I grew up in a Sikh household with parents who are pretty religious. I always associated both Christmas and Easter as strictly religious holidays. As a parent of small kids, I feel like I am meeting a lot more people who celebrate the secular parts of the holidays. Partner has tried to explain to me many times how much he loves Christmas-- the lights, the treats, and the gifts. He also likes decorating Easter eggs, doing easter egg hunts, and gathering with family. He and I had many intense discussions about these holidays and how we were going to celebrate with the kids. I was taking a firm stance towards no to both; I said that we could have lights and gifts for the New Year.
For Easter, I explained that my favorite memories were with the book club I was part of in Durham. We had a meeting around Easter and gave each other baskets. It was so much fun! I loved preparing a basket for a friend and then it was so nice to receive a thoughtful treasure. Plus, the food and company were always great. Partner pointed out that was part of a secular celebration. We decided to give it a try and I am glad we did.
I remembered various times where I felt shame or embarrassment when asked about what I had gotten for Christmas. I did not have enough gumption to explain that we do not celebrate Christmas because we are not Christians. When Santa Claus was explained, I felt terrible as I tried to figure out why I was not on the good list. In contrast, Partner has many happy memories associated with the holidays. I wanted to try giving my kids that memory. For the first time, we put up lights around Christmas and then got gifts for the kids. It was A LOT of work. However, on Christmas morning, it was super fun to see the Little One open the gifts. I was also glad that she had an answer that was relatively simple when asked what she got for Christmas.
For Easter, Partner wanted to decorate eggs with her. He took the lead on getting the supplies and they made some beautiful eggs. We went to a friend's house for lunch and the kids got beautiful baskets. All of the kids who attended participated in an egg hunt. The Little One looked so blissed out as she was running around, finding eggs, and putting them in her basket. Plus, she got some good chocolate which she shared with me :)
I am sure our experience with these holidays will continue to evolve as the kids get older. I am curious about how others who are not connected to the religious aspects of these holidays celebrate.