So Easter has gone a little strange. I should probably start out by saying that although I am Christian, I'm not an off to the church every Sunday kind of Christian. I am not sure if it is because the church seems quite old fashioned (once again I am not there every Sunday so I don't know), or if it is the obvious fact that is takes place on a Sunday morning - the only time that I have seen a Sunday morning in recent times was when I was doing my hypnotherapy course, other than that I'm usually awake for Sunday lunch time. I am somewhat of a Quality Street Christian - picking out the toffee pennies, and leaving the rubbish green triangles, I take the bits I like about helping and being kind, and leave the weird bits that seems to have been written by some very angry men.
In the run up to Easter I watched Mary Berry's two part Easter feast special. It really was a lovely programme. She met many different people from different types of Christianity, from different parts of the world. The whole idea of the programme was learning about all types of traditions over the Easter weekend, finding out what different people made for their post Lent feasts, and bringing everyone together at the end for an Easter feast down Mary's local Church hall (I am assuming that is where they were). There were lovely parts of the programme where she brought the viewer into her home to see her own traditions with her own family. She met up with John Sentamu ('a lovely man with a lovely kitchen', my mum was pretty taken with the Archbishop of York's accommodation), and the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby. I felt honoured to watch their conversation as they shared in the grief of loosing a child, and how they coped with such a loss with their faith. And by talking about their grief they shared the meaning of Easter. Which is hope, The Archbishop of Canterbury went on to share this message in his sermon on Sunday, where he discussed the bombings in Brussels saying "On Easter Day hope decisively overcame fear".
For me this is what my own religious beliefs are about, seeing the light in the darkness, being given a little bit of help and guidance through the worst times, and giving thanks for the best.
I am not sure how much of that message was shared yesterday as I looked through Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. Seeing presents laid out for children like Christmas morning. Maybe another question would be - would people bother with this if there wasn't this showing off/ over sharing on Facebook? Easter has become commercialised, and it feels very wrong. I saw it creeping in when I worked in GAP (I know who am I to talk), people buying, in fairness, a wee t-shirt in the sale (I worked in Baby GAP), rather than buying a kid a chocolate egg. I am down with that. Jamie Oliver is most certainly down with that, although he is in my bad books this week. That was about ten years ago and things seem to have escalated pretty quickly. I saw someone that I follow on twitter also lamenting about XXL Easter, saying she couldn't believe what people were giving their kids - when one of her followers asked what kind of presents, she said - 'a bike'. Now there is a Christmas present if ever I saw one.
In the interests of honesty I should also disclose that I like things - I like clothes, I like make up, I like owning more books than I can read in a life time and the same with DVDs. This whole Easter thing really rubs me up the wrong way. I want to run about screaming - 'you are missing the point of this, you are missing the point - if this is what you think Easter is about, then what else are you missing the point of in life?!'. All this need for stuff and things and documenting it on the internet is getting a bit weird.
So what will Easter look like for me when and if I have kids. I would imagine Easter Egg rolling, a couple of Easter Eggs, maybe a Lindt bunny, and a big family dinner. Gasps - I know I don't even have kids and am telling other people what to do with theirs. It's honestly not that, it is about taking back what is important from commercial profit. Appreciating time spent with family and loved ones, telling shops selling Easter gifts to shove it. Painting hardboiled eggs, chucking them down a hill in your local park, and leaving before the smell of multiple smashed eggs becomes too much.