One of the traditions in our newsroom is the man named after a pope tut-tutting at people eating chocolate eggs before Easter Sunday.
It came up this week at the end of an egg hunt in the office, in which I won the monster bunny. All those years poring over Where's Wally finally paid off.
While others started in on their loot right away, my bunny will sit uneaten until Sunday, at least. As it should, in this not-very-good Catholic's opinion.
Easter eggs are supposed to represent new life, and the resurrection. That's kinda the whole idea. C'mon guys, surely we can hold on just a few more days?
A similar theory holds for hot cross buns. In my book the standard bun is fine for the week of Easter, but I draw several lines at chocolate, caramel fudge, strawberry infusion, or whatever over-priced Franken-bun the local baker has come up with this year.
My piety (which I promise is mostly tongue-in-cheek) has fallen on deaf ears for years now. It's a kind of recurring office dad joke.
The young staff in particular don't seem at all burdened by my residual Catholic guilt.
They're the ones who rush to the tearoom to take part in the food section's annual hot cross bun taste-test, which I'm glad to say has not yet incorporated the wackiest varieties. But if there was a $15 hot-cross-bun meets freakshake on sale in a pop-up patisserie somewhere, they'd be there toot sweet.
One of these colleagues told me she's been eating hot cross buns since Boxing Day, playing right into the supermarkets' annual, and increasingly early, trolling of their customers. There simply is no genuine market for hot cross buns at Christmas, except to generate shock-factor social media buzz ("hot cross buns on Boxing day, can you believe it?!") and the casual purchases that follow.
I would like to think I'm winning the war on early egg consumption at home. While there's a large bowl on the counter filled with eggs received as gifts, the rest of the family know the dim view I'd take on them hooking in now.
Dad's sermon on this has been grudgingly accepted, and Mum seems to have my back on this. However, I've my suspicions the level has been dropping each day I'm at work this week. Might need to mark a plimsole line next year.
Back at work, at the end of the egg hunt, we shifted into the tearoom for hot cross buns, where the no-fruit buns were too austere even for me.
After sharing my diatribe with eye-rolling new staff, one colleague asked if there was an Easter version of the Grinch. If so, that would be me.
Slightly offended, I started on about how the Grinch steals the spirit of Christmas, whereas surely I was trying to do the opposite here.
No one was listening. The choc-chip buns had come out of the toaster.