Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Am I the Easter Grinch?

Easter's around the corner, and so the issue of Easter eggs is on my mind. This is quite apart from the ethics of chocolate, which you can read about in Elaine's blog.

For the last few years, my kids have come back from our family Easter get together with a swag of Easter eggs from their aunts and uncles as well as their grandparents. That's after they receive one from me and Action Man. These eggs get put in the pantry, and eaten little by little until at last they are forgotten and then finally chucked out.

The waste of money and resources has started to bother me over the last few years. So a few weeks ago I decided to lobby my three brothers for their families not to exchange Easter eggs with our family. Here's how that went:

Brother Number 1: His wife had already bought Easter Eggs for our kids. Sigh. I will need to reciprocate here after all.

Brother Number 2: All for it. Told me he normally chucked out the Easter eggs as soon as he bought them home in past years.

Brother Number 3: Finally agreed to the "no exchange of Easter eggs" policy, but only after calling me the "Easter Grinch".

There it is, one of the major obstacles for those of us who want to consume mindfully. I have to admit, being called the "Easter Grinch" stung, and I wonder how many of us are discouraged in thoughtful consumption simply because we have a horror of being seen to be miserly.

Mindful consumption is great, but what happens to our resolve when we butt up against the expectations of others, especially those others who are close to us who don't yet "Get it?" How can we explain that we aren't being tight, just trying to calibrate our use of resources?

P.S. Please be assured that Brother Number 3 is a great bloke, with an impish sense of humour. There is every chance he was merely taking the mick out of me.


Linda said...

This sort of thing happened in our family when my kids were young, or even before that, in regards to Christmas.

I suppose buying your eggs from the places in the post i.e. http://consumption-rebellion.blogspot.com/2009/03/slave-free-easter-eggs.html

is a great idea for yourself.

My kids haven't had lots of eggs. Last year though our eldest came with his girlfriend and they were very spoilt. If they were coming again this year, or we them, it sounded like the same would have happened. We have what is like a $2 shop renamed and my daughter said they had the same cheap eggs there. Usually my husband doesn't like me to spend huge amounts on eggs. I haven't been able to go to the cheaper shops. Not sure I knew they existed. I suppose I remember when cheaper eggs were a little like eating something I am alergic too. I don't think the cheap eggs we got last year were like that. I think we ate them all.

I am a little worried the kids will be disappointed with this years volume. However, they have other family coming straight after Easter, and their brother may still turn up with some. I worry about people spending money on us, but he doesn't seem to mind.

I remember when I was young growing up in an Italian community and lots of lovely things appeared in the shop for Easter. Much more than was tradition in our own family.

I am going to check the links and maybe buy some from Oxfam or something next year. It is hot so late though to put them through the mail, but maybe they have a special way of doing it. Thanks.

Linda said...

I don't know, it is hard when you are doing Easter as a group. I will find it harder as my kids all grow and have girlfriends and spouses as new family things are done.

littleecofootprints said...

Good on you! Although - i'll be honest I cannot comprehend being able to leave chocolate sitting in a pantry for months.I love chocolate and find eating less chocolate the hardest part of trying to eat sustainably. I still eat it every now and then but now always buy fairtrade.

I'll be painting boiled chook eggs for easter this year.

Only just found your blog- am looking forward to following. I grew up on the south coast.


Linda said...

Your brothers sound very nice, I'm sure it will be fine.

It makes you think though about chocolate and things like that.

Paola said...

Hi Linda, I'm not too worried about family relationships over the Easter egg. We all get on very well - I can honestly say we've never had an argument,and I don't expect it to change..
I need to get my act together about fairtrade chocolates. They might be hard to come by in these parts.
Welcome, littleecofootprints. Yes, it's hard to believe someone leaving chocolate alone. But that's how much chocolate the kids have been getting, even they get sick of it! And my weaknesses run to nuts and cheese. Thanks for dropping by the blog!