Easter weekend is just around the corner. There will be chocolate and treats as far as the eye can see. If there is one thing we Irish do well, it is go completely overboard. It seems like every occasion and holiday is blown completely out of all proportion and Easter is certainly no exception.
I remember when I was a kid, my Grandmother would buy loads of Easter eggs. Big, adult ones. They would all be laid out, and on Easter Sunday you would be allowed to go into the room and select one. Imagine, you could pick whichever one you wanted. I loved this, it made me feel so grown up. I would always hang back and see what everyone else was choosing, before I made my final decision.
These days kids get so many eggs, they don’t ever get to experience that excitement. I think that’s a shame. Most receive so many, in fact, that their poor parents have a battle on their hands trying to ration it out so that the children only consume a (somewhat) sensible amount of chocolate. Unfortunately plenty of adults also find themselves with an excess of eggs!
My husband and I don’t have any children. Yet in previous years we have ended up with more than 10 large Easter eggs in our house, all bought for us by well intentioned family members. I don’t particularly care for them (that doesn’t mean I won’t eat them if they are in the house) and my husband is a self confessed chocaholic! So, I tend to nibble on one or two of the eggs, and he polishes off the rest. Or at least he would if I gave him the chance. Usually I take what hasn’t been opened into work with me on the Tuesday after Easter, to be eaten by my colleagues, who probably have similar gluts at home.
I have two kid brothers (aged 25 and 15) and each Easter we have conversations which go a little something like this.
Me “What Easter egg would you like?”
Them “I don’t want one.”
Me “But I have to get you one, so just pick”
Them “Em, OK, just get me a (insert random confectionery name here)”
It’s completely ridiculous! We buy eggs for people who don’t want them, which makes them feel obliged to buy eggs for us, which we don’t want either. Can we please stop the insanity? The only ones benefiting from this nutty practice are the chocolate makers.
This year I have decided not to buy Easter eggs for adults, and to only buy eggs for kids immediately related to me. I am going to bake some small Easter treats for both families instead. This is not me being mean or churlish. It’s not about the money, especially as eggs are so inexpensive these days. It is about not overloading people with things they don’t want, in order to make myself feel good! There are plenty of things we can do to celebrate this holiday which don’t induce diabetic comas.
- Flowers are always a lovely gift option, and most supermarkets sell them very cheaply. A spring bouquet really brightens up the house and it’s a nice way to show you are thinking of someone
- Have a meal together. Holidays usually mean extra time off work, so it’s nice to spend some of that time with our nearest and dearest.
- Pack a picnic and get out doors. Easter represents the end to dark, dreary days, so make the most of it.
- For kids, books and colouring books are always a great idea. Believe me their parents will appreciate this much more than the sugar laden alternative!
- Paint hard boiled eggs and do an egg hunt.
If you don’t want to end up inundated with eggs, ask people not to buy them for you. This also applies your kids. If you worry about the excess, ask people to please refrain from adding to the chocolate mountain. Not everyone will take this on board, but some will and every little helps.
Don’t be afraid to re-gift. If you receive eggs which you don’t want, pass them on to others, instead of buying even more. Again, this might sound cheap, but it’s really just about damage limitation.
If you do end up with way more eggs than you need, there are a few things you can do with the leftovers.
- Bring them into the office, someone will always eat them. I find finance and IT to be particulary good dumping grounds!
- Donate them to a local homeless charity. We have so much that it’s easy to forget that some people have nothing
- Make a batch of Rice Krispy cakes. There are always bake sales happening and these guys are sure to be a big hit
- Break up the chocolate and put in it a tupperware in the freezer. It will keep for months and you can just grab a piece when you fancy it
- Dump it! This is a last resort for me, because I hate seeing food (even junk food) wasted. However, if you are trying to control your diet, and you think you won’t be able to resist it, throw it away. A misplaced sense of guilt is not worth sacrificing your progress for.
Calories in Easter Egg Guide
- 100 grams of chocolate = 530 calories
- 1 medium Easter Egg 100g = 530 calories
- 1 average size chocolate bunny 180g = 980 calories
- 1 large Easter Egg 200g = 1060 calories
Personally, I usually pick my favourite one, allow myself to have and enjoy that one and get rid of the rest ASAP. I remember one year, going back to Weight Watchers after Easter having put on 5lbs! I was shocked to realise just how much damage all the extra chocolatey calories can do! I know you have live, and you want to be able to enjoy these special occasions. However, 5lbs weight gain every bank holiday, can add up to over 3 stone in a single year. Just something to chew over as you do your seasonal shopping. Be well xxx