Easter is a fantastic time to celebrate - dependent on your religious proclivities and hemisphere, there is a joyous resurrection and the arrival of Spring, with its associated bunnies, chicks and daffodils.
Whatever your beliefs, it’s a blooming great reason to eat chocolate. I’d always thought that sharing these various wonders with our daughter would fill me with happiness… but increasingly I’m almost as sick of Easter as I am of Christmas. And I’m worried that as she gets older, pester power will only make it worse.
When I was little, things were somewhat different. There are two key reasons for this: The first is not entirely as a result of the parent led trip to church and associated feelings of hope and love. It was altogether more important than that. Easter was all about CHOCOLATE EGGS.
Mum sensibly stored most of my sisters and my eggs on top of the highest cupboards in the kitchen. Even if my sister climbed onto the stool and reached right up as far as she could… she still couldn’t get to them. As the shorter of the two of us, I had no chance. But I couldn’t resist the lure of the eggs. So I devised cunning ways to get to them, without mum or my sister knowing.
I had several strategies, the most successful of which involved creeping downstairs very early in the morning before anyone else was up. I pulled the stool over near the cupboards, climbed onto it… then placed the Yellow Pages on the bench top, climbed onto it, and hey presto… I could reach the egg boxes! After sitting down on the bench top, I would carefully undo the cardboard flaps and slide the plastic casing out.
Placing it on the bench next to me, I would gently ease it open and reach for the egg. Once the egg was clear, with the stealth of an 8-year-old cat burglar, I would undo the foil wrapping, ensuing absolutely no rips or tears. I would then remove the egg and gently ease the two halves apart. Inside was my prize. the treasured bag of smarties or mini eggs. I’d pop them onto the bench top, reverse the cunning process so it appeared my egg was still intact and the box unopened; then replace it on top of the cupboard. Success!! Chocolate for brekkie AND the appearance of willpower.
I could happily continue like this for several weeks, leaving my sister perplexed as to why I didn’t want any chocolate as she carefully ate a mum – allocated amount of her eggs every few days. (The belief that calories don’t count if no one else sees you eating them is still one I firmly hold).
As a mum, it’s now my turn to hide and allocate the chocolate. I have tried hiding it from myself, too – but the problem is I know where it is, so it doesn’t work.
The second reason Easter has lost the shiny appeal it had in my youth is Christmases fault. Well, when I say that, I mean it’s retailers fault. In the same way that we are now treated to Christmas decorations in the shops as early as August; on my first trip to the supermarket in 2013 (January 2nd or 3rd) I saw Crème Eggs!!! There they were, just next to the reduced tinsel and crackers.
How on earth are we supposed to sustain the happiness and genuine pleasure of these traditions if they assault us for months in advance? And what are we teaching the next generations by doing it?
To me it seems that it’s a continuation of the culture of endless consumption. Despite the fact that Easter happens in March or April, apparently we can’t be trusted to wait until the week before for chocolate eggs and hot cross buns.
We need them in January. As soon as the manic purchasing cycle of Christmas is over; we need the next big thing thrust upon us.
As I’m clearly not feeling the Easter love, I would really value your thoughts.
How do you keep the excitement of these special days alive for your little ones, when the events are an ongoing assault on us for months in advance?
Thanks for listening. I’m off to grumble into my chocolate marshmallow sultana orange cinnamon flavoured hot cross bun.
As well as being a mum, Jen is a freelance writer. Find her online at www.jendobbiecopy.com