Jeneric Jeneralities ~ by JenIG
April 2nd, 2007
Easter – Bah Humbug?

I wrote a post about celebrating Christmas, which got a lot of very interesting response.  I have a new question for you (along the same lines).  Is Easter a Christian Holiday?  I know there are great controversies about its roots.  But what do *you* think about Easter?  Do you hate it? Do you love it? Eggs or no eggs?  New dress and hat or no new dress and hat?  Ham or tamales?

Throughout my Christian life, Easter Morning has always left me feeling guilty.  I can’t remember any specific Easter where I had *felt* the level of spiritual reverence that I figured was necessary for such a holy day.  Here’s the thing though.  I finally realized that Easter is not any sort of biblically mandated holiday.  There is no call to set a certain Sunday aside in spring to celebrate the resurrection of our Lord.  What you do see is the mandate to celebrate communion; to gather together with other believers on an ongoing basis to fellowship; to remember His death and resurrection (through the breaking of bread and drinking of wine), to exhort, encourage, reproof, rebuke, teach, sing spiritual songs and psalms to admonish one another as we testify the truths of our risen Saviour, and to tell others in this dying world about the Good News.  

See? Doesn’t that make you feel better?  I bet some of you have suffered from Easter Guilt, just like I did.  There is no need to feel pressured to conjur up special “Easter Emotions”.  One day, or even week, could never fully express what our lives should reflect all year long in response to His great sacrifice for us.

So does this mean you shouldn’t celebrate Easter?  Nope, I am not saying that at all.  It is still a lovely day that can be meaningful and full of fun – one that has an added focus on our Lord.  It’s neither bad, nor good.  It’s just a day to make whatever you want from it.  Matter of fact, I’m excited because one of the sweet families from our new church has invited us to their home to have Easter lunch with several other families. So Easter Day has given us a great excuse to make new friends.   

SO….. Happy Easter Week! 

In all that you do, whether in word or deed, love and magnify the Lord our God and love one another deeply. 

PS thanks for humoring me with my last post.  You guys are funny

April 2nd, 2007 - Posted in Uncategorized | | 0 Comments

No Responses to ' Easter – Bah Humbug? '

Subscribe to comments with RSS

  1. Anne said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 9:21 am

    Untitled Comment

    You know, that is such a good point! Easter–or as we prefer to call it, Resurrection Sunday, didn't start out as a Christian holiday. "Easter" came from a pagan word, and it was a celebration of new life and spring, hence the bunnies and eggs. (Don't ask me where the new dresses came in!) Way back when, the Christians were like "Hey, the pagans got a cool holiday! We want cool holidays too!" so they adopted Easter I guess, or something to that effect. We celebrate Jesus' resurrection, most definitely not bunnies and eggs. 😉

  2. 2peter318 said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 10:41 am

    Untitled Comment

    Thank you for that insight. It is very encouraging. 🙂


  3. MuckFootMom said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 11:04 am

    good thoughts …

    although does that mean we should be conjuring up "resurrectiony" feelings even more often? I say that half-jokingly, but I struggle with being an emotional person, but not wanting to try to base my faith on what I feel, since what I feel often lies, but then again wanting to be reverent and truly celebrate what God has done.

    I guess we do 'celebrate Easter' in that we tend to call it that, and although we don't make it *about* the candy, we make sure to GET the candy 😀 …

    but I do often feel guilty that maybe we don't really have enough of a focus on the resurrection …

    but can I dismiss that 'easter guilt' if I still feel I don't focus on it enough on <i>any</i> given Sunday? 😕 Sometimes I feel like this is such a *distracted* time in my life, with little ones to get ready for church … I often have trouble *feeling* (there's that word again) like Sunday has been worshipful and I wonder whether the children are really learning the important stuff, or whether it's all getting sidetracked …

  4. mamasmurf said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 12:23 pm


    This has certainly got me thinking. I have always thought of "Easter" (as in "the Resurrection") as being more important to me than Christmas. What I mean is, yes, Jesus was born into this world for us – and this should be celebrated – but Easter brings a certain hope for the future. When He rose from death, He gave us the possibility of a New Life in Him. Do you see where I'm coming from? (It's difficult to put into words!).

    As a family, we don't have all the chocolate eggs etc., we concentrate more on the true meaning of the Resurrection. We attend church and share the celebration with family and friends over lunch afterwards.

    Thanks for getting me thinking on an otherwise pretty uneventful day!!


  5. Isaiah5513 said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 12:34 pm

    The best thing about "easter"…

    clearance chocolate!

    We don't "do" easter. I don't even like to use the word. Without being "religious" I prefer the Holy days God created to remember His the glorification of His Son, Passover, Unleavened Bread and First Fruits.

    That being said, I certainly don't condemn anyone who wants to use the day to remember the Lord's resurrection.

    What ever you do, do it to the glory of God.

  6. jewls2texas said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 1:17 pm

    Yep yep yep

    I agree totally – Our lives should celebrate both the birth and resurrection of our Lord. Don't get me started on the whole commercialism thing – just another holiday to sell cards and do-dads. I read somewhere about someone making chocolate Jesuses (I have NO idea if this is the correct plural – and I don't want a plural Jesus anyway!) And although I admire conscientious parents who buy the chocolate crosses in an effort to make the "holiday" about the Lord instead of the Easter Bunny – I still think there is something wrong about a pretty little chocolate cross (even if it's white chocolate) complete with little confectionary flowers. The cross is brutal. Yes, for those of us who believe it is beautiful – but we make it a child's storybook, and diminish the brevity of what it stands for when we make it such.

    Sorry – didn't mean to rant – and hope not to offend anyone. You asked!

  7. Jul said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 5:05 pm

    Yes Indeedy!

    I very much agree with what you have written here. Jesus Christ lives… He is Risen, He is Risen indeed! We should be celebrating that all the time! Yes, with communion and gathering with others to remember Him in the way He has instructed for us to, until He comes again. We have the blessed hope! We should be encouraging each other in that hope!

    We (our family) has gone full circle with this issue as well as with Christmas and all other "holidays"… we view none as actually being HOLYdays.

    For “Easter” ( I don't care for the word)~We no longer have any problem with celebrating with others in nice clothes, or having "spring baskets" and seeing children having fun. This can be a blessing not something we should ban. But we also see no mandate for any of it and it is not something we NEED to be doing.

    We had wanted to abandon it all due to a "genetic fallacy" (see Bluedorn's logic stuff to understand that: ). But, now we think we should live each day as unto the Lord and I love the verse you quoted!

    If something is evil, we should stop it. But if it is neither here nor there… then all things are permissible but not all things are profitable and none should master us. We need to determine our own standards in our own families and then joyfully live life as unto the Lord…and allow others to do the same, while still being united in the love of Christ.

  8. Rebeca said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    Warning: Long, Rambling Comment Below

    Good question Jen. I can totally relate to the "Easter Guilt" you mentioned. I mean, our hope for the future hangs on the Resurrection of Christ- shouldn't the celebration of that be cause for utmost gratitude, awe, joy, and celebration? And yet, the "day", in most of my Christian experience, has come and gone with little anticiaption and never the joy I've thought I "should" have over the most important event in history. Like Paul said, if Christ is not risen, then we are to be pitied above all men.

    If Easter is really only a christianized form of a pagan festival, I'd say take it or leave it. Early church history shows that believers incorporated the celebration of our Lord's resurrection into Passover, the festival of God's great deliverance. Since Christ's death and and subesquent victory over death took place during Passover, and since most of the first believers were Jewish, this seems natural. They certainly made the connection between the Passover Lamb and Christ, as Paul wrote to the Corinthians. Letters and writings from the next few hundred years of history, when the Chuch was undergoing severe persecutions, show that the Passover observance had become the yearly celebration of Christ's resurrection. This too is logical, as the one was the foreshadowing of the Other.

    So, as to whether or not "Easter" is a Christian holiday, I think a lot of stuff has crept on over the years to take our focus off of the Cross and the empty tomb. But in celebrating it, I think we are joining with believers through the centuries in the triumph of the Cross.

    It's interesting that, with the exception of English, German, and some Slavic languages, the word for Easter is derived from Pesach, the Hebrew word for Passover. In the last few years my husband and I have begun worshiping in the Eastern Orthodox Church. We are coming up to Pascha (Greek for Passover), the celebration of the Resurrection. It is the pinnacle of the year, the feast of feasts, in the Orthodox Church. The weeks leading up to it are ordered to bring us to repentance and to the end of ourselves, and this week carries us along with Christ in His last days, to the cross, along with the mourners, and finally to His great and glorious Resurrection!

    And in answer to your really probing questions, I'll take ham or tamales, new dress or old, but no hat for me, thanks anyway!

    I hope that in whatever way you celebrate, like you said, that God is glorified.

    And I'm not really trying to take over your blog. Really.

    Sorry about the looooooooooooong comment. You asked. :>

    And I've really got to get me one of them little scrubby dealios.

    Have a great day.


  9. drewsfamilytx said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 6:31 pm

    Untitled Comment

    We don't do eggs here. BUT I do let my kids' do an egg hunt at the community center or at a friends' house if invited. What's not fun about playing hide and seek with little eggs that have candy (or better yet, money!) inside?

    I have also been known to get a fun basket on the following Monday for my kids. 😉 They know to look forward to any post-holiday-day. (c-l-e-a-r-a-n-c-e!).

    Strange, but I don't think we've actually spent an Easter at home yet. We usually go to my parents' house or some other family. This year, however, we will be home. I imagine we'll have a nice lunch after church and just spend time with each other. Oh wait…David works that day. OK, maybe we'll be invited to a friend's house for lunch and I'll bring dessert?! It's no fun cooking a big meal for just me and a 2, 5 and 7yo!

    I do enjoy the week leading up to Easter Sunday though. It provides a great opportunity to talk with the kids about the Ultimate Sacrifice! You don't get more teachable-moment than that!



  10. HeartForHome said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 6:49 pm

    We have a choice?

    Ha ha. Just kidding. Well sort of. It hadn't occurred to me to do otherwise quite honestly. Very interesting observation.

    Easter in our household really transformed once we began celebrating the whole of passion week instead of just Easter and also approaching it as an opportunity to learn (thanks Cindy Rushton). We have a very cool Easter Notebook now with instructions for celebrating a Messianic Passover, activities for each day of Holy Week as well as lots of recipes for fun cooking projects like Resurrection Rolls if we feel like diving in a little deeper.

    We watch the Passion as a family and read scripture describing Jesus' last week to prepare our hearts for Resurrection Sunday. I agree that this is not something that should be compartmentalized and celebrated annually but should be celebrated continually. Observing Easter for our family really is about tradition I guess.

  11. Anonymous said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 10:31 pm


    This is countryheart from the homesteder blog. We celebrate Christs death and ressurection every Sunday . It is a commandment to break bread on the first day of the week. Not just the first day of the week that you feel like. We take communion every Sunday. I never understood why others don't.We are Church of Christif any of you are curious.

  12. Anonymous said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 10:57 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Hey Jen, Boltbabe here. I am not a holiday person in general, so my view is biased. Other than Christmas, the only holidays we get jazzed over are birthdays. We don't even do anything for most holidays. However, we do follow "pagan tradition" for Easter in that we do Easter baskets and eggs. Every Easter morning, the kids get some candy in their baskets and they have to find the eggs. No fancy clothes, hats, presents, fancy meal, etc. Other than that, it's all about teaching the littletons exactly what the day is. Each year we go through the Bible and "recreate" the last week of Jesus' human life. However, I agree with your thought process that EVERY day we should live and celebrate the birth and death of our Savior. Why is it that people seem to only focus on that two days per year? I have often wondered what God actually thinks of the practice of paying reverence on the 2 "major Christian" holidays. What do you think?

  13. JacqueDixonSoulRestES said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 11:07 pm

    on easter

    We started calling it Resurrection Sunday a few years ago… only to get our children in the right mindset of the holiday.

    We don't color eggs anymore. We try not to do little inconsequential gifts anymore, because we just throw them away broken a couple of hours later anyway…

    We do not eat ham anymore (ick…), but we did do a mexican Thanksgiving a couple of years ago, so tamales would be fine… whatever.

    *No* new dress and hat… yeah, 9 new hats and outfits… I don't think so!

    I have actually not experienced easter guilt – but I *have* experienced easter exhaustion… with all of the *cantata practices* and such the 10 weeks before easter sunday… not to knock the cantatas… but, it realy takes the focus from the real celebration a lot of times .. especially for the cast.


    The *rest* of your post… very good. Very well-said. After all the christmas comments/controversy… you cleared this up and spoke truth into it very well.

    Not bad for a *rising film star*!!

    Thank you! Have a great celebration with new friends!

    ( ;


  14. jayfromcleveland said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 11:15 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Mrs. Ig, one of my own biggest pet peeves is this "Easter is a pagan holiday" storyline. This comes straight out of "fakelore" like that "Two Babylons" nonsense. If Christians are ever going to learn walk in truth, they need to do their homework and not just continually swallow every silly thing they hear third hand.

    The word "Easter" is actually an old Anglo-Saxon word that is indeed derived from the name of an old English goddess. That's all we know, period. The actual primary source for this info is three lines from the Venerable Bede (A.D. 700). But if you actually read the source, it's clear to see that it's not the result of some elusive pagan conspiracy to deceive Christians. The name has no historically documented relationship to "Ishtar" or any other Babylonian source. One could make a stronger case that the name of the Biblical heroine "Esther" is derived from this goddess. But what would that prove?

    Meanwhile, the actual name for the feast of Christ's resurrection in every other European language besides English is "Pascha" (Pas-ka) the Greek name for Passover. The early church celebrated Pascha at the same time as the Jewish Passover until the Council of Nicaea in A.D. 325 when the feast was officially moved to Sunday. This is a well document historical event and was not the result of "pagan influences" or tinkering by the Emperor Constantine, or any other such fakelore. The same council also adopted the doctrine of the Trinity, so unless someone has as issue with that, we should take care to not disparage the Holy Spirit's work through that council.

    If we are going to wring our hands about "pagan influences," we can start with the modern Jewish calendar, which is nearly identical in every way with the Babylonian calendar. One never hears squeals from the Jewish or Christian faithful about how the "calendar of Baal" is used for reckoning Passover. I've concluded that the LORD is not concerned with such minor details, as long as He is glorified.

    All this is explained in detail in Signs & Seasons, which adapted my article <a href="">The Astronomy of Easter</a>, which was voted one of the Top 6 articles of 2006 at

    Sorry for the rant. If anything spoils Christmas and Easter for me every year, it's all this "pagan influence" silliness.

  15. jayfromcleveland said,

    on April 2nd, 2007 at 11:36 pm

    Untitled Comment

    BTW, since I'm on a roll, what's so bad about decorating some hard-boiled eggs? It's fun! How does this equate with sacrificing a baby to Molech? How does this detract from Jesus's sacrifice? And what's wrong with a chocolate bunny? (Unless it's one of those cheap, hollow, chalk-flavored bunnies.)

    I'd ask anyone who wails and gnashes their teeth over "pagan influences" to tell me: do you tell time? Did you know that the Babylonians developed the system of 24 hours in a day? Did you know that these evil heathen idolaters counted 60 minutes in an hour and 60 seconds in a minute? Every time you look at a clock, you're partaking in a practice instituted by the worshippers of Baal!!!!!

    In fact, did you know that the word "hour" comes from the Egyptian "Horus," the god of the rising Sun? The fact is, our entire language and culture is perfused with such "pagan influences" and one would have to chuck 6000 years of human civilization and reinvent everything from scratch to purge these things. So let's just get over it!!!

  16. JenIG said,

    on April 3rd, 2007 at 6:53 am

    Untitled Comment

    Jay, tell us how you *really* feel

    ROFL a;lksdjfalksjfdksa;ljfd

  17. Jocelyndixon said,

    on April 3rd, 2007 at 8:31 am


    To answer your questions:

    Do you hate it? no.

    Do you love it? yes

    Eggs or no eggs? no eggs

    New dress and hat or no new dress and hat? no

    Ham or tamales? tamale!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think that if you do worry about doing easter eggs, the easter bunny, new dresses, new this, new that … and focus on the Lord then there is no need to hate or feel any guilt. That's just the short version…. 😉



  18. chickadee said,

    on April 3rd, 2007 at 8:34 pm

    Untitled Comment

    still chuckling over your description of emeline's art. you nailed it!

  19. debbiecorley said,

    on April 3rd, 2007 at 9:06 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I personally love holidays. I try very hard to spend time preparing for the holidays, though, to ensure that we are learning the important meanings behind them rather than just focusing in on one day. I also try to focus on the spiritual rather than the commercial. Too many people get caught up in the hustle and rush of obligations on the holidays, rather than spending time with family, and celebrating our Lord.

    Easter for us is a week long delve into the Passover, Jesus' entry into Jeruselem, the fickle crowds that loved him and cried, "Hosanna"- only to turn on him a week later, Judas' greed and betrayal, Jesus' compassion for the people who mocked Him, His obedience to God, His ultimate sacrifice, and then the miracle of His resurrection! I agree that we should focus on these truths throughout the year, but I love setting time aside to REALLY teach these truths to my kids and to discuss them.

    I love symbolism. I think it is powerful. Eggs represent new life. Dyeing them beautiful spring colors is a celebration of the creation we have been given,and spring itself is a reminder that God brings what was dead back to life. We have even started a tradition of dyeing Pysanky (sp?) eggs. These are Ukrainian eggs, that are intricately dyed, layer by layer, by using melted wax. All of the colors and designs have meaning. It is art, history and devotions/worship all at once.

    As for pagan roots… God is all about redemption! I say let's take it all back and make it new!

    I feel the same about Christmas. Halloween is different to me, because it is a celebration of yucky, scary things that do not glorify God. But, as for Easter…chicks, bunnies, eggs, lillies…all created by Him and all good!


  20. eclecticeducation said,

    on April 3rd, 2007 at 9:24 pm

    Untitled Comment

    I really like your post, Jenn. I grew up in a Christian home that celebrated the holidays. I love the holidays!!! I remember sitting next to a girl in school who was not allowed to celebrate holidays. As the rest of us had our class party, she just sat there unable to partake. I was very sad for her. Our family still carries on the traditions that my husband and I grew up on and are making a few of our own. Our children love the special time and the joy that holidays bring.

  21. bethanyrae said,

    on April 4th, 2007 at 2:31 am


    Interesting post.

    No, I don't get all excited about the Easter holiday. I think as Christians, we deal with the fact of His resurrection all the time. Churches, though, have historically had a lot of non-Christian visitors on this day, although I don't know if this is continuing to be as prevalent in today's culture. So families take the opportunity to bring friends and family on that morning, in hopes that they will respond to the gospel message.

    Personally, we've always had an egg hunt at Grandma and Grandpa's, and a family meal. Even though they're getting older, it's the tradition.

    I'm not one to worry too much about whether or not we should do this or that in these areas. It's so hard to know about some really obscure things like this. Is it causing people to stumble?

    You've raised some good thoughts.


  22. sockmonkey said,

    on April 4th, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Oh my, such deep thinking

    I fear I am ill-equipped to comment after all these thoughtful responses. Regarding Easter and Christmas, I must admit that those two Sundays are the one's that usually grieve us the most, because that's when the "Cheasters" make their bi-annual sacrifices, ie. trips to church. How much they miss!!!! Everyday is a celebration of the most excellent sacrifice God made for us! I don't care about eggs, bunnies, hats, new shoes (okay, I LOVE new shoes, but that's a year-round love), or baskets filled with plastic grass. Take em or leave em, it matters not to me. What matters every day of the year is that we grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, who died for us and proceeded to conquer death, so that we might live as well!

    And by the way, I'm hoping my hubby takes us out for pizza that day…think the lines will be long?

  23. sockmonkey said,

    on April 4th, 2007 at 9:35 am

    Oh my, such deep thinking

    I fear I am ill-equipped to comment after all these thoughtful responses. Regarding Easter and Christmas, I must admit that those two Sundays are the one's that usually grieve us the most, because that's when the "Cheasters" make their bi-annual sacrifices, ie. trips to church. How much they miss!!!! Everyday is a celebration of the most excellent sacrifice God made for us! I don't care about eggs, bunnies, hats, new shoes (okay, I LOVE new shoes, but that's a year-round love), or baskets filled with plastic grass. Take em or leave em, it matters not to me. What matters every day of the year is that we grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, who died for us and proceeded to conquer death, so that we might live as well!

    And by the way, I'm hoping my hubby takes us out for pizza that day…think the lines will be long?

  24. carrielouise said,

    on April 6th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    Untitled Comment

    Hi! I've been lurking/reading your blog for awhile and thought I'd finally leave a comment.

    I'd never put a word to it, but holiday guilt has certainly plagued me. Especially the older I get and with certain stressors I find it very difficult to "celebrate" or feel particularly reflective. Thanks for your encouraging thoughts.


  25. DanielleW said,

    on April 7th, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Untitled Comment

    Very interesting. I too always felt that guiltiness on Sunday morning. I think a little of it is that Easter doesn't have a date. How many times have you heard, "When is Easter this year?"

    No eggs. No candy or baskets. No new Easter clothes for us. I do my "new" spring dress for Mother's Day.

    I think for next year we are going to study the Passover in the week leading up to Ressurection Sunday. Maybe that will help us focus on this time. Then we can focus on how Jesus is our Passover Lamb, our Bread of Life.

    So to answer your question: We don't do all the normal Easter things. Easter Bunny, eggs, clothes, candy. But we do try focus on Jesus raising from the dead.

  26. Anonymous said,

    on April 20th, 2007 at 11:31 pm

    Untitled Comment

    We had ham and tamales!!

    What a great choice!

Leave a reply