Did you know that the Easter Bunny poops Jelly Beans? So I am reliably informed by my four-year-old chum, David. He has it on high authority that the colours of each jelly bean are attributed to the food the Easter Bunny eats beforehand. If he eats bananas you get yellow ones, strawberries give you red ones and grapes, purple ones. His older sister, Allison (7), also confirms this and added that the green ones are a result from eating apples – but only green apples, of course!
As a religious holiday, I feel that Easter is a much more important holiday than Christmas even. Personally, I prefer it to Christmas, ironically, because it has less fuss and pressure than Christmas time and also because the Easter message is reflected in nature – a time of renewal, rebirth, re-growth. Of course, this is why the Church decided to place this festival at this particular time of year. It paralleled the pagan celebration of springtime and I suppose the early Christians reckoned if you can beat ’em join ’em.
It is the ethos of hope that circulates at this time of year that I find so uplifting. Hope that the winter is over, hope that there is a light at the end of dark tunnels, hope that the struggle through hard times leads to triumph. And what better way to display this than by a big show of blossom!
Speaking of hope, it never fails to amaze me how the Irish look forward to summer. More often than not it doesn’t come, yet every year, at this time, the shops are filled with skimpy clothes that make me shiver just to look at them. My friends and family repeat the mantra every year, “We’re getting a heatwave this summer.” Alas, usually the only heat is waving goodbye!
A late Easter means a better chance for warm weather over the holiday. So this year I’m praying that the weather back home is positively glorious. May they be bathed in sunshine for the whole week, and get completely lobstered! (Lobstered = the result of Irish people on a sunbathing binge!) In Ireland, the measure of a good time on holiday is the depth of colour your skin goes – be it brown or red. Here’s how we sunbath in Ireland – it’s lovely until the sun goes behind a cloud – then it’s Baltic! That’s my sister and I trying to sunbathe in Donegal (of all places!) a couple of years ago.
Not that I’m wishing my Irish friends and family skin damage. But no-where on this planet (not even California) is a beautiful as a sunny Irish day, with the gorse bush in full bloom, the coco-nutty scent wafting over the green fields amid a deafening birdsong soundtrack.
When I was a kid the Easter Bunny came on Sunday morning and left chocolate eggs. Biologically speaking that is a bit messed up… rabbits don’t lay eggs, but in our chocolate dazed state we never argued the point. We’d also get eggs from our aunties and uncles, and we’d keep a tally of how many eggs we got. I loved coming down to the kitchen on Easter Sunday morning and see all the eggs laid out for us. It was like an Easter version of Santa.
We were told in school that the egg represented new life and also was told that it symbolised the tomb that Jesus arose from, but to be honest, I could never see the resemblance of a tomb with a chocolate egg, so that whole analogy was lost on me. Life renewed is good enough for me, especially symbolized in chocolate!
Easter Sunday dinner will be held at our house this year, and because we were having my young friends David and Allison over we decided we’d have an egg hunt in the garden. After trying five different shops, I discovered that Americans do not, in fact, do the whole chocolate egg thing. After years of taking them for granted, I sorely missed the aisle of eggs at home churned out by every confectionery bar – Maltesers eggs, marathon eggs, buttons eggs, galaxy eggs (oh stop me now – I think I’m drooling on my keyboard!) Each brand produces a hollow chocolate egg accompanied by cute miniatures of themselves, e.g. tiny wee mars bars inside the chocolate egg. But not here!
On the other hand the Americans are not short on confectionery (just short on good confectionary – sorry US guys but it hurts me more than it hurts you – at least you don’t know what you’re missing!) After some research – asking what do you do here – I discovered that you can buy plastic eggs to put candy in. That way they don’t melt when you hide them in the garden – never a problem in Ireland! There is also an abundance of chocolate rabbits. Perhaps the Americans have it right – of course the Easter Bunny wouldn’t lay eggs but rather have chocolate baby bunnies! I plundered the local supermarket and reckon I have enough for an egg hunt now…
The cashier asked me how many children I was catering for. She was a little taken aback when I informed her there were only two. I hastily added that there would be 12 grownups who would help them out. Personally I can’t wait!
I’ll leave you with this re-enactment of my favourite Easter Email joke. I cracks me up every year. I can’t explain why it tickles me so much and my husband always says, “Yes, it’s funny but not that funny.” I actually bought these bunnies last year and bit the pieces out of them and carried on an adult version of our childhood tradition by leaving these at My Husband’s place at the kitchen table so he’d see them when he came down for breakfast.
Happy Easter everyone – I hope you feel your life renewed and at least your sweet tooth satisfied.