Easter in Spirit Play! It’s Complicated.

It’s that time of year again when we wrestle with what to do with the kids for Easter. As Unitarian Universalist, this can be a most complicated occasion.

For the new to UU, here’s an overview of the scene.

First, as a pluralistic congregation, we’re not universally aligned with the Christian Easter narrative, so it doesn’t always feel like our holiday to celebrate. We’re certainly a religion of Christian lineage and we’re by no means anti-Easter. It’s just…delicate. And yet, parents and children alike have expressed a desire for an Easter egg hunt every year that I’ve been on staff, and by golly, we like to give our families what they desire when we can!

We aim to be good stewards of the Earth, so there’s also the question of how to host the desired egg hunt in a way that aligns with our larger values, so without contributing more plastic eggs to the landfill. Add to that the amazing education Rachel Kohler provided around fair trade chocolate, and suddenly, even if we do have an egg hunt, what would we put in the eggs? Have I mentioned that it’s tricky? We want to live our values and host a joyous occasion at the same time!

So where have we landed? I’m so glad you asked!

We’ll be sharing the story of Ostara and the Hare in Spirit Play on Easter Sunday, and exploring some of the theories around how the Pagan and Christian cultures mingled in such a way that in modern America, we associate multicolored eggs with the Jesus story.

Then, we’ll have an egg hunt on the playground during what is usually our “work time.” We’ve found colorful wooden eggs that we can use year after year. The children can keep what’s inside, and leave the eggs for next year, as a practice in reusing to lessen our environmental impact.

It’s worth mentioning that there will be some plastic trinkets involved. Why? Because I’m not pulled toward the kind of performative environmentalism that might motivate us to send the perfectly usable trinkets we’ve inherited from previous generations to the landfill simply to look like we’re living our values. We have a fair amount of spring-related plastic items that our children will delight in, so we’re passing them out! We’re not planning on purchasing more when these are gone, but let’s give what we already own a full life before the landfill, shall we? We’ve also purchased some earth-friendly treasures to go in the eggs instead of chocolate.

TL;DR We will learn about the Pagan and Christian origins of the occasion and enjoy an informed egg hunt that aligns with our larger UU values by decentering plastics, using up what we already have, and opting out of the chocolate.


If you’re the parent of a Spirit Play kiddo, you are most welcome to send them to RE with their Easter baskets for the activity, and paper sacks will be provided for those who arrive basket-free.