Everyone has their Easter traditions – which church they go to, what time is Mass, what meat they roast, where they go after the feast, how they distribute the eggs.
n our house we have an ongoing tradition – the Good Friday Easter egg hunt. Every year my wife and I ignore the fact that Easter is just around the corner and convince ourselves that the shelves full of eggs will still creak under their weight on Easter Saturday, only to find out via family WhatsApp that it’s actually all Eggs are from all over East Cork and we have to sail to parts unknown (your costcutters, your maces, your random discount store next to the vape shop) in pursuit of some vaguely oblong chocolate item.
It’s very similar to the panicked scenes in the public hunt for golden tickets Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, while we storm into the stores and ask the staff to check the back to see if there might be a dusty egg they missed. Because obviously the overworked retail associates want to go Indian Jones as they explore the dark corners of the storeroom in search of a golden egg for someone who could have done it weeks ago.
This year’s hunt was particularly tough because we not only ignored the fact that Easter was upon us, but also ignored the global logistics crisis and the massive children’s recall. So instead of looking for eggs in three or four stores, we tried eight and only got them thanks to a tip from another egg hunter we met along the way. It was just in time when I started to suggest that maybe I could make some eggs, how hard could that be? Sure, I don’t know how to boil a real egg, but I’ve seen enough chocolate factory footage of Bosco’s magic door and I think I could pull it off – all I need is a few bars of cheap chocolate, an upside-down bowl and some gold foil.
So the kids got their eggs – none of which were what they wanted, but they were lucky enough. Of course there were still some eggs on the shelves, but those were the expensive, artisanal ones that we honestly couldn’t afford given our painful awareness of the cost of almost everything.
I’ve turned into a real Scrooge McDuck and let the kids know when they leave a light on, plugged in a console, or when the showers are taking too long. I’ve also started taking care of my heating oil. Six weeks ago we got an offer for half a tank – around €800, but with a three-week wait for delivery (so the “roughly” as the price would be fixed on the day). A more recent offer for the same amount of oil from another supplier was quite similar, so I decided to make do with what dribble we have as long as possible and popped the tank out before making a decision on whether or not to show up to stay on the heater and keep everyone from shivering and complaining.
All of these things are good for the planet and our pockets, but it can be a bit of a grumpy way of life. The upshot of belt-buckling for the kids is that they’ve had a pretty boring Easter holiday as even simple day trips are under scrutiny – how much will it cost in diesel, can we bring our own food, do we have to pay entry, or for parking? Camps were considered too expensive, so they mostly trolled around the house and kept warm by fighting.
But we’re still doing better than many and it’s important to maintain that perspective. I can look at all the people complaining about airport queues when they fly to warmer climes at halftime, or I can take a step back and say that a lot of people have nothing left to cut while we cut – they are standing straight marginalized or tipped into poverty.
The house might be cold and all the laundry smells a bit musty since we dry them in windows instead of using the dreaded tumble dryer, but at some point everyone’s gotten an off-brand, slightly wobbly Easter egg.
https://www.independent.ie/life/family/parenting/ive-turned-into-scrooge-mcduck-giving-out-to-the-kids-for-leaving-a-light-on-or-having-a-long-shower-41567988.html I turned into Scrooge McDuck and give the kids money for leaving a light on or taking a long shower