Ah, remember Lent as a child? Forty gruelling days of being apart from your beloved confectionary and spending your time missing everything from rich tea biscuits to chocolate layered cake. All this build up just for one Easter Sunday where you can guiltily eat copious amounts of chocolate and no one can say anything (even though your family probably told you to be quiet after you complained about a sore stomach shortly after). Ah yes, Lent was truly a magical time. Reflecting on my childhood experience it seems that lent took two forms when it came to how people treated it; the slackers and the hoarders.
First, the slackers. These were the sort of kids who didn’t really consider Nutella sandwiches “chocolate” and actively sought out birthday parties and special occasions during the Lent season just to try and get away with a sneaky packet of Mighty Munch here and there. With that, Sundays were met with the demolishment of all confectioneries left in the house from the week prior. These were also the kids who were inclined to segregate their sweetish sacrifices into different junk food categories just so they wouldn’t have to give up everything they hold dear just for one Easter Egg; “This year it’s Tayto crisps, the next year I’ll give up Cadbury’s Chocolate!” Slackers never took Lent too seriously and they always seemed to “accidently” forget the occasion all together when someone whipped out a box of Roses… (I was that child).
This is followed by the hardcore hoarders, the extremists, the ‘so determined to make it to Easter they hide all the sweets they get in an empty biscuit tin’ sort of people. Their commitment was praised by aunts and uncles across the country only rendering their battle more necessary. These were the same people who didn’t even take Sunday as a day of rest. Sundays were for the slackers. Their determination rendered them triumphant when they produced the biggest and fullest box of hoarded sweets at the Easter Sunday dinner table. Quite an achievement if you ask me.
Deciding your team was pretty simple, like a game of poker you were either all in or all out. Choosing which side also made a large impact on how your Easter Sunday would plan out. For the slackers, it was no big deal you would’ve probably had chocolate the day previous to that anyways.
But for those who have been waiting for that Sunday for forty days and forty nights the chocolate feast was a celebration of their achievements and were most likely awarded with an amazingly crafted Easter egg, followed by a Crème Egg mug (is it just me or does every house in Ireland have one of those?) Unfortunately, all of that effort was often met with a sick stomach as your system couldn’t handle the chocolate overload for every meal of the day!
-By Brigid Fox