The family getting together for Easter. #easter #atheism

I don’t have a lot of time to write blog posts today. I’m heading out soon to my father’s place. Easter is another holiday that everybody gets together, regardless of whether they believe in the holiday or not. I’m not going to get into a whole diatribe about Easter itself. I’ve resigned myself to going to these family get-togethers as long as nobody gets preachy, which is quite rare, anyway. The truth is that I never really understood what the Christian holiday is supposed to be about, nor do I know what the pagan holiday that it’s stolen from dictates, either. When I was a kid and believed in what Christian ideas were presented to me—which weren’t very much—I still had no idea about the Resurrection or any of that. Easter purely meant painting eggs, plastic eggs hidden around the house with candy in them followed by a basket with cheap toys, and the family eating ham together.

I don’t get the egg hunt or the basket of toys anymore. The ham that my sister and I eat now is fake as well. Still, we all get together despite the fact that we don’t believe in the same thing. Like any other holiday such as Christmas or Thanksgiving, Easter is simply an excuse to get everybody together for a meal. Why we need an excuse, I’m never quite sure. Three of the people who will be present live on the same street while the other two live together and less than ten minutes away from everybody else. Two of the people are retired. It wouldn’t be difficult for us all to have a meal together once in a while. Why we need the excuse for a big meal, I don’t understand.

Yet at the same time I never bring that up with everybody. I do have a busy schedule and wouldn’t always be able to make a cookout if my father says something two days beforehand. The few times that I did have to cancel, such as when I was in Norway during Easter in 2006, the family didn’t get together. Instead, they postponed the meal until a week when everybody can show up.

But, this is the way things have been as long as I can remember and I can’t see anything changing. I’m not trying to negate the family getting together on holidays. I just don’t understand why it can’t be any other time. Sure, we sometimes eat together in smaller groups. My sister, brother-in-law and I have gone out for dinner a few times and my father and his girlfriend go out all the time as well. Maybe there’s just something about holidays that act as a safety net. We know that we’re all going to be available on those days, so we just assume that that’s when we’ll have that big meal.

Likewise, because we know we have those guaranteed meals together, we feel free to make plans throughout the rest of the year. This does make sense, and as I tend to be a loner (which, by the way, I’ve come to accept more than the term “anti-social”) it fits in with my style nicely. Besides, I’ll take free food whenever I can.

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