Easter Sunday is a very special day in the Christian calendar. It’s a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, conquering death and sin and paving the way for his followers to be with him in the afterlife. So, naturally we celebrate by eating as much chocolate as humanly possible without (in most cases, at least) actually exploding and watching cheesy films from the food-induced discomfort of our cocoa and brightly coloured tinfoil littered sofas.
Of course, we all have our own traditions. In my house we go to the Saturday night Easter vigil and this enables us to have a lie-in on Easter Sunday, which doesn’t happen on any other Sunday in the year and is much appreciated. By those it applies to, at least, which doesn’t include me. No. I get woken up early, by the youngest member of the family who, at 12, is pretty excited about the chocolate feast in store. So excited that she then discharges bursts of nervous energy in my direction like North Korean missile attacks until I am forced to try and get the rest of the family out of bed. On the day that they are trying to have their only lie-in. Yes, as you would imagine, this makes me extremely popular. Today, for instance, it took me an hour to get my 18-year-old to come downstairs. I think he might have been trying to claim back the one we all lost last night.
One of the reasons that my youngest gets so excited is because of the egg-hunt. It’s a bit different to the egg-hunts I hear of in other households. Now, this might concern some of you. It may even give you the impression that I am somehow curtailing my brood’s childhood, but as I said, we all have our own traditions. In my house we don’t believe in the Easter Bunny. I’ll give you a moment to take that in. That’s right. I don’t tell, and have never told my children that a giant rabbit (whether visible or invisible) somehow produces chocolate eggs which it leaves lying around in hidden places. My children are pretty interested in the environment and I’m sure this chocolate egg-laying giant rabbit would only further convince them that we need to look more carefully into GM produce.
No, our egg-hunt involves a set of clues, each one leading to the next, until eventually they lead to a stash of Easter eggs for the 4 ‘children’ (or more accurately named, ‘offspring’) of the house. This has worked well for years. I write 5 or 6 rhyming couplets for the purpose with varying degrees of difficulty and they decipher the clues and go on the hunt. Well, that’s how it used to be, but one by one they have dropped out of the hunt part and now 3 of them sit on the sofa while the youngest finds their eggs. They all help crack my code. They’re getting a bit too good at it, to be honest. I’m going to have to up my game: especially now that the youngest has downloaded a crossword app for her phone. When I was her age I had to make do with the Guardian and a pencil and it didn’t do me any harm. I digress.
I’m beginning to run out of places to hide the eggs. They’ve been in the washing machine, the dryer, a laundry basket (when there are 6 people in the house, laundry can loom large in the psyche), under everybody’s bed, in the under-the-sink cupboard and in the oven. That wasn’t a good idea, because it turns out that the bottom oven gets quite hot when you make toast, and apparently Easter lumps are just not as popular as you’d think.
This year saw the introduction of what may be a new tradition. I got my chef-in-training son to be in charge of the chicken for our roast dinner. As a confirmed veggie, that’s quite a relief. I hate cooking food if I can’t taste a bit to test it and I’d rather not relive the food-poisoning extravaganza of 1997 (kidding).