There is no stopping the trend—Christian holidays are becoming more and more commercialized, products of astute marketing minds.
To some people in the US, thanksgiving is now a day of unabashed gluttony and very few actually think about the sacrifices made by the Pilgrims who were grateful for what they were blessed with.
The same thing can be said about Christmas. In many parts of the world, it is one big party—a time for revelry; to shop, give and receive gifts, decorate, and pig out.
And Easter, the day Christ conquered death and offered forgiveness to all who will accept it, has taken the same route.
On Easter this year, Hiyas (my children's books publisher) was invited to partner with Manila Bulletin at Sofitel Hotel's big day for kids. Hiyas had a booth to display its children's books and a time slot to tell one story to the kids.
To capture the significance of the occasion, and to guide the children on how they should view their activities that day, Hiyas chose “The Secret Ingredient” (Oh, Mateo Book 9), which Mars Mercado of Alitaptap (organization of storytellers in the Philippines) read to kids ages 5-12.
The book focuses on doing one's best for the Lord. “Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.” 1 Corinthians 10:31.
After the storytelling, Mars centered the mini contest on this verse. Alternately giggling and roaring, the kids stood in attention to answer all questions, wanting to win for themselves free books from Hiyas and goodies from Manila Bulletin.
|Book signing and gift giving|
|Hiyas booth (left); Entry to the hotel (bottom right)|
|Contest; On stage with Mars of Alitaptap and Claro of Manila Bulletin|
|Kids, kids, and more kids|
I saw several kids crying and being appeased by their parents in that big, big hall crowded with approximately a thousand bodies. Either they failed to find eggs or lost in a game/contest.
But I pray that God's grace will enable them to have happy memories of that day, when, in their growing up, they will learn and find the true meaning of Easter.