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Choosing a Life Without Easter Eggs

[ 0 ] June 16, 2011 |

There is a perpetual downside of travelling and living abroad, all the home comforts you miss out on!  I realised this fact when Easter came around, the second Easter I would spend in China.  I didn’t give much thought to Easter until I logged onto facebook and suddenly Easter was hauled straight into my face!  All my friends back home were status updating how they were apparently gorging themselves on Easter eggs and gnawing the ears off chocolate bunnies.  “Damn” I thought “that should be me!”  It was at that moment I realised “Sash, you have chosen a life without Easter eggs, who does that!?”

My first Easter spent away from home just so happened to be in China a country where they don’t really eat a lot of chocolate.  Despite this I was determined to find those Easter treats that during my entire childhood had me bouncing with excited anticipation for the arrival of the Easter bunny and all his goodies leading up to Easter Sunday.  But in Keqiao where I couldn’t even find a foreign friend or even semi decent chocolate, my mission to find Easter eggs pretty rapidly hit a dead end!

Seven months later and I was again on quest, this time frantically searching for everything I needed for Christmas.  I wanted to make as Christmas as homey as I could to make up for not spending it with my family, for not baking under the hot Australian sun, for missing out on stuffing my face with a great Aussie Barbie (BBQ) and missing out on participating in the family backyard Cricket tournament.  But I wasn’t going to let the lack of having these things bring Christmas down, oh no, I was going to be full of just as much Christmas spirit in Shanghai as I would have at home.   I bought a Christmas tree and did my ritual decoration shopping trip, then my ritual hour of decorating and redecorating the tree (this year with Panda baubles). I was planning on making my Mums Chocolate Pudding for desert, I’d have a great bunch of friends and a truckload of delicious food and I would have…crackers?…

“Chracker’s, I must simply have crackers for Christmas!” I told my friends.  My friends stared blankly at me, none of them knew what I was talking about.  After being bewildered by their complete ignorance about crackers I googled it and relised it’s a strictly Commonwealth tradition apparently.  Crackers (or Bon Bons) are a delightfully tacky and entertaining component of Christmas.  I’d try to explain to you just how they work but Wikipedia does a pretty good job so I may aswell let them explain!

“A cracker consists of a cardboard tube wrapped in a brightly decorated twist of paper, making it resemble an oversised sweet-wrapper. The cracker is pulled by two people, and, much in the manner of a wishbone, the cracker splits unevenly. The split is accompanied by a small bang produced by the effect of friction on a chemically impregnated card strip (similar to that used in a cap gun).”

Now doesn’t that sound just so delightfully entertaining! One of the coolest things about Christmas crackers is that after the loud crack echos through the room it drops out an array of cheap, tacky goodies.  Traditionally a cheap, tacky toy (though if someone made it themselves it just might give birth to a tiny bottle of schnapps), a lame paper crown and an even lamer joke.   Everyone adorns their lame crowns as the room erupts in laughter as one by one each person reads out their even lamer joke while shaking their head at just how bad it is! For me crackers are an Aussie synonym for Christmas and without them Christmas just doesn’t quite feel like Christmas! And yet I think to myself really is it such a big deal?

It’s been more than a year since I set off from my home in Canberra one hot summer day in Febuary 2010.  It’s been over a year without my home comforts, it’s been over a year living without my family.  In that time I’ve missed out on family members and friends birthday’s, weddings, two Easters without Easter eggs, family beach holidays and one Christmas without crackers.  In that time I’ve sacrificed all these things to live abroad and travel.  I sacrificed these things to see the world.  But although on Easter Sunday when I have had no Easter eggs to make me fat and although on Christmas I spent the day without adorning a lame paper crown or reading an even lamer joke, at no point have I ever said the sacrifice wasn’t worth it.  Because at the end of the day most of the things we sacrifice to travel are trivial in the grander scheme of things, the only thing I wish I didn’t have to sacrifice was my family!

Creative Commons Photo Credits: Sparkly Kate

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Category: Expat Stories, personal

About onurwaytravel: Colin has been travelling the world with his young family for the past 2 and half years. He runs a couple of websites all revolve around travel, family travel and digital nomadism. His websites include,, and now View author profile.

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