Wandering around the Co-op on the 11th day of Christmas I noticed that the store was selling Hot Cross Buns (a simple bun with a cross on its front). Frankly the Co-op can sell what it wants and I gather that it sells this item all year round not just at….er…Christmas. But there is something not quite right about this.
When I was a boy my mum used to make Hot Cross Buns as a special treat for Good Friday. That was when, historically, we in Britain ate them. The cross signifies the cross on which Jesus met his end on Good Friday. The buns taste great so if folks want to eat them all year round that is their call. I just wonder how many kids growing up today actually realise how this dish came into being and what its significance is. I have a sneaking suspicion that if you polled 100 eleven year olds in Britain today very few of them could actually tell you the day of the year when we celebrate the crucifixion of Jesus.
I wonder how many could tell you what Advent means and why they have an Advent calendar. What Easter Sunday represents and why they have a chocolate egg on that day? Or indeed why we give each other presents at Christmas. I wonder if any at all could explain why they get even more chocolates at Halloween?
Though I am not a believer (I struggle to be one but just do not have faith), I do find the idea that the Christian festivals are now blurred into one great mish-mash of chocolate and consumerism as rather sad. That kids today have no idea why they celebrate as long as they can celebrate is all rather depressing. If it’s Christmas/Easter/Halloween all year round, the actual days themselves become less and less special.