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Why We Don't Celebrate Easter

We don't celebrate Easter. I don't dye eggs, I don't make (or buy) baskets filled with goodies, I don't read books about the Easter bunny and we haven't dressed up on an Easter Sunday in years. We don't even acknowledge it's holiday.

I grew up in an old school Puerto Rican Catholic home. We got our ashes on Ash Wednesday, gave up something for Lent, went to confession, picked up palms on Palm Sunday and ate fish on Fridays. As I kid I remember it always raining on Good Friday and sunny on Easter Sunday. Good Friday was a day we mourned and on Sunday we'd rejoice.

Easter used to be an event. Better than Christmas in a different kind of way. While my mother always made Christmas magical, there were no gifts on Easter morning. And I was okay with that. Easter was about faith. It was the promise of something new - a rebirth.

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As an adult, I have lost touch with the Catholic church. I'm not alone, "nearly one-in-four Hispanic adults (24%) are now former Catholics, according to a major, nationwide survey of more than 5,000 Hispanics by the Pew Research Center."

I know Lent begins when I see friends drop off Facebook - some make grand announcements of their 40 days of self-denial. (Yeah, I couldn't give up social media 40 days.) And I only know Easter is this week because of Pinterest and Instagram.

I haven't been a practicing Catholic in decades, yet there is a part of me that feels guilty at this time of year. Religion and holidays were such a huge part of my upbringing. My mom still goes to church. She brings me Holy Water in a jar and Palms to hang over my door. I allow her to do these things for us even though I've chosen to step away from the Church. I think there's a small part of me that appreciates the connection.

Having a kid with autism, Easter is a complicated holiday. It's too much to explain. Christmas is easier to celebrate because I take the Santa Claus approach and leave the religion out of it. I don't have that much of an interest in bunnies, baskets or eggs to try to explain the concept to Norrin. So we pass on celebrating Easter in the traditional sense. It's like any other Sunday.

If we do something special - it's because we want to, there's no religious obligation. It's because I still think of Easter as the promise of something new and a chance to start over. I don't have to believe in the church or even be a practicing Catholic, to want to believe in that.

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