28 March 2024

We do Easter trees now? This has gone way too far!

| Chris Roe
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Region editor Chris Roe believes that one inside tree a year is enough.

Region editor Chris Roe believes that one inside tree a year is enough. Photo: Chris Roe.

What on earth is happening to Easter?

All of a sudden the stores are bursting with pastel trinkets, styrofoam eggs, stuffed bunnies, hats, baskets, fake carrots, cards and “Easter present ideas”, including a decorated tree!?

If we are now importing any old Christmas tradition, allow me to add some ‘bah humbug’!

Once upon a time, Easter in Australia was an excuse for a long weekend and involved bonnets, seafood, fruity buns, a trip to church and too much chocolate.

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For the devout, it is the most important week of the Christian calendar and a time of both sombre reflection and celebration marking the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

For those less so, there are vague traditions of magical rabbits and eggs that date back to fertility celebrations and the Anglo-Saxon spring goddess Eostre.

There has always been an element of commercialisation to an Aussie Easter, and we’ve been grumbling for years about how early the hot cross buns appear in stores, but ‘Big Easter’ seems to have taken it to the next level.

Bargain stores are stocking more easter hats than you can poke a carrot at!

Bargain stores are stocking more Easter hats than you can poke a carrot at! Photo: Chris Roe.

The Easter bonnet is an ancient English springtime tradition and Australian schoolchildren have been stapling crepe paper and cellophane to hats and parading around the quadrangle for decades.

But in 2024, Easter hats have become an industry and shops are bursting with foam lids and disposable decorations that are destined to become landfill by Easter Sunday.

Decorative foam and plastic eggs are now everywhere. Back in the day if you wanted a non-chocolate egg, you took one from a chook, poked a hole in each end, blew out the contents and then dipped the fragile shell in food colouring.

It was a creative and time-consuming exercise for the kids and the leftovers were both edible as an omelette and biodegradable as a source of calcium for the roses.

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It seems that anything you can whack a bunny or an egg on is fair game at the moment and stores are stacked with single-use egg-collecting baskets, rabbit masks and purpose-built egg holders to paint your styrofoam without getting it on your fingers.

There are Easter outfits from pyjamas to pet-wear: table decorations, children’s books, keyrings, hair clips, and a ‘Hop This Way Contemporary Easter Bunny Wreath with Foliage’ if you feel the need to decorate the front door.

When did Easter cards and yard signage become a thing?

When did Easter cards and yard signage become a thing? Photo: Chris Roe.

When did Easter cards become a thing? We all know that Hallmark loves to hijack a good holiday, but since when did we start dropping $8 on a ‘Happy Easter’ note?

And now we have trees?

OK, so apparently the ‘Ostereierbaum’ is a medieval tradition from the same Germans that brought us the Christmas tree, but isn’t one inside tree a year enough? It feels like only a minute since we packed up the last one!

Chris was disappointed to find an Easter tree for sale at the local shops. Photo: Chris Roe.

There’s also something a little perverse about the fact that a man was famously nailed to a tree on Good Friday. Should we place a crucifix on top in place of the Christmas star? I think not.

If not for the resurrection, Jesus Christ would be rolling in his grave!

Personally, I’m boycotting the Easter merch and the Germans can keep their tree. Hot cross buns, a few chocolate eggs and time with family and friends will suffice.

Whatever you’re up to, have a happy, safe and blessed Easter!

Original Article published by Chris Roe on Region Riverina.

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