Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Easter egg headache

Easter egg headache
If I had anything to do with it, I’d have nothing to do with Easter eggs. Everything is just stacked up against them;

  • I’m not Christian, so Easter has no religious meaning,

  • The chocolate used is mediocre at best and…

  • … way too expensive,

  • The packaging is excessive.

So why do I get in such a tizz about them? Because I’m expected to buy something around this time as a gift because I’m an Aunt.

So what should I do? As far as I can tell I have five options

Option 1 – Buy nothing
And look like a rubbish money-pinching aunt to my family, nephew, niece, their neighbours, play friends, school, village and countless others. Even if I did explain all of the points above, what would be remembered about my present is that the kids didn’t get anything from me.

Option 2 – Buy non-fair-trade, over packaged Easter eggs
This would probably go down best with the little chocolate munching munchkins, after all it's what the countless adverts say will happen, but would leave a bitter taste in my mouth. It’s not an option really. Even if I sought out an egg with non-excessive recyclable packaging, it’s unlikely to be fairly traded and if it is – see option 3.

Option 3 – Buy a fair-trade Easter egg
This would be an option if they were a little older, but frankly their expectations and the fair-trade eggs market are two very different things.

Option 4 – Buy something else
Why? They are expecting eggs. I don’t understand Easter bunnies. As far as I know they are not religious either, so yes the whole thing is even more of a consumer nightmare than I am prepared to start thinking about. Plus the whole point of Easter when you are a kid is to tell your friends how many chocolate eggs you got. End of.

Option 5 – Make something
What? A chocolate Easter egg? I can’t even imagine all of the moulds that I would need and time, and for what? to get that look that means, “What’s this? I wanted a Mars egg”. Make something that isn’t a chocolate egg? What would be the point of that? - see option 4.

Worry not; I have a cunning plan, or at least half of one... if I ignore any Easter/consumerism arguments. It should keep everyone happy, apart from Craig (Transition House), he prefers option 1.


  1. It's a tough one. I am a Christian and am increasingly dismayed by the creeping commercialisation of all religious/family celebrations. If it was just me I would be sorely tempted to simply refuse to play anymore. But there are other people to consider - in my case my children. So I'll compromise by buying them a medium sized fairly traded egg and a packet of mini eggs to be hidden around the house for their traditional Easter morning egg hunt.

    The only comfort I can take from the endless rows of eggs in the supermarkets this year is that at least some of them do now claim to be less overpackaged and plastic free.

    We are going to be making our own hot cross buns!

  2. Easter needn't be regarded as a Christian festival; its origins are far older than Christianity. The word comes from a pagan goddess, Eostre. The festival is based on the spring equinox, though it gets moved around by the church. The church claimed the midwinter solstice festival in the same way, and called it Christmas. The egg is a symbol of rebirth and renewal - far preferable to the symbolism of the Christian death cult! Easter eggs have nothing to do with modern religion. However, all this would probably be wasted on the little ones in your family.

    BTW, I bought an egg with chocolate buttons, I think it was Cadbury's, that has minimal packaging - no plastic! - and wasn't expensive.

    I'm intrigued to know what your cunning plan might be.

  3. Yes---we always enjoy your cunning plans!!!!

  4. Hi Gai, Less packaging. I had noticed that about the chocolate eggs this year, some are making a big thing about it. A step in the right direction I suppose. Now if they could stop us all going mad about buying them in the first place... oh, they'd not make as much well, fairtrade is scrummy, or at least Green and Blacks is my fave. Good luck with the buns.

    Hi Margaret, I hadn't thought that Easter might be a pagan thing too. It makes far more sense to me to celebrate the spring equinox. I don't suppose the little ones would mind if they got their eggs early, although I suspect they'd still want eggs on the Monday too. Perhaps next year.

    Now that Cadbury will be making their Dairy Milk fairtrade I think we should campaign for chocolate buttons to be next!

    Hi Eco-mum, I get the feeling your taking the mickey slightly, but even so you'll have to wait.

  5. In the end I decided to find my own re-usable packaging to put mini fairtrade eggs into. I found a gorgeous shiny purple/blue evening bag from a charity shop for my niece and a pencil case made from recycled tyres for my nephew. They seemed to go down well.

  6. Option 6 ... take 'em for a nice long hike and listen to what's on their mind(s)... best gift and cheapest all at once, and very Transition.

  7. Hi risa, excellent idea. I'll remember that for when they are older, they don't really do long hikes yet. But "time", yes, an excellent gift.


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