An article in the local newspaper yesterday mentioned that some people were upset by the commercialization of Easter. The article then attempted to prove it's point that the "real meaning" of Easter had been lost by pointing out that the holiday has become a buying frenzy of ham, flowers, and candy. I don't get it. If I buy ham, flowers, or even candy and to create a celebratory event with my friends and family, then I think I have done exactly not only what I think is important, but probably done something that is in alignment with what a lot of other people feel is important.
The Easter Holiday, or any holiday for that matter, carries with it only the meaning we and our forebears have endowed it with. It's well known that Easter is a synthesized holiday combining Christian and pagan traditions. (There is not much that's Christian in easter eggs or easter bunnies.) Those artifacts serve to remind us that for those with this tradition of observing the beginning of Spring, that the season is a time of renewed hope as a cold winter gives away to new growth. The day is sacred to us because we make it so.
In the manic state that America finds itself in now, we have decided that we will find our spring hope and celebrate that time with our families. The American mania gives us less and less time to spend with them, so when we get a break, we stop and spend some time with them. That sounds just about right to me. For those who can take a beautiful spring day and stop what they are doing long enough to spend time with their families, then they have adopted not the judgmental, moralizing family values we see on TV from our religio-huckster politicians, but we see real family values. The kind where we spend time nurturing the relationships with those we care about most.
Want to know what you really think the Holiday is about? Count up the dollars and time you spend on Easter. What were you trying to accomplish by spending that money or effort? The answer will be what matters most to you.