Looking at Twitter and Instagram yesterday morning, at piles and piles of chocolate eggs, decorations and presents, I found myself wondering when did Easter become such a ‘thing’? Seriously, a lot of those displays would rival Christmas morning. When did a single chocolate egg stop being an acceptable way to celebrate? When did we suddenly have to start adding presents into the equation?
Every year, I buy my kids a single Easter egg. A Cadbury’s one. From Sainsbury’s. Costing in the region of 2 or 3 quid. In addition, on Easter morning, they may or may not get an Easter egg from my sister-in-law. My mother-in-law has never sent eggs (but will usually send a little bit of money). Later, we go round to my mum’s house, where they will get an egg from my mum and one from my sister. They may or may not get one from my brother. So that’s between three and five eggs each every year.
The only decoration I have is a bunch of daffodils. This year I failed a bit, as I bought them too late, so they were still buds on Easter morning.
Funnily enough, growing up, Easter was always more of a ‘thing’ in our family than other families. Yet, as with many things, the rest of the world has overtaken us and run away with it, leaving us behind. Looking a bit stingy and like we don’t really care.
My family aren’t churchgoers or practising Christians, but I think there was something in the religious aspect of Easter, which always made them celebrate and make a bit of a fuss. Growing up in the 70s and 80s, at a time when one or two eggs was the norm, my parents and grandparents went the extra mile.
My mum has always done a big family lunch, second only to Christmas. Even as small children and, right until she died, my Granny always gave us all an Easter card, as did my mum. When I met my husband, I gave him a card and he thought I was mad. Before long, the cards dried up.
My Granny also gave us a present every year – an item of clothing. She didn’t want to over-indulge us, but clothes made a nice gesture, which my mum would appreciate as much we would. My mum has carried on this tradition with her grandchildren. A Tshirt or a pair of shorts might not be the most exciting thing in the world for the kids, but I certainly appreciate it, and it’s nice to treat them without spoiling them.
Ever since we’ve had the kids, my mum has also done a small Easter egg hunt in the garden, using miniature eggs. At the end of it, each child will have one or two Creme Eggs, a miniature Lindt gold bunny and a few tiny eggs. These days, the kids do it so fast that it’s hard to keep up. Blink and you’ll miss it.
But they enjoy it. This is their Easter.
It’s a big enough ‘thing’ for us. They don’t need any more. Kids get enough all year round (dance lessons don’t grow on trees!), they don’t need extra gifts or even more chocolate.
We celebrate, we have a nice time, but we’re not going to have an extra Christmas.