“Open Easter Sunday, from 12:00 – 8:00.”
So read the sign at PetSmart yesterday when I took Molly in for her bath and haircut.
So read the sign at Bed Bath and Beyond this morning when I went stopped in to shop for a new doormat.
So read the sign at Home Depot when I drove by on my way to lunch at Panera Bread.
I’m certainly no authority on Christian doctrine or history, but I’m quite certain that Jesus would not have arisen from the tomb and felt the need to go shopping at PetSmart, Bed Bath and Beyond, or Home Depot.
To parpharse a once popular song -“What’s shopping got to do with it?”
Whether or not you observe Easter (or Passover) from a religious standpoint, these holidays give us the opportunity to spend time with family or friends, to step back from everyday concerns and focus on something more meaningful than the mundane tasks of life. When stores remain open on holidays, they force their employees to choose between family time and work, a choice they already must make far too often. Plus they encourage the rest of us to forsake time we might otherwise spend more fruitfully.
At the risk of sounding like a cranky old Grandma (wait – I am a cranky old Grandma!) I recall when retail stores were never open on Sunday, or even after 5:00 p.m. (except on Thursdays and Fridays). Would it really be so bad if we couldn’t wander around the mall on Sunday afternoon? What would we miss if we weren’t able to buy cosmetics, or electrical equipment, or tennis shoes until Monday morning?
Instead of shopping and spending money most of us don’t have anyway, perhaps we could go to a concert or movie, play games with our kids, try out a new recipe. Take a nap. Take a walk. Read a book.
Naturally from a business standpoint it’s all about making a profit. But from a human standpoint, I think we need to be about another business entirely.The business of living a meaningful, fulfilling life, one that enriches us, our family and friends, and the wider world around us.
I just don’t believe shopping has anything to do with that.