Comedian Jim Gaffigan, a Region native, does a bit about holidays.
His Easter joke is a conversation that goes like this:
"Easter. The day Jesus rose from the dead. What should we do?" he asks.
"How 'bout eggs?" he replies.
"Well what does that have to do with Jesus?" he asks.
"All right, we'll hide 'em," he replies.
"I don't follow your logic," he says.
"Don't worry. There's a bunny," he replies.
Aside from commercials with clucking bunnies promoting cream-filled chocolate eggs and department store ads showing pictures of little girls in floral dresses and white hats, Easter has sidestepped the intense commercialization that has befallen Christmas.
I get annoyed when people talk about Christmas and leave out Jesus.
They chastise stores for making it a shopping holiday and instead say it's a time for families to come together, for people to be filled with the Christmas spirit, for us to help those who are less fortunate.
Sure. Those are all nice things, but they should be going on year round. Really, Christmas is about Jesus' birthday.
Today is Easter Sunday. And although we hear about shopping mall bunnies and ham dinners, Easter is most definitely still linked to Jesus, as it should be.
This is the most holy day of the year for Christians. We believe that Jesus died for our sins and rose from the dead. It's a big deal.
For Catholics, it's our first Easter under new leadership, with the recent election of Pope Francis. The more I hear about him, the more I like him.
I love that he is living the faith while the world watches.
We're supposed to be out in the community, being examples of Christ. Be a shoulder to cry on. Give a bag of groceries to the food pantry. Value human life.
Pope Francis is energizing Catholics, encouraging us to be excited about our faith while leading humble, charitable lives.
Easter is also a time of renewal. It's never too late to start over. If you're angry and bitter and mad at the world or mad at God because something bad happened to you, make today the day you let it go.
When you release that negativity, your heart feels like someone opened the shades and let the light spill in.
And when you're filled with light and joy, you can be a light to others. As St. Francis of Assisi said, "All the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle."
Vanessa Renderman is a reporter for The Times. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.