We all know the drill -- as soon as we've packed the Christmas decorations up into the loft the supermarket shelves are groaning with Easter eggs.
It could be taken as another religious festival that's been commercialised, and yet another way of getting us to part company with our money.
Even if you're not a christian it's still a lovely festival to mark. After the long, hard winter we've had I'm looking at it as an excuse to celebrate spring with a handful of old and new Easter traditions on April 4.
- Chocolate: What would Easter be without it? In our house the Easter bunny does indeed visit, carefully hiding wrapped mini eggs in different coloured tissue paper so each child knows what to look for and one doesn't end up with all the eggs in their basket. His clever, that bunny.
- Simnel cake: I have never made one, but this will be the year I will. I've found a recipe for chocolate simnel cake, which is carrying on the above theme perfectly.
- An Easter tree: Don't panic. This is easy to do and it looks beautiful. All you need is a small branch with a couple of protruding smaller branches which you can stick into either a bucket of sand or a large blob of plasticine at the bottom of an empty one. Make sure you use a pretty bucket though, or tie a ribbon round it.
- Easter decorations: These are easy - yellow pom-poms stuck together for Easter chicks and decorated eggs are usually all we do. If you don't fancy blowing the eggs you can buy polystyrene ones which are ready to decorate.
- Visiting a National Trust property: I don't know why but this goes hand-in-hand with Easter for me. A romp around some beautiful grounds just springing into life with family is hard to beat. Unless it's raining, but it won't be right?
- Roast lamb: Ah, apologies to any vegetarians but... ooh, I can almost smell it now. Roast lamb with all the trimmings is essential for an Easter Sunday.
- Hot cross buns: Typically eaten on Good Friday, we do scoff these for weeks before and after. I also fancy trying to make some of these this year and plan to follow this recipe.
- Gardening: Traditionally the Easter weekend is when we all flock to DIY stores and garden centres as if magically woken from a deep slumber with a craving to build shelves. To avoid the crowds, get stocked up on everything you need now, then you can be smugly sowing your seeds or potting up while the rest of us battle for a parking space.
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