We are not religious, but I was raised Catholic, he was raised United, and we live in North America- so the usual christian holidays are a little inescapable- just like the Easter bunny. Not that I want to escape them per say- but we do tend to put a different spin on them around here, I like the traditions of these holidays, but little by little, they have lost their christian meanings to me, until one day I just realized that I don't believe that anymore. I could say that the more I've learned about the origins of church symbolism, and stories the more cynical I've gotten- or tell you that a big part of why I'm not Catholic is that it doesn't jive with my Feminism, or that organized religion in general is a bit iffy in my opinion, but I think the biggest reason is that it doesn't resonate with me- maybe it never did, truly, I don't know. I don't know exactly what I do believe, but I certainly know what I don't.
The upshot of this is that I feel a little lost around the holidays, I want that tradition, especially for my kids, but I don't want the religion (yes, I also like to have my cake and eat it too, preferably with whipped cream). So I've been stumbling through how to do this, this year I think Easter went pretty well, we focused on spring time and rebirth, and the sun, and hoping for good things to come in 2013 for everyone we care about. It tends to be a bit pagan-ish, and I'm mostly okay with that. We also tend to fall back on family recipes, and food traditions, this year we made Paska or Babka, (traditional Ukrainian/Polish Easter bread) and we thought good thoughts while it rose and baked, we also dyed Easter eggs, there is something so hopeful about an egg, and had a special lamb shaped 40th birthday cake for K, (you have to love a man who embraces an animal shaped cake for his 40th birthday don't you?).
I think there is some balance for tradition and holidays, a mixture of fun and meaning, and I like to look to the things that are happening in nature to find the symbolism of these holidays. Little by little the inborn fear I have (from being raised catholic perhaps?) that I will turn into a full blown spooky pagan is vanishing, and I realize that I can make my own choices about this. There is meaning out there that does speak to me, and it's not so hard to find after all.