Easter Is for Everyone


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Veronica Amador, Staff Writer

For the longest time, I thought Easter Sunday was about Easter baskets.

Easter wasn’t something I did growing up. In Cuba, holidays that didn’t celebrate the communist regime were banned for a long time. However, citizens still respected La Semana Santa, or the Holy Week, and some even carried the tradition of not eating red meat; instead, they ate Bacalao a la Vizcaina, a salt fish dish that came over to Cuba with the Spanish. Nowadays in Cuba, Good Friday is a national holiday once more, and processions along with special Easter services are becoming more common.

The first time I celebrated Easter Sunday was when I was 6 years old. I was very culture shocked and didn’t understand the idea of a giant bunny leaving children eggs, however, I remember my parents being overjoyed because they were able to celebrate the holiday without the fear of punishment.

My first Easter experience was at my Aunt’s house. She was very crafty and would go out of her way to make me handmade gifts. Thanks to her, my first memory of Easter was an Easter basket with pink crinkle paper, handmade treats and eggs.

She always had a basket for me every Easter Sunday until I grew out of the Easter basket age, which was around 17 years old. My family enjoys getting together, decorating cookies and wearing pastel-colored clothing. What I like to do most is keep the tradition of giving Easter baskets to the children in my family. I may not be crafty and my gifts may come from the dollar store, but I simply love seeing how the children’s eyes light up after they enter the house to find a basket with pink crinkle paper waiting for them. Giving children Easter baskets represents a new life, like when I came to this country at 6 years old.

I didn’t experience certain holidays until much later in my childhood and I want the children in my life to enjoy the holidays as much as possible.

Over time, I realized that Easter isn’t about gifts and baskets. It’s more about celebrating things with others freely and even following traditions. I may have been scared of the Easter bunny as a child, but as an adult, it has become my favorite holiday where I can take the time to feel blessed with those who surround me, my family and my friends.

It’s a time when I feel thankful for where I am; The sacrifices my family made for me and, of course, eating jelly beans without being judged.

So, take time during the day and think about the great memories you’ve made with people who have influenced you. Grab your aunts, cousins and parents and hug them tight this Easter Sunday. Think about all the love and support they’ve given you. Maybe even take this chance and gift someone an Easter Basket.