It felt like it came and went. The sermon, of course, was Eastery, and so was Ophelia's class lesson, but all familiarity was gone, aside from chocolate bunnies and oversized Kinder eggs in the grocery stores (one bonus of living in Europe). And this, I think, is what it looks like to live in a post-christian country. It's still a family holiday and there is food, but the outward signs of Easter just weren't there. Not in the stores, not on buildings. I feel like a French person would be shocked not only at the commercialism of holidays in America, but also that shops decorate too, even if it's just secular Easter decor. To be honest, I missed the festivity. Often I find myself missing Hallmark: greeting cards for every occassion, decorations for every occassion, and knick-knacks galore. They don't really do any of that here.
We did sing a familiar hymn that Sunday (in French), but... other students as well felt a general absence of Easter-ness that day, aside from meals some got invited to. There is generally a lot of grumbling within the American church about taking back Easter or whether or not it's right to have egg hunts because Jesus didn't die for us to eat candy on Easter. To this I personally say: enjoy those egg hunts. Do what you can to reach out. Many people I know go to egg hunts at churches that don't go to church otherwise. Don't fear commercialism - no one says that you have to embrace it. But be glad you can buy a cross to hang on your front door or a wreath that says "Jesus is Alive" or even something with colorful eggs on it. I think anything allows for a conversation about the meaning of Easter can be a good thing. As someone who is very bad at looking at calendars and relies heavily on the outside world to remind me of months, occassions and holidays, I realized that I will, in fact, have no choice but to check my calendar here.