Written by our Founder and CEO, our Celebrations Pulse Sunday Letters aim to engage with our community. From sharing stories to welcoming your ideas, we want to help you to express, connect, and celebrate the important people in your life.
Every year in March and April, we enjoy nature’s ritual of renewal as trees bud and leaves appear, flowers blossom, and chipmunks scamper through our backyards. The joy of life is in the air amid a natural celebration of rebirth and reemergence.
The arrival of spring also marks two very important holidays that date back thousands of years. The celebration of Passover recalls the suffering of the Israelites more than 3,000 years ago, their liberation from slavery, their rebirth as a free people, and their renewal of faith. For Christians, Easter marks the resurrection of Jesus, the hope for salvation, and a renewal of faith.
For both theologies, the religious traditions are infused with springtime activities. From the symbolism of food at the ceremonial Seder dinner to the hunting of Easter eggs, there’s a deep bond between nature’s rebirth and our spiritual renewal.
At the heart of the season – and regardless of religion – is the spirit of reconnection. Like the flowers and plants, we’re all emerging from the icy grasp of winter. Passover and Easter remind us it’s time to step outside and reunite with our friends.
Renewing community and relationships
Our fondest memories of Easter while growing up center on connection. A few days before Easter Sunday, our large family got together to color eggs in anticipation of the Easter morning hunt and the mysterious arrival of candy-filled baskets.
But it never felt like Easter until our Uncle Arthur, Aunt Laura, and their family arrived at our Queens home from Rhode Island. Easter was usually the only time we saw them. To this day, we still think about him and his family – and how seeing them made the holiday even more special.
We also remember attending Mass on Easter Sunday, a joyous occasion where we reconnected with more than a few people, many we had not seen since Christmas!
As grandparents, we’re delighted to see several of those traditions continue with our children and their children. And Jim’s adding some new ones, like sending a box of Cheryl’s Cookies to all his grandkids to whet their appetites for Easter morning.
What are your favorite Passover and Easter traditions? Share them with us, and we will include some of our favorites in our special holiday edition of Celebrations Pulse letter next Sunday.
Starting new holiday traditions
Passover and Easter are steeped in traditions, but there’s always room for new ones. One idea: Start performing random acts of kindness.
Back in February, we wrote about the power of kindness and invited readers to share their stories of how kindness impacted them either as a giver or a recipient. As is often the case, we were overwhelmed by the response.
Mary Therese shared how years ago, she was going through a divorce when her water heater broke. She had to pick up a new unit at the appliance store and was trying to get it to fit in her car. Then, a man drove up in a flatbed truck and offered to deliver it to her garage. She writes:
I was overwhelmed with tears because I could not find anyone that I knew to help me, but a stranger was willing. I offered him $50 but he wouldn’t take it. He asked for my prayers instead. To this day I am forever thankful to that gentleman who I never got his name. I broke down in tears that day thinking there are many kind people in this world.
Cathy shared how it felt to be kind to a stranger:
I was leaving work one day in the pouring rain and saw a man in a wheelchair having problems at the bus stop. Everyone was passing him by. I have difficulty walking, but I stopped to try and help him. By then he was OK and I knew he appreciated my effort. I didn’t think anything of it.
I didn’t realize how much my small effort meant to him until later. It of course made me feel good, but it also showed me how a little kindness can go a long way. It makes me want to do good at all times!
Sandra wrote about her harrowing experience after her car broke down and caught fire while she and her husband were on vacation:
We managed to get the vehicle off the road and into a parking lot. As we were jumping out, a lady happened to be coming out of the store and asked what she could do to help. Being in an unfamiliar city, we were not sure where we were. She called the fire department and gave them directions to our location.
After the fire was out, she called a towing company and had the vehicle taken to a repair shop. After all of that was done, she even took us back to our hotel which was about 20 miles away. She was our guardian angel, and I will never forget her.
We hope these stories inspire you to start a new tradition for the spring holidays – and the rest of the year!
All the best,
Chris and Jim