It's Easter! Or if it isn't in your time zone yet, it soon will be.
Just like Christmas, we again ponder the contrast between the religious origins of this holiday and the modern interpretations. In countries all over the world, we
- paint eggs with bright colours and hide them in the back lawn
- buy and eat enormous amounts of chocolates and other sweets (to the detriment of our health and budget)
- celebrate the end of the abstemious month of Lent
- dress in our best clothes and worship quietly in churches for hours
- watch our children frolic with adults dressed up in huge bunny suits
OK, so nobody says it has to make sense, and not everybody does all of these things. But one ultimate truth is that holidays and materialism now go hand in hand, even when the holiday has solemn and meaningful origins.
From Jesus to the credit card
Materialism and Christianity do not share space easily. But a recent study (involving the New Zealand university my husband attended) shows that Christians resist buying a product marketed in a materialistic way, but will buy the same product when its quality is highlighted instead.
Convince anyone that buying something isn't just acquiring yet another thing (materialism) but actually suits their preferred image of themselves, and you've made the sale.
I claim no particular immunity. I am currently wondering what came over me as my children pester me for free access to the extraordinary supply of (vegan) sweets I loaded their Easter basket with.
So what was my preferred image? That day, I was tired of being super frugal healthy mother who only buys from the markdown table of my local organic shop. I wanted to be super fun mother who treats her kids just like everybody else for Easter and wow, also is a strong supporter of the organic shop and organic producers by voting with our dollars!
This quiz is a fine example of materialism seeking image dollars. Being green is great. See how green you already are...and find out how green you could be if you bought more green products!
- Are green products better than conventional products? Often, yes.
- Is there some useful information in this quiz? Yes.
- Is buying green products the definitive action for being green? Of course - what you consume defines who you are as a person :)
Reaching for the stars
Materialism so often seems way cool. The superstardom of the Sex and the City women is only one in a long history of examples.
Almost nobody can afford a wardrobe full of designer clothes and an spotlessly furnished apartment in an exciting city where you eat out 3 times a day, walk around all day with perpetual $5 coffees until you head for dancing or drinking all night.
Even those who earn that much money usually spend most of their lives earning it and not enough enjoying it.
But it's still so fun to dream!
How would you make minimalism or simplicity as sexy as materialism?