As a non-practicing Christian, I've always felt pretty lucky to be able to 'choose my own path' as far as religion is concerned. My parents never once forced religion onto my brother and I in any way other than teaching us respect, compassion and forgiveness where possible, and this suited us very well.
We were never expected to go to church, except for weddings, christenings and funerals and by educating us this way I think we have picked up all the aforementioned positive bits of Christianity and have made quite good citizens.
Cadbury and Nestlé vs religion
Now, as a parent myself, I have tried to mirror this with my own children. We've tried to instil all of the above Christian values without forcing them to attend church and if they decide they want to be religious later in their lives, fine, and if that means choosing a completely different religion, that's also fine.
So, despite being in no way religious, I still can't help but get slightly niggled at how two monumental dates in the Christian calendar - Christmas and Easter - have been hijacked by Cadbury, Nestlé and every supermarket out there.
Ignoring the real celebration
Of course, the children absolutely love it, why wouldn't they? I certainly did when I was younger. I had far more important things to think about when sinking my teeth into a hot cross bun than the significance of the cross on the top.
But with each passing Easter, I've developed a distinct dislike of the way fat cat food-chains use our kids to make loads of extra cash whilst completely ignoring the existence of it being a Christian celebration - never mind that our children's teeth are disintegrating before our very eyes - as long as the big guns are raking in the cash.
What religion is all about
As I type this, another terrible incident has occurred in Brussels, showing us only the hateful, twisted, oppressive side of religion. If you listen to the news, you could easily be forgiven for thinking that this is what religion is all about, when of course it's not.
Easter and Christmas for example; it's wonderful that they bring family and friends together and that we're encouraged to help those less fortunate. Perhaps there should be more emphasis on this - some way of teaching our youngsters the other important bits of why we celebrate - not just the excuse to eat your own body weight in chocolate and watch the entire series of Back to the Future on ITV1 (of course this should also be done, it's the law) but just as long as there's room for a teensy bit of acknowledgement of peace, goodwill and all that.
I feel better after that. Now, to my children's Easter (or should I say Eatser) list. Where can I buy a giant Kinder egg?
Jayne, Working Mum and Freelance Editor