Easter is always a special time of the year for me. I was raised in a catholic family and Easter was a time of celebration, second only to Christmas. It was a time of church services but family get-togethers too and we would often celebrate Easter with aunts and uncles and cousins, all dressed up in new outfits and new sandals, whilst the house would be decorated with Pussy Willow Easter trees and fresh flowers. Sadly Mr S doesn’t appear to have celebrated Easter like we did and I think is quite bemused by the effort and excitement I hold for Easter. However I want the children to share the special nature of the festival and ensure we keep some of my childhood traditions.
This year we were away the week before Easter arriving home on Good Friday afternoon. It meant that I wasn’t able to go and buy hot cross buns in our local baker on Good Friday morning like I normally do. These are the most perfect hot cross buns. However, as we walked into breakfast at our hotel, the warm, spicy smell of hot cross buns wafted to our table in a much appreciated gesture from Butlins and we got to enjoy our traditional Good Friday breakfast. As I knew I wouldn’t have time to prepare for Easter when we returned home, I had managed to do most of my prep in advance. I decorated the house the week before, minus my fresh flowers and had bought all the necessary accessories for my Easter egg hunt. My collection of Easter decorations grows every year, we have some lovely shops in our town and I find it difficult to resist a few new decorations annually. I have a window display in the kitchen as this is my favourite room and where we spend a lot of time as a family and then a few more decorations in the living room. This year we had two Easter trees, one in each room and bunting in the garden. I am still looking for an Easter wreath which I think would be a welcome addition to our decorations.
One of the highlights of Easter is the Easter egg hunt which takes place on Sunday afternoon after an Easter roast dinner. It is not only a hunt for chocolate but Easter themed props too, including a stone with a cross on to remember the religious aspect of the festival. I hand draw a help sheet so everyone knows what they are looking for. I don’t like the idea of Easter simply being about chocolate so now the children are older, the first 6 eggs are activities, this year these activities included an egg and spoon race, spelling out your name with orange Kinder egg shells marked with a letter (and a mini egg inside) an egg full of Lego to make a model, a make your own rabbit decoration set (v cheap in last year’s Easter sale) guess the number of eggs contest, find the chicks for the nest etc.. These activities help extend the egg hunt too so its not a mad 5 minutes in the garden and then a chocolate fest! I really enjoyed our hunt this year, for the first time in a few years we actually got to do it outside in the garden in warm sunshine, an advantage of a late Easter.
I do like a theme, so our Easter lunch was a traditional Easter roast, the children had chicken whilst for Mr S and I who are both veggies, I made a goats cheese and Mediterranean vegetable pastry. I used a cookie cutter for the pastry so the pastries were egg shape and the bottom did have the imprint of a decorated egg. My daughter noticed and appreciated the effort, Mr S was bemused again! Dessert was a simple cheesecake, decorated with a variety of assorted chocolate eggs. I was realistic this year that given our holiday away I wasn’t going to be able to bake a Simnel cake, so again had purchased one in advance for Easter tea.
We are lucky that our children do not receive lots of chocolate for Easter, I’m not into the Easter bunny so we bought them a simple Thorntons egg as we knew there was plenty of chocolate in the egg hunt and their grandparents sent a small money gift. Our neighbours made a lovely present, filling a box with straw and a chicken made from natural materials with a few chocolates, they keep chickens so it was a really appropriate and fun gift. I bought Mr S his cricket Playfair annual and got a few bonus wife points.
Easter this year was a very relaxed weekend, we did all we wanted to enjoy the Easter celebration but also simple things like family walks and good food. It was just the 4 of us this year and a nice way to end our family holiday.