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Editorial Echoes: 4 April 2009: Consumerism and Easter don’t mix

April 4th, 2009 at 06:39am

Consumerism is invading Easter, but as Samuel explains, the two don’t mix, and more respect needs to be paid to this important holiday.

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The script follows.

Samuel

Welcome to Editorial Echoes, I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart.

Has the consumerism of Easter gone too far? The same question is asked of Christmas every year, but after seeing an ad on television last night, I have to wonder if the majority of the general public even know what Easter is about any more.

The ad in question was for a local golf shop. I won’t dignify them by naming them, but they are a reasonably well known store. The ad starts with a golfer hitting a golf ball, a fairly innocuous start. The golfer then sees somebody, or to be more precise, something, on the course in the distance and calls out “fore!”.

The golf ball then hits the distant thing, which is now identifiable as a large furry rabbit carrying a sack, the rabbit falls over, and the sack flies open, causing a heap of Easter Eggs to fly out, and cause a rather large mess.

Needless to say, the ad is for this golf shop’s Easter sale.

Now, I can understand the advertisements for Easter Eggs and Hot Cross Buns, these things have become a part of the Easter culture in our society, and it is quite normal to see ads for them (although a number of us do get annoyed when supermarkets start flogging Easter Eggs on Boxing Day), however this advertisement, to my mind, is one step too far.

Easter, for those of you who have forgotten, is a Christian celebration of the crucifixion and subsequent resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is marked by a series of Public Holidays, and is generally treated with some dignity, even by those who are not Christian. It differs from Christmas in that consumerism seems to fit in with Christmas due to the notion of giving presents to each other as a celebration of Christ’s birth, but it does not fit in with Easter where gift giving just isn’t appropriate.

Perhaps it’s the economic crisis that’s too blame. Perhaps a population with less disposable income has caused a sharp decline in the sale of golf clubs. If so, why not advertise a “stimulus payment sale” in an effort to get a slice of the $900 payments which start flowing on Monday. That would be more dignified and respectful than an Easter sale, surely.

Then again, perhaps I’m just being outmoded here. After all, the retail association want a relaxation of the Easter trading restrictions which apply in most states, although not in the ACT I might add. In New South Wales retailers want trading to be permitted on Easter Sunday and the TAB has decided to open on Good Friday.

Perhaps in this increasingly secular society we shouldn’t have public holidays to mark events on the Christian calendar. Or perhaps, as I’m inclined to believe, we should remember the heritage of our society and treat such holidays with the respect they deserve.

Nobody is going to force non-Christians to conform to a Christian lifestyle, but it would be fair to say that non-Christians look forward to the Easter long weekend just as much as Christians do, even if for different reasons, and as such, should at the very least remember why they have the holiday, and have a little respect for the reasons.

A little respect in exchange for a few days off is a very reasonable bargain in my books, and I can guarantee you that I will not be spending any of my $900 stimulus payment in that golf shop, be it on the Easter weekend, or at any other time.

I’m Samuel Gordon-Stewart on Editorial Echoes. If you would like to respond to today’s episode, please send me an email, echoes@samuelgordonstewart.com. Until next time, tada.

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