When did Easter become like Christmas with gifts and toys being given?
When I was growing up we got candy and clothes to wear on Easter Sunday. Now Easter is turning into another secular Christmas with lists for the Easter Bunny and toys galore. I obviously missed something, but when and WHY did this happen?
If there is money to be made, capitalism will rush to fill the market. When I was a kid we got some little gifts for Easter, but it always felt like a downplayed holiday when compared to Halloween or Christmas. But that has changed within the last decade or so when movies and candy companies realized they could cash in big. Peeps alone went from being a seasonal candy to an empire of varieties and contests. It's a lot like "Christmas in July". There is nothing logical about it, companies are just looking for ways to make more money.
I grew up during the 60s and 70s and even then Easter had an element of children's celebration to eat jellybeans, various chocolate candy, dying eggs, songs about Peter Cottontail and the Easter Bunny delivering chocolate eggs wrapped in colorful foils along with possibly having an Easter egg hunt. We did get some new suits to wear to church on Easter Sunday and we had ham for dinner. Today a lot of churches welcome people wearing casual clothes and jeans.
Even now I don't sense Easter being anywhere near as commercialized as Christmas from a mass media point of view. I haven't seen any Toys R Us or Fischer Price commercials in my area. Having said that many adults in today's generation desire to spoil their children year round. Some throw annual full blown birthday parties for each child. We may have had one or possibly two depending on what month we born in and weather permitting. When adults went out for dinner, a movie, or a party they hired a teenage girl on the block to babysit.
Today people are offended if your invitation states no children. This was an era where every child addressed adults with the words Mr. or Ms. blah blah. This provided a built in buffer between how they addressed adults compared to how they addressed their peers. Today 5 year olds call every adult they meet by their first name. In some households the teens call the shots as parents strive to be their children's "best friends" even if it means going deep into debt.
From my point of view its the parents of today who have infused more materialism into every holiday and birthday celebration in a child's life.
Last year American's spent something like 12 billion on Easter "stuff." This year the estimate was 14.6 billion. Don't know what the final tally is. I really don't get it.
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