Plans for Easter have changed somewhat this year with everyone now on COVID-19 lockdown!
Normally this is a wonderful time for friends and families to join together for the long Easter weekend, big long walks, Sunday lunches and the odd pint in the pub across the road… for me and my siblings, Easter in lockdown is not as different to the norm as you may think!
My family have a wonderful cottage in Ireland, on the banks of Lough Rea, delightfully basic, no television, terrible phone signal and rain 95% of the time! All of this combined with Mum who seems to resemble a frustrated home economics teacher – laden with Ikea bags of arts and crafts, meaning there is no escaping the creative buzz that occurs when she has us all in one place for a whole week.
Here are a few things that encompass Easter for us, and we hope that they inspire you to get a little bit crafty this weekend! Feel free to share and tag us in any of your own Easter posts.
THE EASTER TREE: The start of our family tradition is the Easter tree (a tree isn’t just for Christmas!). We are all made to go for a walk, kitted out in wellies and wet weather gear to find the twig that will become the centre piece to the long weekend.
Once ‘the tree’ (it’s a twig!) is chosen we gather round the kitchen table for the decorating. Decorations consist of positively abysmal eggs, those little chickens you used to get with packs of mini eggs, yellow flowers and toy rabbits of various colours and fluffiness – although some I think have been through the family dog! This is truly an Easter tree at its best.
Once completed, it will now be the centre piece for the weekend with the rule that it cannot be moved, no matter how many times it falls over, or if you keep finding fluffy animals in your soup!
FOOD: This is the one time of the year when Mum decides that ‘family baking’ is a great idea! Now that we are no longer children this ends up in rather amusing shaped biscuits and Mum’s sense of humour being tested – all she wanted were perfectly decorated rabbit and chickens.
Any Easter related food choices are displayed on rather hideous Easter themed crockery, we are still trying to work out where Mum hides this stuff for the other 364 days of the year?!
CRAFTS: By the time we get to the crafting part of the weekend, Dad has found something far too important to do outside in the man shed, my brother is lying on the floor crying (he is 23) and it’s normally raining so we are literally trapped! Tapestry was her craft of torture last year, however if this picture is anything to go by, I think the boys are rather enjoying it.
We have tried many things including, water colour painting, clay modelling and origami – there have been a few hidden talents along the way but mainly epic fails. (mostly Mum’s!)
THE TRADITIONAL EASTER EGG HUNT: Oh the excitement! When we were little we had no idea of the planning that went in to the Easter egg hunt. Mum would set us up crafting and Dad would disappear to put his Easter bunny duties into action – who knew the Easter Bunny had a beard! We would then set off in wellies ..in search of the eggs, with Dad joining in as he invariably had forgotten where he had put them.
Now that we ‘the children’ are all grown up the Easter egg hunt rather than being forgotten is now a little more adult in theme. Dad now takes great joy in hiding little gems like gin in a tin, Irn Bru and cans of Pimms – what’s not to love!
WE EGG ROLL TOO…The old tradition of painting hard boiled eggs, rolling them down the hill and then going home to eat the chocolate version, is still very much a thing! Eggs have to be purchased and boiled all except 1…every year the old one raw egg gag! Paints, pens and even lovely shiny wrap stuff are used to make the basket of eggs look creative and amazing. We spend hours doing this, not sure why as Mum gets decidedly more twitchy the messier we, and the table get. Once all eggs are painted, the dogs are called and we all get in to (yup.. you guessed it) wet weather gear and wellies and off we go!
As Ireland is rather flat a gentle roll is near impossible so we have to give them a bit of a push. Dad or my brother gallantly go to the bottom of the hill to ferry any intact eggs back up – even the dogs love this part of Easter and eat everything in sight, before heading home in an eggy waft of wagging tails.
Easter may not be a tradition in your house but having time to spend with your loved ones is precious, even more so now for those that may be key workers or families who are self-isolating alone. Don’t let lock down ruin that, even if it means spending 15 minutes rolling boiled eggs down your hall towards a sibling on Facetime, painting at the kitchen table with your grandparents on Zoom, or even making Easter bonnets out of the cardboard in your recycling box. Let’s use this weekend to enjoy the time that we have to do something creative with the people you love!
Sending you all best wishes for a Happy Easter and stay safe!