Go into any supermarket today and you’ll find yourself facing Easter-themed everything. From bunting and bouquets to crackers and trees, it’s no longer just Easter eggs gracing the shelves.
Has Easter become the new Christmas? Some commentators think so.
According to Carolyn Bailey, homes and garden editor for Good Housekeeping, more and more people are buying Easter decorations than ever.
“Easter is becoming like a second Christmas,” she told the BBC.
Once reserved for the December festive period, crackers are now being sold for Easter in various supermarkets, including Sainsbury's, Tesco and Waitrose.
Other traditional Christmas decorations now being repurposed for Easter include wreaths and even trees.
Rather than a classic Christmas tree-style though, Easter trees are more likely to be made of branches painted white, from which you can hang little painted eggs - there are nearly 17,000 posts tagged #eastertree on Instagram.
But is this just retailers trying to commercialise a Christian tradition? And is it putting more and more pressure on people to have the ‘perfect’ Easter?
“Yes Easter seems to be going the way of Christmas,” one mother wrote on Mumsnet. “When I was a kid I got an Easter egg from Mum and one from Nana and that was it. Now my children are given money, cards and eggs from various relatives, and I had to politely ask my mum not to get them any clothes as they have plenty.”
Not long ago, it was normal for a child to receive nothing more than a couple of chocolate eggs from the Easter bunny on Sunday morning. Now, however, shops are increasingly selling ‘Easter gifts’.
The long weekend has for years widely been considered a chance to spend time with family, go to church and relax, but these priorities seem to be being eclipsed.
Journalists are increasingly sent marketing emails suggesting products for Easter gift guides, creating the impression that everyone needs to spend more and more money.
Shops are full of Easter cards which leaves people questioning whether it’s acceptable to arrive at an Easter gathering without a card? Is that what people are doing these days? Or are we just being tricked into thinking we must?
Some people, however, enjoy the opportunity to turn Easter into a bigger celebration:
“Why is buying presents for Easter a bad thing? I don't understand, sorry,” one woman wrote on Mumsnet.
Another mother shared that she’d bought each of her children a new outfit, a book, an activity such as colouring or stickers, an Easter egg and a toy, as well as putting up decorations “because they looked pretty.”
“Why is that a problem?” she asked. “I know that sounds a bit arsey but genuinely why?”
But others are firmly anti the commercialisation of Easter:
“It puts pressure on every family to do the same,” one mum explained. “Children get the message that Easter is also about getting stuff.”
And if everyone in your class is getting piles of presents, it’s hard to understand why you’ve only been given a creme egg and a packet of mini eggs, which puts parents in a tricky situation.
Whether you’re celebrating the religious aspect or just the opportunity to see family and friends, making a fuss is not necessarily a bad thing.
But how far will the trend go? Perhaps in a few years we’ll be having office Easter parties, secret Easter bunny present exchanges and racking up debt.
It’s safe to say some of us already eat as much at Easter as Christmas...Reuse content