Thursday, 31 December 2009

The Archdruid's Easter Sermon

Yes, the title was chosen deliberately.  It wasn't accidentally defaulted from last Easter.  And in any case I didn't do an Easter message this year.

This week is traditionally the time of year when people all over the civilized world, and even Milton Keynes, complain.  And the complaint they make is the same one.  Ooo the Cadbury's Creme Eggs are in the shops.  Valentine's cards have appeared.  Easter bunnies abound.  And the telly is full of adverts for summer holidays.  I ignore the DFS sale, now into its 40th glorious year and with no sign of abating -the only thing in this world that is longer-running than Last of the Summer Wine.  All around us the world springs into the Spring sales, ignoring the 3 months of winter that remain.  And all of this can be firmly blamed upon one group of people.
Yes, you.  You ignored 2000 years of tradition and put the dancing snowmen on your path on 1 December.  When the tradition of the church and all the voices of nature were crying out for you to batten down the hatches and face a bit of misery as the days shortened, you put a 60 foot singing, ringing tree outside your house.  The inflatable Santa has been in the garden since Advent 2.

And it's Santa that exposes the trouble with your attitude to Christmas.  This is where you blew it.  This is where you left yourself open to Creme Eggs in the shops before the geese were even a-laying.  You idolised Santa.
Let's consider what we know about Santa.  He appears on lots of cards.  He's inflatably glowing in many people's front gardens.  There are signs saying "Santa please stop here" in shrubberies all over suburbia.
And he's redundant on 25 December.

The really devout, the ones that saw Advent as a preparation for the coming of Jesus - they've got until Candlemas (aka Imbolc) to celebrate.  That's 2 February, last time I looked.  All that time to celebrate their God with Them.  But your god had a red coat and went ho-ho-ho.  He substitutes living by faith with a little list that says whether you've been naughty or nice.  He delivers his promises of a better world by the 25th.  And then it's all over.  He's done now.  You might as well pack him, and all the things he stands for, back into the shoebox and stick him in the attic until next year.

You've been eating Xmas dinners since mid-November.  The Office Do was in the first week of December.  You've been playing Christmas carols (the crappy Victorian sentimental ones,  not the decent theological pre-Victorian ones) since about Armistice Day.  So you've had it by now, haven't you?  You don't want any more Christmas.  If you attend Church on Sunday you won't understand why you're still singing carols.  Unless you belong to a Pentecostal church, in which case you're probably already back to Redmanesque introspection by then.  When the Wise Men turn up in a week or so you're going to wonder what they're playing at - weren't they standing by the crib, back in the 2nd week of December, when it was Christmas?

Of course the retailers of this world are selling you Creme Eggs.  What else did you think they were going to sell you?  Stuffed Goose?  That's for Christmas.  Sild?  Quails Eggs?  Blow-up models of the Royle Family? All these things are irrelevant.  You had your Christmas in Advent and before.  It's Lent now.

But of course Lent is like Advent.  You're going to skip that because it's dull and challenging and you don't like it.  And you wouldn't like your faith to be about temptation and challenge and self-discipline and denial.  Not in a world crying out for you to be more restrained in your consumption and simpler in your tastes.  How would that work?  So you'll be down the shops this weekend, New Year's hangover settling down, moaning about the Easter Eggs.  But buying a few packs of hot-cross buns, because they're so nostalgic, aren't they?  And maybe a few fair-trade bars of chocolate because you always feel better about eating that.  It's not that it has less calories - but they're smugger than normal chocolate calories, so they're probably less fattening.

So get your Easter over quickly because January will be on us soon.  And then you'll probably want to dance around a Maypole.


  1. Your commentary on Easter is well done, although you missed a vital point.

    Coronation Street, is the only thing running longer than Last of the Summer Wine. Ena Sharples and Albert Tatlock will be twirling like a dervishes in their grave!

    Being of a more traditional nature, we only celebrate Advent, not Christmas. Our decorations consists entirely of one Advent Wreath, and all of the cards that some folk send us completely unsolicited (No threats of cutting them out of our wills), which are tastefully adorned over every surface, which the Cats cant get to.

    We reciprocate by sending out mass produced e-cards (protecting the trees and the evironment)featuring a picture of Tony Blair (a very religious figure) even to those without a computer - we never get any complaints, just admiration for our thrift etc. I was a little concerned to receive a card addressed to 'Scrooge' but I believe that it was mis-addressed.

    Again, the description of Lent as the Easter Season, is slightly misleading. The commercial description is "Get the B*****s in and rip them off" which runs from New Years Eve until Easter Sunday, when the Christmas Preparation starts.

    As the holder of shares in some solid retail outlets (ethical, fair trade ones only) it gladdens the heart to see these companies working so hard to increase our ethical dividends.

    Of course, the Solstice is our opportunity to get the Bed Sheet and sandal makers to set up their stalls for all of those folk who like to think that they have pagan religious leanings and want to dress up a Druids. There appears to be a thriving market in this attire and we hope to make a fair profit this year, particularly as your blog increases the attraction.

    Your efforts in supporting our marketing are very much appreciated.

  2. And so say all of us!

  3. Congratulations on an excellent rant! (Yes, I know it's the 4th. My router has been on the blink and I'm slowly catching up.)

  4. Fantastic - sums it all up really!


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