Although it usually gets overshadowed by "Blue Christmas" in yuletide radio rotation, I still enjoy the Elvis Presley version of "Why Can't Every Day Be Like Christmas?"
Fans of the scripture found in John 3:16 might well ask "Why Can't Every Day Be Like Easter?"
The short answer is that it would be an affront to those outside the Christian faith, it would run contrary to human nature and the emotions would soon be taken for granted.
Still, some aspects of Easter are worth exporting to other parts of the year.
Easter egg hunts. Maybe a scant few goodies wind up "as lost as last year's Easter egg," but for the most part we present youngsters with an ATTAINABLE GOAL. This is in sharp contrast to the way we expect future generations to pay off the national debt. At Easter we let the kids enjoy fantasies such as the Easter Bunny, not fantasies such as "No, we'll never wind up like Europe."
Easter reverence and the cherished memories of deceased loved ones give us a chance to think about something bigger than ourselves. Too often the only thing we can think about bigger than ourselves is our FUTURE selves, after we've downed a few more super-sized meals.
At Easter a few extra Christians muster up the courage to get up early on Sunday morning, perhaps even for a sunrise service, without the mantra "It's my one day to sleep in." (Perhaps a small portion of these intrepid souls will even continue the ritual, instead of spending the next several months comforting themselves with the knowledge that the inalienable right to "sleeping in" one day a week is enshrined in the Magna Carta, the Declaration of Independence, the Treaty of Versailles and the Sermon On The Mount.)
Easter is a time when you can turn to someone of a differing political view, say "He is risen" and receive a civil, sincere response of "He is risen, indeed." This is nothing like the rest of the year, when such an utterance would elicit a muttered response of "What kind of racist remark was that?" or "How can I truncate that sound bite to make him sound bad?"
Watching a passion play can fill us with a spirit of sacrifice and forgiveness that really should last throughout the year. That's because the actor playing Christ makes it through the entire Crucifixion /Resurrection saga without once complaining "NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard)," "What's in it for me?" or "I got mine, now good luck getting yours."
While some individuals may give up all semblance of humility when pursuing sartorial perfection, there's something to be said for a new Easter outfit. Too often we abandon all self-respect and go "Easter parading" in public with clothing more ragged than what the missionaries encounter in the most impoverished countries. Don't get me started on the T-shirt slogans that would make an Easter lily wilt.
The hope, optimism and rebirth of spring and Easter would be good to have throughout the year, when dealing with abusive relationships, dead-end jobs or seemingly insurmountable social issues.
I hope my Christian and non-Christian friends alike will find something about Easter to incorporate in the remainder of this trying year.
Danny Tyree welcomes reader e-mail responses at firstname.lastname@example.org and visits to his Facebook fan page "Tyree's Tyrades."