Over Easter last year we were deep in lockdown, allowed only to go out for essential reasons.
Would you consider chocolate and hot cross buns essential?
I would, but Retail NZ did not.
During lockdown last year, stores that weren't considered essential businesses, including retail giant The Warehouse, were left with thousands of dollars' worth of Easter chocolate they couldn't sell.
So, after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern declared the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy essential workers ... The Red Shed retailer donated more than 200,000 Easter eggs to Women's Refuge and KiwiHarvest, which worked with other organisations to help distribute them, along with other essential items, through several charities including the Salvation Army, Auckland City Mission, the Volunteer Student Army, Whanau Ora and several iwi organisations.
Retail NZ chief executive Greg Harford told NZME last year that Easter and the increase in spending on confectionery, typically brings more discretionary spending and dining out over the four-day weekend.
I really felt for retailers over the lockdown, but they still managed to spread a little Easter sunshine by an act of kindness.
I think we should continue that momentum powered by that community spirit and keep it going this year.
While there won't be the accessibility issues experienced over lockdown, there will still be families and children who will miss out and who are still experiencing the negative effects of the lockdown.
Youth Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan said this week rangatahi (young people) had faced many difficulties as a result of the pandemic.
She made the remarks in Rotorua after announcing a $7.4 million fund for about two dozen youth organisations across the country.
"This has been particularly evident in young people's education, where alert level changes and associated school closures have presented learning challenges for ākonga and their whānau."
We need to support these young people and this is just a start. But they're not the only ones who need our help.
I encourage those who are able, while they're out and about this Easter weekend, to support local restaurants, cafes and shops.
Make a donation to Women's Refuge or the Salvation Army or another worthy cause.
A little kindness goes a long way.
Apart from its religious significance, to me, Easter is more about a time to spend with family, and to reflect on the things to be grateful for, and, to bring a smile to somebody's face.
Whatever you and your family are doing this year, I hope everyone has a safe and happy Easter.