I love making Easter baskets, but I have a small problem: I don’t have any kids. So who gets to be the object of my pastel-colored, sugar-packed affection? My boyfriend, of course. I love seeking out the most manly-looking basket I can find (is pastel blue manly?), stuffing it full of fake grass, his favorite candy, and some cute pictures of us, and tying the whole thing up with a big floppy bow. And then later on I’ll steal a Cadbury egg when he isn’t looking. Who says you have to have kids to have some Easter fun?
For some couples, though, Easter might be a little tricky to navigate, especially if you haven’t openly discussed your beliefs or traditions with each other. There are hundreds of Christian denominations with varying views on the Easter holiday. Some denominations are perfectly okay with chocolate bunnies and jelly beans, while others find it distasteful or offensive.
A brief history of Easter
Why the dilemma? For Christians, the Easter season is a time to remember Jesus’ sacrifice. His death and resurrection are the very foundation of our faith. In some denominations, the 40-day season of Lent, which precedes Easter, is a time for personal sacrifice, deeper prayer and meditation and reflecting on God’s mercy and love. Some Christian denominations even keep to the Jewish Passover tradition of the Seder meal, complete with bitter herbs, salt water and a roasted lamb bone. Taking all of this into consideration, it’s not that surprising that some people would take issue with colored eggs and frilly baskets, which are anything but somber.
Additionally, many of what we now consider our Easter traditions come from paganism. Even the word Easter is derivative of the pagan goddess Eoster, the goddess of the dawn and spring time, whose light was carried by rabbits. To pagans, Easter was a holiday to celebrate fertility, and their symbols of fertility were rabbits and eggs. There is even a legend in which Eoster had a lover who was a bird whom she turned into a rabbit — and that is why the Easter bunny lays eggs. Given this, it’s clear why Easter baskets, which are harmless fun to some people, might seem like idol worship to others.
Finding out what’s right for you
If you’re not sure where your honey stands, ask. Don’t walk into the conversation with your mind already made up with how you want to celebrate the holiday. Approach the subject respectfully and keep an open mind. Avoid being sarcastic or judgmental and keep the lines of communication wide open. This is a conversation that should draw you closer to each other and to God, not further apart.
Once you talk it out, stick to your agreement. If you’ve agreed to have a traditional Seder meal, don’t make a honey-baked ham instead. If you’ve agreed it’s okay to exchange baskets, don’t change your mind at the last second and come up empty handed.
Keeping the focus on God
Depending on you, your sweetie, and your relationship, there just might be a way to compromise. Your Easter baskets don’t have to be stuffed with chocolate bunnies and colored eggs. You can enjoy the fun of an Easter basket and still keep them faith-centered with a few simple swaps. Instead of a giant chocolate bunny, use a Bible or other Christian book as the centerpiece of the basket. Instead of filling plastic eggs with jelly beans, put some of your favorite Scripture verses in them. Maybe include a new cross necklace or key chain. You can even find Christian candy (yes, you read that right) on OrientalTrading.com. If you’re creative, you can find plenty of ways to keep your Easter festivities focused on God.