Easter has always been a bloody good public holiday in my eyes.
I’m not even vaguely religious so for me as a child, it meant two things; namely time off school and shitloads of chocolate. A breakfast of hot cross buns, an Easter egg hunt in the back garden maybe, and probably a meal with extended family were traditionally how we would spend Easter Sunday.
As an adult I looked forward to it for the time off work (two bank holidays in one weekend, and it’s not the middle of sodding winter. Kerching!)… and the chocolate, of course. By the end of Easter weekend I am usually about 65% Malteser and I make no apologies.
But now that I am old(er) and have my own children, it seems that Easter has morphed something else.
‘What are you getting for your children for Easter?’
I’m not asking; this is something I’ve seen mums on parenting forums ask recently and it’s left me a little… huh?
Of course, there are and have always been kids who can’t or won’t have chocolate – poor sods – and in these cases a little gift in place of a traditional chocolate egg is nice, but it seems now that it isn’t the exception but the rule.
Apparently Easter now means presents for everyone.
Shops are, of course, jumping on the bandwagon proudly proclaiming that they are stocked with perfect Easter presents for your children; because all children should be spoiled with a vast plethora of lamb- and chick-themed gifts that they don’t need.
Pinterest is bursting at the seams with thousands of the to-be-expected Easter crafts and bakes (which obviously, we won’t be doing) but also ‘ideas for your child’s Easter basket’.
I didn’t even know this was a thing.
It isn’t a thing. I don’t want it to be a thing.
My children, mercifully, are young and at the moment they don’t know any different. We will stick with a small chocolate egg and hope that their grandparents don’t go too mad, and if they do then we are here to shoulder the chocolately burden on their behalf because we area good and loving parents.
It does however concern me though that when they’re at school, it will become expected that rather than a day to spend as a family, Easter will just become another commercial gift giving day.
I can see it happening now…
An Easter list will be sent to the Easter Bunny, who children will visit in an Easter grotto in their local garden centre (‘Is it the real Easter Bunny mum? Is it?’). They’ll go to bed on Easter Eve hoping that the Bunny will come and bring them an Easter basket of gifts while they sleep, which they’ll leave underneath the Easter Tree. They’ll be sure to leave out a carrot for him before they go to bed. And whiskey, he likes whiskey does the Easter Bunny.
You might think this is just the rambings of a slightly unhinged and sleep deprived parent but I HAVE SEEN WITH MY OWN EYES Easter wreaths (Waitrose, if you’re interested), Easter decorations, Easter crackers and get this… Easter trees.
ACTUAL EASTER TREES.
Like Christmas trees, but decorated with eggs. I swear I’m not making this up.
That is waaaaaay over the line.
I like an excuse to eat chocolate but if you have an Easter tree, you need to have a word with yourself.
Why can’t anything be simple any more? Why as parents do we have to turn everything into a competition, an additional expense, and stress ourselves out in the process?
Why can’t we just say NO, dig our heels in and refuse to buy into this commercialisation of what should be a lovely family holiday? What is wrong with a flipping chocolate Easter egg?
Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Easter-themed rants, why can’t we have Hot Cross Buns all year round?