I know it’s nothing new, but Easter, the most important of Christian holidays has fallen prey to the marketing gods. Their strategies of lure have taken the chocolate bunny, faux grass and egg hunts to the extreme. Now, you can even purchase ready-to-decorate hardboiled eggs, since no one has the time to boil eggs anymore. And you are also able to get them pre-decorated, if you just can’t force yourself into creating the yucky mess in the kitchen that it would take to decorate them.
But, that’s the way it’s done in the free market environment. When you find something that works, multiply and expand it and increase your cash coffers. Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with good marketing and that is a major factor in our successful economy. I believe in the free market. It brings opportunity and freedom and success to our citizens and their businesses.
Money “makes the world go ’round,” the old song says, and the Beatles wrote the song Money Can’t Buy Me Love, that claimed, “I don’t care too much for money. Money can’t buy me love” and the song Money, which claimed, “Your lovin’ gives me a thrill, but your lovin’ don’t pay my bills, now give me money, that’s what I want.” So, which is it: I don’t want any money or give me all of it? They promoted conflicting ideals and made a lot of money in the process!
Yep, that’s free enterprise at work. When we were listening to the Fab Four as teenagers, we really weren’t concerned with what the lyrics were saying as much as we were with the music blend and harmonies, the glitter that trapped the emotions. Our band tried to reproduce what they had recorded because it captured the listener.
Today, when I listen to many of those songs from the ‘60’s, I hear what they were saying and the concepts that were being taught. That’s a completely different subject, that I’ll let lie for now. But my point is simply the fact that marketing ploys and strategies work so powerfully.
So powerfully have they worked that today we see the overshadowing of the message of Jesus at Easter by all the fluff and glitter that catches the emotion of the moment in children and their parents.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an Easter Scrooge. I love to see the kids hunting Easter eggs and dressed in their Easter finest. A kid with melted chocolate bunny all over his pudgy cheeks is a priceless photo shoot, for sure. But, sadly, for too many folks in our country, that is all they know about Easter. They aren’t concerned with the true meaning of Easter or why it is important and celebrated in the first place.
At a local store recently, a stark contrast caught my eye. (see the pictures) There were rows with bins full of bunnies, eggs, candy and flowers. Then, at the end of the isle was a magazine rack with one magazine that had an article about Jesus. Of course, from the marketing displays, you would never be able to discern that Jesus is actually the reason Easter is celebrated. The eggs and trappings were all blended in later and many of these came from pagan practices and rituals. But these beliefs spoke of new life and were easily incorporated into the Christian message.
As we wade through the marketing melee of confectionery delights and bunnies, let’s remember that these marketers would not have a product had it not been for the excitement of the Christians who saw Jesus alive after His tragic and cruel death.
The resurrection of Christ is the bedrock of Christianity. Without it, nothing else really matters. Arguably, it is the most well documented fact of ancient history. And with it, our familiar marketers are able to make a lot of money that doesn’t buy love. How ironic, indeed!