There was some disappointment in the household this year, what with the adults opting for a sensible approach to the commercial hype, and spending the equivalent money on bars instead of eggs. It seemed logical that older teenagers would be less impressed with the packaging and therefore, grateful to get a larger supply of chocolate than usual.
It’s all too easy to forget where the magic lies, that’s the trouble. The responsibilities of budgeting and planning tend to outweigh our abilities to pause, and remember, as my other half did, when I handed him a white chocolate toblerone.
‘Oh, no egg?’
‘But this is your favourite.’
‘Not for Easter,’ he said.
We handed out eggs to the littlest in the house to a chorus of amazed joy. Small fingers tore at the gaudy cardboard, plastic and foil to expose the chocolate shells. They were clutched, displayed, compared and loved. The older ones crowded closer, clearing up the wrappings.
‘Go on, crack it.’
‘Shall I help you?’
Each child grasped their egg tightly. One nibbled at the narrow end, another squeezed until it cracked. Within a few minutes, the table was littered with fragments.
‘Can I have a bit? Just this little bit here?’
‘I’ll swop you a kitkat for a piece of egg.’
With a bit of banter, the deals were struck. A piece of egg was found for everyone. It was just a thin piece of ordinary milk chocolate, and then, as I looked at the etched design on the outer side, it wasn’t.
I remembered that feeling of excitement as the foil came off and there was the egg, so perfect, yet with that odd seam, like a scar. The way it felt solid, and yet light, and sometimes, oh the joy, it rattled. Those were the best ones. Even when I knew that it only contained a few chocolate buttons, the egg retained a sense of mystery. An egg, with something inside it. What did I wish for? A chicken of course, a young fluffy yellow chick like the ones we had held for just a moment or two on some school visit.
There was a feature in our paper the other day by a journalist who headlined, ‘Easter is my Favourite Holiday.’ I didn’t take much notice at the time, I think I may have been heading out to buy the goodies. I’m beginning to understand now.