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Opinion column: A happy Easter to all

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 3rd, 2013

I hope you had a happy Easter. I hope you got to share it with those you love. For me, Easter has always been the official start of spring, even though through the years Easter morning has been as likely to have a foot of snow on the ground as not. But, snow at Easter doesnít last very long, and daylight shows up a little earlier and hangs around a little longer as soon as the Easter baskets make their appearance.

A few friends and family joined us for Easter dinner, which is how Easter should be celebrated. Without getting too philosophical or preachy, I believe God meant for Easter to bring us together; ultimately, it was the original purpose of Easter. No one should be alone on Easter.

If someone were to do a survey, I would bet good money (if I had any money, good or bad) that Easter evokes more family traditions than any other holiday, including Christmas. There is coloring Easter eggs, hiding Easter eggs, Easter baskets, new Easter outfits, going to church (for possibly the only visit of the year) and the food. Mustnít forget the food.

Some families have ham, some serve lamb, some stick with good olí turkey and dressing. Many folks throughout the world have goat. We like to mix it up at Easter, turkey and ham, that way everyone gets what they want. You also have a choice of leftover entrťe rather than being stuck with just one for the rest of the week.

The Easter season has a tradition and a religious backstory for about half the people in the world, Muslim, Jew and Christian. As a Christian, Easter is at the top of my list, for both backstory and family involvement.

I love to color Easter eggs and hide them for the kids in our family. Unfortunately for me, the Ďkidsí in our immediate family are all in their 20s, except for my grandson Popeye, who is nine months old and too young to appreciate the nuances of exceptional egg coloring and thoughtful egg hiding.

Though they didnít get hidden, two-dozen eggs did get colored and used as table decorations. Some traditions must never die.

I know there are folks that donít partake in the traditions that surround Easter, such as Easter eggs and Easter baskets, though they cherish the backstory. I understand the concern. There is a message of Easter, one that must be shared and not be lost in the trappings of a secularized holiday. But every moment is a teaching moment, and, just as Jesus taught through the use of parables, Easter is just one big parable waiting for parents to confound their children with.

Easter is about rebirth, renewal, finding that which is hidden right in front of your eyes. It is about coming together, being together and feeling that connectedness even when we arenít together. Easter is a shaking off of the coldness of winter and welcoming the new warmth of spring. Itís about putting on a shiny new garment that tells the world you are alive. I love Easter.

You know, I still have those Easter eggs I colored; I think Iíll go hide them and find them myself. If itís a nice day, I might just tote Popeye around with me. Youíre never too young to learn the importance of a good tradition.

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