Wednesday, March 31, 2010

What Do You Do?

We're not going to raise the girls in a religious tradition. Zazie was raised Catholic, I was raised Episcopalian. Zazie's convince the whole religion thing is a crock, I'd say I'm more agnostic. We don't plan to raise the girls in church, though the Society for Ethical Culture does seem intriguing.

If you are not practicing a religion, do you celebrate Christmas or Easter? Zazie really wants to do Easter baskets for the girls. I feel a little oogie about it- for my family, Easter wasn't about Easter baskets (though we got them, of course), it was about going to church and celebrating Jesus ascending. The whole idea of Jesus (put on earth to die for our sins, eating [symbolic or real, depending on which church] his body and blood) are what make me shy away from Christianity in the first place.

If Easter doesn't have a religious meaning for you, should you celebrate it at all? I know some of the traditions we think of belonging to Easter actually come from Pagan celebrations, which is great, but if that's the point, shouldn't we celebrate the Spring equinox instead? Do we as a family really need another holiday focused on what you get (presents at Christmas, candy at Easter) and not tied to anything in particular?

We decided that they'll get small Easter baskets and we'll do something outdoors to celebrate Spring. This year, they're each getting the heuristic play baskets we've been making (they're looking GOOD!), a few books that I loved as a kid, and candy. The candy will be eaten by Mama and Mommy, of course.


  1. This is tough for me as well! I did get him a few things for Easter but it's a struggle since we're not practicing any religion at the moment. We are thinking of looking into the United Church of Christ.

  2. we're not religious, but in the past, we've celebrated them all. personally, i think it's ok to separate the ideology from the customs to create your own traditions. easter to celebrate spring, as you mentioned. christmas to celebrate family.

    maybe it helps that we don't have kids. ???

  3. the traditions behind the religion are far more interesting. ethial culture is great for families with kids. my old boss at time inc is raising her kids that way. as she said, morals and ethics aren't owned by religion! anyway, my mom made us go to temple, even when i protested that i was agnostic. and she said something i consider very valuable, to this day: you don't have to believe to learn about it. and my religious education was very helpful throughout my regular education.
    while the girls are little, you could think of all of this as starting your own traditions and rites and as they get older and able to understand more, you can introduce different traditions as a way of letting them see the world and find their own spiritual path. but really, what do i know!?!

  4. I like the idea of celebrating the spring equinox and making sure to do something outside. That seems like a nice tradition.

  5. I want to clarify that while I don't think religion is a 'crock,' I am -what is a better word? - disenchanted (that's the one!) with organized religion.

    I absolutely see the value in creating new traditions that better reflect my world view, particularly now that we have children. I'm reflecting on it this year, and hope to have my feeling more defined for the next time the spring equinox comes hopping down the bunny trail. ;)