sense to me. I want to know what I am actually ‘holidaying’ for. I realize that I have quite a bit more reflecting to do.
I hope your weekend is wonderful and loving and happy and sweet. I hope you enjoy time for relaxation, family time, quiet time or fun time. I hope that you get to rest, decompress, take a load off or engage in activities that make you happy.
I also hope that you have time to reflect. I hope that you are able to really decide to create your life, one choice at-a-time, around each and every one of the people, beliefs, hobbies, passions, interests and things that you adore being around, that you believe in and that bring you joy. I know that I will. Happy Easter everyone; whatever that might mean for you….
‘Easter is meant to be a symbol of hope, renewal, and new life.’ ~ Janine di Giovanni
Some of Julie’s past columns and talk shows have included: ‘This Rocky Life’, ‘Life is Too Short’, ‘Motivational Minute’, ‘Life, Chocolate & The Pursuit of Sanity’, ‘Candid Conversations’, ‘The Scoop’ and ‘What’s On My Mind’.
Julie’s photos from this week, article links and inspiring quotes can be found at www.facebook.com/JulieHryniewicz.