Saturday, April 14, 2007
How to Transform Easter from a Commercial Holiday to a Spiritual and Meaningful One
As soon as Valentine's Day is over, most pharmacies, grocery stores and departments stores change their merchandise to focus upon the next holiday sales event – Easter. It's hard to miss the pastel-colored displays full of stuffed Easter Bunnies, candy and pretty spring outfits. However, Easter has little or nothing to do with these items. In fact, the problem with the celebration of Easter, just like of Christmas, lies in the fact that for many people it has become a commercial holiday rather than a meaningful or spiritual one.
It is possible to make the celebration of Easter a meaningful and spiritual again, however. In fact, it's easy to transform empty Easter celebrations focused on Easter Bunnies, jelly eggs, pretty dresses and hats, and Eater egg hunts into meaning-full and spirit-full ones that focus instead on the original reasons the holiday is celebrated at all.
First, remember why Easter originally was observed. Easter is a holiday that commemorates Jesus'resurrection, which his followers believe occurred on the third day after his crucifixion some time in the period AD 27 to 33. It actually has nothing to do with Easter bunnies, chicks and eggs. Focus on this fact.
Second, spend your time studying Jesus' life on your own or with your family rather than shopping for Easter gifts, which in no way really help remember the awe-inspiring history of this day. Jew and Christian alike will benefit from studying the teachings of this enlightened master.
Third, rather than engaging in Easter egg hunts and sitting around painting Easter eggs, do something spiritual and meaningful to remember this holiday. Go to church, join a study group, have a family meal where you discuss Jesus' teachings and the meaning of his resurrection, create a sacred space or altar in your home and put items on it that make you think about Jesus or the principles he taught or the characteristics he possessed. Rather than engaging in Easter egg hunts and shopping, do anything that offers you or your family a chance to create a meaningful and spiritual holiday observance.
Sometimes it takes only a change of focus and intent to make a holiday that has become too commercial spiritual and meaningful again. In other words, pay attention to the spiritual and religious aspects of the holiday and discover those symbols, rituals, prayers, or observances that have personal meaning for you. Also, use the power of intention to help you stay conscious of these things. Simply intend to transform this Easter from an empty observance into a meaning-full and spirit-full one, and your intentionality will fuel the creation of what you want.