Saturday, 23 April 2011

Holiday Traditions.

So I wrote this, got depressed and decided to go and visit my sister this weekend. But as I've not posted for a while I thought I'd put it up anyway. Apologies- it really is ramblings...

So Sunday is Easter.
And I have no idea how I'm supposed to be celebrating.
I honestly can't remember what we did as a family when I was younger.
Essentially not that much. Growing up with two parents who had long since rejected the religion they had been indoctrinated into as children, it was never a cause for celebration.
I do remember one year searching in vain for Easter eggs in the back garden after my friend had told me the Easter bunny left her chocolate in hers. My parents unfortunately had no forewarning- just a crying eight year old who had found nothing but molehills.

When I was in America the church I attended with my host family was swamped on Easter Sunday. And the week following Pastor launched a scathing attack on those who saw religion as a twice a year thing. Easter in America was a hot, stuffy church service and a meal for 40 family members involving large amounts of mashed potato and several screaming children.

This year I'm conflicted. The casual blasphemy that I hear all around niggles. Although I don't and can't believe in the God I was pressured into loving in America I can't reject it all entirely. But it's not something I want to celebrate. I don't want to be a part time Christian that Pastor George so resented. I don't want to just accept the nice bits and ignore the rest of it (even if years of study/deprogramming has taught me that is an unavoidable part of interpreting a book that has two mutually exclusive creation stories in the first three chapters).

Christmas brings out the crazy in me a little less. I'm comfortable with the fact that Jesus existed and I'm happy to acknowledge the birth of one of the most influential men in history. And the original pagan routes of the celebration appeal much more strongly. Also Christmas to me is all about family, it's about giving and love. Easter on the other hand was only ever about chocolate. And normally disappointment. That I didn't have enough, or I was too greedy to make it last. And later, after the brainwashing, it was about a man who died for my sins who I totally rejected. It was about the last bit of Christianity that I couldn't accept.

As it's not a family celebration I'm not seeing anyone. In fact I expect to spend the day pretty much alone, probably moving some stuff across to my new flat and cleaning where I'm currently staying and eating myself into a chocolate and wheat coma. Lent is one bit of Christianity I get. And one of the only ways I have any will power. Although since giving up chocolate and all things wheat I have essentially just replaced my 4p.m. sugar-crash chocolate/cake/biscuit with toffee popcorn, so it possibly hasn't been a complete success.

I think next year though I'm going to plan it a bit better, think of a better way to celebrate, or maybe try to find something I'm comfortable with celebrating.

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