Neither my husband nor I practice any religion. While I love studying and learning about religions I'm generally a failure at practicing them. I tried Catholicism, I tried Protestantism and then I went a little wild in college and tried Islam. I have studied dozens of other faiths. Those are all really long stories of their own, but in the end I ended up back where I was in the beginning. Constantly wondering about the origins of the universe, where I came from, what my purpose is and what happens after we die. I have no answers to any of those questions, aside from deciding that I was going to stop thinking about dying and start living. I wasn't going just to survive anymore, getting through each day, I'm going to get up and go do something, go see something and go make a memory.
Tangent about the meaning of life aside, the reason that I miss Christianity is because I miss the holidays and the community around them. I miss Easter dinner, eating ham around the table. All the warm fuzzies. Atheists/agnostics don't really get holidays. My husband and I don't celebrate Easter, so unless we go out (as we did one year) and dye eggs with a friend's son, it isn't a Sunday any different than any other.
I never really liked Easter that much growing up. The weather in the north east seemed to always be either cold, rainy or both cold and rainy. I had to dress up in 'pretty' clothing, keep my tights clean and go to a really long Mass first thing in the morning. Umm...in a 10 year olds world, none of that is fun. I did however like the candy. I love jelly beans, although I'm rather picky about which ones I like. I like letting chocolate melt on my tongue, and I especially loved this tradition we had in our family.
In my family you had to work to get your Easter basket. You want that chocolate? You want those jelly beans? Then you had to play the game. Every year we had a an Easter Basket hunt with clues written on little pieces of paper leading to other clues around the house. And somehow there was always an Easter basket at the end, even if you had surreptitiously looked in the pots and pans, or in the tub before the actual start of the hunt and there was nothing there, in the end there was always one pristine Easter basket. My parents were sneaky like that! There were places that there were always clues such as the piano, our favorite Beatles record (Sgt. Peppers), the dictionary or our encyclopedias. We always had fun, and I can't wait to teach this tradition to my children.
Another tradition that we had is that my mom gives us toothbrushes on Easter (and in our Christmas stocking). It seems fitting to get a tooth brush right before the start of the sugar rush holidays. Also, my mom would always break the ears off of our bunnies. When we were kids she would steal them (don't deny it mom!) but now she just cracks them off before she send them to us. It is funny, but tends to confuse friends that wonder why we have broken candy in our baskets. It still cracks me up when she sends me candy bunnies in the mail with broken ears.
What is your favorite part of the holidays? The warm fuzzy memories? The traditions?