We weren't much of an Easter celebrating family when I was growing up and I didn't make much of a fuss with Easter bringing up my three. We were known to have uneaten chocolate from Halloween through Christmas to Easter and back to Halloween because I used to be a fascist about chocolate consumption in our house.
Suffice to say, when my three received some money last week from their grandmother for Easter - they dashed to the shops, bought large eggs and scoffed them in one sitting (and pocketed the extra money). I know this, because I asked, in vain, to borrow one to photograph this morning and had to go to Sainsbury's myself to spend £3 on a nice large box with a large egg encased within.
When I was a child, my mother would tell me that those enormous boxes containing enormous eggs were a con. That they looked good, but the eggs were hollow and no value for money at all. Of course, you can only imagine how much I wanted one of those eggs. The ones that needed two hands to hold. Don't misunderstand, my mother would give us a tube of foil wrapped suchard eggs and a five pound note, which, in hindsight, was very generous. But I still wanted one of those 'proper' easter eggs. A friend of my parents' delivered and I'm sure my face just lit up with joy, because I can't tell you how excited I was when she placed that purple box in front of me on the table.
It was a Milk Tray Egg. And it taught me what the word 'hollow' meant. I'm not sure I had quite understood the word before that moment. Yes, it was vaguely disappointing to see that the egg wasn't just one enormous chunk of chocolate, but then the miracle of a plastic bag filled with chocolates INSIDE the large egg just blew me away. How did they do that? It was magical and I ate the entire hollow egg and chocolates in one sitting and I felt positively ill. And I think that's probably what Easter should be all about.
I, of course, didn't buy my own children the hollow eggs for exactly the same reasons my mother gave me. They had grandparents and aunts and uncles for those. Instead I would buy a bag of foil wrapped eggs for each of them from Marks and Sparks. You know, the little net bags they used to put enticingly by the tills. Really good solid chocolate eggs those. And it seems they've now put them into a posh full on gift box - which would make a great Easter gift for a family - Easter Egg Gift Box
If my children were younger, I'd be tempted to get them these Cute Easter Bunnies
And if I had been a nicer parent when my guys were younger, I'd have got them one of these each. Egg Tree - I buy the Malteser version of these trees every year for my friend's daughter and I suspect it's a tradition that will now never be broken. She loves them.
So, now that I have photographed the Minstrel egg that I bought from Sainburys an hour ago for the bargain price of £3. I think it's time to crack it open and feel that faint disappointment that it is not only hollow, but contains no little bag of chocolates. They came in the box. Where's the magic gone?
Oh, and if you get together with your family every easter, do take a look at our Family Yearbook - the memory book to help you record your family life. Or just check it out when you vow never to eat another chocolate again :).