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"I bought chocolate Easter bunnies for my niece and nephew. Then I got told off."

Mamamia logo Mamamia 16/04/2017
Surely one chocolate bunny couldn't hurt... right? © iStock/Mamamia Surely one chocolate bunny couldn't hurt... right?

Since I became an aunty, ever Easter I’ve found myself running into the same conundrum: how much chocolate do you buy for the kids in your family? Growing up, I don’t ever remember having this discussion.

I would take part in Easter hat parades at school and go on Easter egg hunts with friends. We would fill our stomachs with chocolate and I never heard a parent, mine included, utter a word of complaint.

Yet in recent years, I’ve hesitated when I reach the chocolate aisle come April. I always want to buy something for my niece, 7, and nephew, 4, whether it be a Cadbury Easter egg, a Lindt gold bunny, or anything else lining the chocolate aisle at my local Woolies.

My brother-in-law, however, doesn’t like my niece and nephew eating chocolate. He insists we shouldn’t buy them anything for Easter and forgo the entire tradition entirely.

“Please, they don’t eat it. Don’t buy it for them,” he begs.

Yet I still tend to buy them something little. I don’t want them to feel as though they’re missing out or as though I as their aunty, don’t care about them. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

So this year I went for a 250 gram Cadbury bunny for each of them. They were on sale and I honestly didn’t see the harm in it at the time. If my brother-in-law wanted to stash them at the back of the pantry, or even throw them in the bin, that’s his prerogative. I would’ve been none the wiser.

There we were, sitting around the table at my grandmother's house like we do ever Easter for lunch. I carefully pulled out the two bunnies from my handbag and gave them to my niece and nephew.

The excitement on their faces was instant. Their eyes grew big. They were chuffed. Thrilled, in fact. And just as quickly as the excitement came, it was shaken out of the air by the boom of my brother-in-law's voice.

"Why did you buy them chocolate? I TOLD YOU NOT TO BUY THEM ANYTHING," he yelled at me over the table. My entire family fell silent. I quickly tried to rectify the situation, telling him it was Easter and he was taking it all to seriously. To stop taking the fun out of it. It's just one day, after all.

My mum quickly interjected, trying to stifle the awkwardness. I could almost feel the rest of my family stiffening as they thought about the chocolate they had stashed in their bags, also for my niece and nephew.

Making it through the rest of our lunch was almost unbearable. I'd go as far as to say the outburst ruined Easter for my entire family. My niece and nephew cried and cried while my brother-in -law continued to refuse them any chocolate.

I don't feel as though it's fair for them but at the end of the day, I'm not their parent. I just feel like my brother in law has sucked all of the fun out of Easter for them. Going forward I won't be buying them anything for Easter.

I can't help but feel that's a shame.


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