Someone I know was worried when I said I hadn’t bought Carol an Easter gift. I immediately felt guilty. Is that what one is supposed to do these days?
It turns out this is in fact a growing cultural trend. Religion News Service asked recently: “Is Easter the new Christmas?” They reported that there are now elaborate Easter gifts for children, along with Easter egg hunts for adults: “…at a time when fewer people are identifying as Christian and church attendance has been slow to recover from the pandemic, celebrations of the most sacred day on the Christian calendar are becoming bigger and more detached from their religious roots. In their place, events like the Adult Eggstravaganza Egg Hunt… the Boozy Bunny Egg Hunt, hiding plastic eggs containing candy and little bottles of alcoholic beverages for residents over the age of 21… [and] kiddie pools full of summery gifts….”
Gag me, as the Valley Girls used to say, with a spoon.
I’ve come up with a name for this growing movement: Consumer Capitalism As a New Religious Movement, or CCANRM (pronounced “kanrum”). No, this is not the Secular Age — this is the age when CCARM takes over from Christianity as the biggest baddest religion — when CCARM takes over from Buddhism as the most effective proselytizing religion among the Cultured Despisers of Religion.
I did not get Carol an Easter gift. She was happy that I did not. We did not have a special meal. We just had our usual cook-it-when-you-feel-like-eating meals. We went to the Sunday service at First Parish, we spent an hour at social hour talking with people, we took a long walk in Whitney-Thayer Woods. It was a good way to spend a nice spring day.