As a young school-aged child, I remember Easter as my second favorite time of year next to Christmas. It was a long holiday away from school, and it was the one day a year that I was showered with more candy than I knew what to do with. I would wake up early Easter Sunday, look through my basket, and separate the items I liked from the ones I did not - most notably, Peeps. To me, there is nothing more disgusting in this entire world than stale marshmallow ''candy.''
Luckily, the terror that the annual package of Peeps caused me was remedied when my older brother took them away and ate them himself.
But the reason for this column is less about horrible food-stuff and more about what Easter represents. It is much more than a day to celebrate a rabbit bringing the children of the world eggs and chocolate, which is just about the strangest combo I have ever heard of (I suppose the Easter Chicken or the Easter Duck just did not test well, nor did the Easter Puma), but to bring together families and traditions in a celebration of the life and death of Jesus Christ.
The holiday stands for more than peanut butter cups and Cadbury Creme Eggs, which in my opinion have suffered drastically in quality the past several years. If you can eat a Cadbury Creme Egg without getting some of the ''yolk'' on your shirt, you have not enjoyed a proper Creme Egg.
It means more than saying every year that you will never again buy that fake Easter grass and then during a random trip to Target you see it's on sale and then buy it only to find it scattered randomly throughout your house while cleaning in November. And it means more than dressing your children in pastel clothes and shuffling off to church for one of the two Sundays a year you feel guilted into attending.
Now, I don't plan to assume that everyone who reads this column is a Christian, but the lessons of Christ and what he did should stand as a model to how we should all be living our lives.
It was written that Christ was put to death by crucification for claiming to be the Son of God, and in doing so, he bore the sins of the world.
We see images of the cross almost everywhere we go: in churches, on lawns, as tattoos on people's arms and dipped in gold and hanging around our necks. But how many people understand the weight of that symbol?
To those who believe, the Easter holiday is the most important event of the year, because it is a chance to reflect on the sacrifices made by one man to save the lives of everyone else.
No matter your religion, take this weekend as a chance to show those you love that you truly love them. Take the time to create some traditions of your own and enjoy being with those around you. Gather the family and color some eggs, make some candy and reconnect.
Joshua takes bribes in the form of peanut butter cups. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org