And so another Easter has come and gone. The shops are full of heavily discounted Easter eggs and I think we’ve seen the last hurrah of hot cross buns for another year. I’ve managed to avoid an overdose of chocolate so far but have an interesting supply to see me through the next few weeks (hopefully)+.
The celebration of Easter was quite the anticlimax for me this year. With the realisation that we, as a family, weren’t really going to be celebrating I made sure I bought a small supply of eggs and hot cross buns for the house. I was quite ambivalent about any celebration as I’m not religious and I don’t have small children around anymore; though I have begun to ask myself where I fit in to this event, what is the value of Easter to me? I know I’m not the only one who feels like this otherwise we, as a family, might have created a bit more fanfare.
I have very strong views about the materialism of Easter and the ridiculousness of Easter eggs and hot cross buns appearing in the stores in January. The blatant endeavours to make as much money as possible from the event certainly influence my views as a secular participant. As a child, Easter was very much about roast lunch with family, church for my grandmother and aunts, catching up with my cousins and the Easter bonnet parade at school. Chocolate eggs were involved but it was simple without the fanfare of decorations and themed décor which are now all the rage thanks to lifestyle shows.
The shift away from the religious relevance towards chocolate is a disappointing trend – the current catch phrase of the “chocolate holiday” has confused me and I wonder what that means for future generations. I realise we’re an increasingly secular society however creating the impression that we have a four day holiday for chocolate is insane.
Now don’t get me wrong – I love chocolate and think it should be celebrated in all forms but imagine the confusion this must be creating with young children. I remember when my own daughter was younger I would drag her, and her step-siblings, to church on Easter Sunday when I felt their focus on the chocolate was just a little too intense. I know, I’m a tough mother but it never hurt them and it opened their eyes, and minds, to another perspective of the weekend.
The more I ponder my place during Easter, the more I realise that it’s a time to share with family and friends. Not unlike Christmas really. For me, it isn’t about church or chocolate but connecting with the people in my life and sharing a meal or a drink.
I’ve spent the last four days eating and drinking my way across Canberra – again, not unlike Christmas – and I’ve certainly got some detoxing to do! Regardless of the drawbacks to the waist band the emotional benefits were priceless. Good Friday was a lovely brunch with a dear friend, Saturday was wine and cheese with my aunt and mother, and Easter Sunday a picnic in the park with family. These times could, and should, be repeated more regularly however the four day break gives the illusion of time and freedom to relax and engage without rushing, without worrying about chores or groceries but to spend time chatting and telling stories.
We all celebrate Easter in our own way and none is better or worse than any other, regardless I think we can all agree that spending time with loved ones is a special way to spend the weekend.