As was always the case in my childhood home with holidays normally steeped in religious significance, we made Easter mostly about food and fun: chocolate bunnies and coloring Easter eggs and making a pretty Easter basket. My Yiddisha Mama always baked a nice glazed ham studded with cloves, draped with pineapple slices, dotted with Maraschino cherries. The first year I was taken to the Easter Parade on Manhattan’s famed Fifth Avenue, I felt totally ripped off: no marching bands, no flags and uniforms, no nothing, except dressed-up people, especially women with even more outrageous hats than the church ladies wore. Someone should have warned me.
When I was older, I better understood the concepts of redemption and resurrection so integral to Easter, and as a Spiritualist I don’t entirely pooh-pooh the idea that Christ may have genuinely risen from the dead, but the whole idea was (and is) too tied up with Christian miracles for my taste. I was even older when I learned about the pre-Christian history of Easter as a pagan spring fertility celebration (ergo the eggs) and something to do with a Greek goddess and her pet rabbit that laid eggs. I like this idea better.