The phrase “Happy Holidays” brings to mind good December cheer, the celebration of the myriad holy days which occur at the end of the year. People don’t often think to say those commemorative words in spring, however, which I believe is a great mistake. If you’re a believer in the Judeo-Christian traditions, right now is one of the biggest times of year.
My super awesome mom is a Presbyterian minister. I’m just going to answer any questions you may have upon learning this information right now: Presbyterianism is a sect of Protestantism. No, I’m not a super right-wing Evangelical. No, I’m not long skirt-wearing, socially conservative, and soft-spoken a la the girl in “A Walk to Remember.” No, I’m not a red cowboy boots-wearing rebellious teen a la the protagonist in “Footloose.” I’m a relatively average girl who was raised by her mother to think critically about religious structures and the Bible, and while I often question my faith, being Christian has always been a big part of my life. (For better or worse, I feel like I have to issue these disclaimers for my Tufts friends who may make assumptions when I say that I’m Christian.)
Anyway, because of my upbringing, I’m extra aware of what a big deal this time of year is for both adherents of the Christian and Jewish faiths. My mom was a big part of the interfaith scene on Long Island, where we lived for much of my life, and so we always went to a Passover Seder every year. I always really enjoyed attending Seders, and therefore am so excited that I get to continue this tradition tonight when I attend my friend Aviva’s Seder. I know that she has been cooking since 8:30 this morning, and I’m really honored to be invited.
Today is a pretty big day for Christians too, because it’s Good Friday, the day of the crucifixion. But two days from now is the real biggie: Easter. People often forget what a huge deal Easter is, but because of my mom’s job, I’ve always been aware. I never had a visit from the Easter Bunny when I was little because my mom was always too busy to make me a basket. After the multiple services, she was always really tired so we would usually go out for Chinese for Easter lunch. It was an unconventional way to celebrate the resurrection, but always a kind of nice one. I think I understand now that I was getting to see the man behind the curtain, of sorts: worship is over, and the minister becomes my mom.
So I’ve always had fond memories of both Passover and Easter, the holy times for these two religious traditions. I like these holidays because they come without the capitalism, for the most part, and you can really enjoy the religious significance without being inundated with carols and candies and frenzied shopping. I have some fun plans for Easter: I’m going to a Presbyterian church in the morning with a friend, and then the Protestant Student Association and the Catholic Community at Tufts are co-hosting an Easter lunch with Greek food. Afterwards, my friend and I are going to Sephora, because there’s no better way to celebrate Christ’s resurrection than by buying new lipsticks.
This weekend will be a bit stressful because I don’t have enough time to do homework, but it doesn’t matter. This is an important time of year. And so, whether or not you celebrate Passover or Easter, I’ll say it again: Happy Holidays!