How to get the best bargains this Easter – from chocolate to decorations

Easter may be the holiest of event on the Christian ­ calendar but you wouldn’t know it.

The celebration of Christ’s resurrection is not easy to find among the mountains of ­decorations, chocolate and ­trinkets on sale in the shops.

There are still more than three weeks until Good Friday , yet stores are awash with goods which have little or nothing to do with the story of Christ.

Easter today is a money-spinner worth £550million. It is all about the bunny, fluffy chicks and ­novelties, with the message of the Crucifixion and Resurrection lost along the way.

After Christmas, Easter is now the second biggest reason to splash out, matching Valentine’s Day, according to figures from market analysts Mintel.

People splash the cash at Easter

Last year Brits blew more on Easter than Mother’s Day, which was worth £540million, and it dwarfed the amount spent on Father’s Day, just £380million.

While chocolate eggs account for two thirds of the money splurged in the run-up to the Easter weekend, Christmas-style novelties such as crackers, wreaths and candles are now seen as must-haves to ­celebrate properly.

And the extraordinary range of goodies is truly mind-boggling, from table confetti and light-up bunny ears to expensive Easter egg charms and tableware.

Here are just a few of the Easter “essentials” on offer…

Easter felt table confetti, £2, Waitrose

Felt Easter bunting, £2, The Works

Bunny Loves You, £2, Morrisons

Chick spinning wand, £3, Waitrose

LED light up bunny ears, £2, Waitrose

Mini Easter crackers, £4, Waitrose

Easter treat bag, £1.50, Morrisons

Easter message is lost in the shops, says Paul Routledge

No sooner have we put down the crackers and mince pies than we are moving on to hot cross buns and Easter eggs.

And nowadays it’s not just eggs – there are whole shelves full of Easter goods in our supermarkets.

I don’t have a problem with so…

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