Is it just me? Or has Easter become the new Christmas?

Is it just me? Or has Easter become the new Christmas? asks LIBBY PURVES

  • Libby Purves says the marketing frenzy around Easter could rival Christmas 
  • She argues items to make you panic about Easter gifts have gone to far 
  • However, she believes daffodils and eggs including chocolate are acceptable

Hardly was the last tossed pancake of Shrove Tuesday descended from the ceiling on to the dog than ads screamed: ‘Get ready for Easter!’

The ancient season of Lent, a time of fasting and self-denial, has become a marketing frenzy to rival December. Eggs are not enough. There are hampers, T-shirts, decorations, trees and a suggestion you should panic about Easter gifts.

Well, trade is trade, and no confectioner wants to be left with so much stock they have to re-programme the production line and rewrap the leftovers as egg-shaped Santas. (We had several of those one year and were not fooled.)

Libby Purves questions the sudden marketing frenzy surrounding Easter which encourages people to purchase hampers, decorations and gifts (file image) 

But it has gone too far: Easter is not Christmas. You don’t need a theology degree to grasp that, but perhaps a savvy Grandma might come in useful.

She would tell you that yes, daffodils are acceptable, and it is entertaining to crystallise primrose-heads by dipping them in boiling sugar to put on trifles.

Your consultant Nanna would agree that Easter has to involve eggs, and that there’s no harm in them being chocolate — especially if you gave it up for Lent: the sudden hit is fantastic.

But other eggs should be real: shells blown hollow (a skilled but messy process) or hard-boiled and decorated by making wax patterns on them and dipping them in paint or boiled red-onion skin.

As for garden egg hunts once children are past toddlerhood, it is a bit tame just to scatter chocolate ones under trees and shrubs. Clues should be cryptic and practically GCSE level by the time they are 12, to make the finding all the more exciting.

Because Easter should be exciting: it’s spring!

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