We don't consider ourselves a religious family. Spiritual, maybe, but we don't go to church or read any holy texts. It's just not the right fit for us. But being a family without religion hasn't stopped us from celebrating Easter. Or Christmas. Or any other holiday that might be based in religion, but still has traditions that don't require adherence to a specific doctrine.
My kids love Easter. They love it because it's freaking fun to go hunt for eggs with treats inside of them over and over and over. They love Easter because there is excitement in the air, and a bit of magic, perhaps. Growing up, my family didn't talk about religion, but nonetheless, Easter meant family. Easter meant that I felt loved, just the way I hope my kids feel every holiday.
I think there are plenty of ways to celebrate Easter without being religious, and without spending money on trinkets or dousing eggs in food dye. (Though I admit, I still do the latter almost every Easter. It's fun!) When we celebrate, instead of focusing on the religious aspects of the holiday, we get excited to spend time together participating in our favorite traditions.
The night before, we decorate hard boiled eggs. Sometimes we use dye, sometimes not, but we always use glitter. Then I lay out a mix of markers, paints, and stickers, and let the kids go crazy decorating however they want. I love seeing their creativity — and having breakfast premade for the next week.
On Easter morning, the kids come down to a basket full of goodies. Instead of filling it with dollar store trinkets that will end up in the trash in a week or new toys that my kids don't need, I stuff it with stickers, art supplies, craft kits, books, and other items that encourage their creativity. Sometimes, I even add flower seeds or a veggie or herb starter kit that we can plant together in the Spring. The joy of waking up to their squeals of delight? Unmatched.
Our most beloved Easter tradition is spending time making breakfast together. Breakfast is how we connect in the mornings (and how I prevent my children from turning into hangry little creatures during our egg hunt). On Easter, we'll whip up cinnamon rolls or hot cross buns and some type of potato hash, and spend the morning snuggling and giggling in our pajamas as we eat.
Finally, we have our annual egg hunt. We usually head out to a playground or a forested area near our house where there aren't a ton of kids. Then, we let our kids play while we hide the reusable plastic eggs stuffed with candy. In order to avoid arguments of who found more, we designate a color for each of my two kids, and count all the eggs out. Then they hunt them all down, stuff their faces with candy, and we close up the eggs and do it all over again, as many times as the kids want.
For our family, Easter signifies the start of Spring. It heralds the season's new beginnings, the new life and flowers and excitement that come from the warmer months. And the anticipation of being able to play outside all day. I don't believe there's a right or wrong way to celebrate, or not celebrate, a holiday. And I don't believe you have to be associated with a certain religion to create your own magic during the holidays. In our family, the nature, the blooms, and the joy of spending time together is where the true magic lives — and is why we continue to celebrate Easter.