On Easter Morning {Our 2013 Easter Baskets!}

by | Apr 7, 2013 | Easter, Easter Baskets, Easter Symbols | 19 comments

I just love Easter!  As unorganized as I was this year, everything still came together thanks to the preparation from year’s past… I pulled out the children’s Easter Baskets and liners, our “Alleluia” mantle letters along with a few other simple yet beautiful decorations, and placed the baskets of candy filled Easter Eggs on the coffee table ready to be hidden by daddy (and whoever else wanted to help hide) after our Easter Dinner.  We woke up early and attended the 8am Mass on Easter Morning.  Mass was packed and we ended up sitting in the old choir loft, which was interesting…  Still, Mass was beautiful and after we returned home the children were all so excited to discover (finally, after one quick picture!) what was inside their Easter Baskets!

This year they were blessed with baskets full of books, thanks to the incredible generosity of so many!  I feel so very blessed!  Since we were all are still fighting the cough from that last cold I didn’t include very much candy – there was still plenty with all those filled eggs –  but the baskets did include some other religious items, something for their patron saint, a mini puppet (representing new life), and a small toy, along with a few other random items.  I always have so much fun filling the baskets!

Since some of you have been asking, in our family the children do know that the baskets are filled by their Dad and I…  We’ve never incorporated the “Easter Bunny” into our celebrations.  We do have a great out of print book that ties the Easter Bunny into the real reason for Easter though!

Anyways, even though I already shared my plans for the baskets with lots of links I will list them here as well noting the various changes and additions.  The five oldest, and my husband as well, all received beautiful handpainted bookmarks of their Patron Saints from The Fig and Thimble.   All of the children, except for Bud, received a Rosary Case (purchased with credit from Apron sales at Catholic Cuisine!), and a new beautifully embroidered Scapular.

Captain’s basket included the following six books/DVD: AblazeA Soldier Surrenders, Giant of the Western Trail, Crusader King, Outcast, and The War of the Vendee (DVD). He also received a Cardinal mini puppet, the Lego Architecture Space Needle, a few lego minifigures, a bag of jelly bellys, some chewing gum, and a chocolate egg.

Rascal’s six books included:  Letters to an Altar Boy, Painted Saints, A Book of Angles, Father Damien and the Bells, The New Kid (Tales of the RAF), and Shadow in the Dark (since Bank Robbery! was on backorder). He also received a Robin mini puppet, an Eagle Creator Set (doesn’t it remind you of the eagles in LOTR?), a few lego minifigures, a bag of jelly bellys, some chewing gum, and a chocolate egg. 

Twinkle Toes was very excited to discover Caroline’s accessories!  I had ordered them last year along with the Caroline doll, but saved them for her Easter basket. just giving her the actual doll for Christmas.  She also found a new hairbrush, some white gloves to match her Easter dress, a set of colored gel pens for writing to her pen-pals, jelly bellys, chewing gum, a little chocolate egg, and a darling Fawn mini puppet.  Her books included Saint Helena and the True Cross, Saint Clothilde (already finished! she loved it!), The Mitchells: Five for Victory, Prairie Thief (also already finished and loved it too!), Traitor in the Shipyard (currently reading and enjoying), Easter Crack-ups (silly little book, but the kids have all had fun with it!), and Easter Eggstravaganza Mad Libs (which, after I explained how Mad Libs worked and did one of them with the children, has provided hours of fun and laughter!).   
The girls also each received a gorgeous new chapel veil!  These, too, were purchased with store credit from Apron sales at Catholic Cuisine!!  The girls are so very excited to have “grown up” veils now, rather than the ones they have been wearing for years that tie under their chins.   I do need to make them some sort of pouch, or something, to store their veils in between Masses – rather than just tossing them into the Mass bag with everything else.  Any suggestions? Perhaps a Satin Favor Bag

I did end up keeping Lily’s Easter Party.  Even though I wish the wording was different when referencing the Last Supper and the initiation of the Eucharist, it was easily corrected with a little white-out.  We also have the same problem with our Benjamin’s Box book.  
In addition to Lily’s Easter Party (read already), Chiquita also received Kitchen Madonna, The Three Trees: A Traditional Folktale (read already), Clare’s Costly Cookies (She hasn’t read this yet, but Twinkle Toes has and was very excited about it!), Secret in the Hills (currently reading), and I can’t tell you how many times they have asked to re-watch St. Bernadette of Lourdes.  The children ALL loved this movies by Navis Pictures and can’t wait to watch Captain’s tonight!
Like Twinkle Toes, she also discovered a few accessories for her doll along with a new hairbrush, some white gloves to match her Easter dress, a set of colored gel pens for writing to her pen-pals, jelly bellys, chewing gum, a little chocolate egg, and a darling Lop Ear Bunny mini puppet.  Oh and she also found some seeds for our Garden from St. Clare’s Seeds!  We need to start making garden plans soon… 
Snuggles loves Brother Hubert – though he has named his doll “Brother Francis Xavier.”  He also loved the little red dragon mini puppet to go along with his new Knight’s City Pop-Up and The Adventures of Sir Lancelot the Great, which Rascal is currently reading to him!   I went slightly overboard choosing books for Snuggles’ basket and he also discovered The Christian Alphabet Book,  Whales Snails and Heavenly Tales, Tin Cups and TinderGod is Wonderful Catholic Coloring Book,  Fox and Crow are Not Friends, Inch and Roly Make a Wish, and Inch and Roly and the Very Small Hiding Place tucked inside!   He also found a few lego minifigures and city motorcycle, a bag of gummy bunnies from Trader Joes, and a chocolate egg. 
Rose loved her new veils!  The older girls chapel veils have seen better days and it was time to replace them.  Rose was very excited to find a new white veil and one that was PINK-UH too! 
She also loves, loves, loves, her new scapular and rosary case! 
I did not end up including Tell Me about the Catholic Faith: From the Bible to the Sacraments.  I pretty much never purchase a book without reading at least one review on it and made an exception for this book, with it being marked down 45%… I expected better from Ignatius Press.  This is a perfect case of “you can’t judge a book by it’s cover” and we sent it back.  

She also found the Calico Critters Koala Family, a Sheep mini puppet, and a box with the beginnings of her Alphabet of Saints Blocks… Perhaps we can finish them together! 😉 

Bud had fun digging though his Easter basket this year, even though he wasn’t feeling well, and of course he went right to the board books, particularly the touch and feel books!

His basket included The First Easter Day (A Touch-and-Feel Book)MossySunny BunnyI am a BunnyThe Tale of Peter Rabbit: A Pop-Up AdventureAn Easter Prayer.  He also found Jack Rabbit and Turtle mini puppets, and Father Martin!  I also found a couple more board books at Costco which I squeezed in as well: Easter Surprise and Show Me Your Ears which seems to be his new favorite!

This year’s Family Easter Symbols Basket was also a hit!   It’s always so much fun to have the children figure out which gift item matches each symbol.  This year we had a A Cross Shaped Puzzle for “Cross.”  In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb – since Easter fell on the last day of March this year – for “Lamb.”  The “Lily” was represented by a copy of The Lily Cupboard to be used for history.  the Spring Angel Egg completed our collection of these beautiful eggs for the “Egg” symbol.  We also had a box of Godiva Butterfly Truffles (from Target) and a Butterfly Cookie Cutter (Walmart Clearance) for “Butterfly.”Super cute  peacock stacking blocks for “Peacock.” And a 3-D St. Peter’s Basilica Puzzle, which was the most difficult to guess since I incorporated “the Bells fly to Rome until Easter” for this symbol!

I think this post wraps up all the pictures I had hoped to share from our Easter celebration. Click here to see pictures from this year’s Family Picture, Easter Egg Hunt, Decorating our Easter Cakes, and Seven Quick Easter Takes!

Wishing you all a blessed Divine Mercy Sunday!


  1. Kelly

    Those veils are beautiful!!! I keep mine in a zip lock sandwich bad tucked in my purse so it's always with me. I like your idea of the satin bag better though! A baggie might keep them nice until you can get those satin bags though.

  2. Jessica Gordon

    Great idea with the ziplock baggies! I don't know why I didn't think of that… 🙂

  3. Mary

    FYI – plastic ziplock bags (or any plastic for that matter) will actually make fabric and lace turn yellow with time. That goes for veils, baptismal gowns, quilts, etc. Pillowcases work for bigger items and those satin bags would be perfect for veils! So glad that the rosary cases and veils we a hit! 🙂

  4. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks for the tip, I didn't know that! (Hmmm… I wonder if the same goes for storing clothing in plastic tubs?) I'll have to order (or make) a few little tie-string satin bags soon!

  5. Kelly

    My mantilla is black, so I haven't noticed a problem. I've stored our clothes in those plastic storage tubs for years without a problem. Even in a hot Florida attic. I wouldn't put something of sentimental value in one for long term storage though.

  6. Jessica Gordon

    Mine are also black, or grey, but the girls all have white veils. I did have a problem with our attic this past summer! I had some shoes up there and the seams on the bottoms split from the heat – and it doesn't get very hot for very long here where we live, but it sure got hot up in that attic! :/ I think we might need to install a fan or something. In the meantime I now only have clothing up there…

  7. Mary Beth

    Could you please share where you purchased the Alleluia mantle letters? I've admired those in your photos for a while but kept forgetting to ask. Maybe I can act now and be prepared for next year! Thanks!

  8. Jessica Gordon

    I purchased the White Wooden Letters from Michaels and then painted them gold. If you pick a few up at a time you can cut the cost by using their 40% off coupons, or wait until they have a sale/coupon for 30% off purchase or something. Do try and plan ahead a bit if you can, I had such a hard time getting all the letters I needed – so many L's and vowels! 😉

  9. My beautiful ordinary life

    I'm sure I can do an easy search for the bonnets…but do tell where you got them. I looked in stores too late. So one of my girls didn't have one. We were bummed! If I work on this during the Easter season, I'll be ready next year!!! 🙂 Used your idea for the Calico Critters and my girls loved them. Fun basket item.

  10. Jessica Gordon

    Do you mean the girls' hats? Rose was wearing a hand-me-down from the big girls, and I purchased Twinkle Toes and Chiquita's at Gymboree along with their dresses: Ribbon Flower Sunhat

  11. Nicole

    Could you elaborate on the problem with Tell Me About The Catholic Faith? This sounds like such a good book (in theory), it's a bummer to hear it's not good. Thanks

  12. Jessica Gordon

    Basically it boiled down to the fact that there are much better foundational books on our shelves already for teaching our children about the Catholic Faith.

    I'm sure that there are many Catholics out there who would like this book, but my husband and I generally lean toward a much stronger presentation of the faith for our children – both in explanations and with images. Just skimming through the book I didn't care for the illustrations right off and then I felt that some topics really didn't need to be included, for example the chapter on "There Are Many Religions: Men and Women In Search of God" which goes on to describe the various religions "Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism" and what they believe, but does not go on to explain the necessity of being Catholic. My husband apparently saw the book sitting in our room and also looked through it, asking where it came from later… He didn't like how they explained the Protestant Reformation. He also said that the book just scratches the surface of our faith.

    I too loved the idea of the book, but it just isn't a good fit for our family…

  13. Krista

    Yes, I second the beautiful veils for the girls! I got my daughter and myself each veils but have yet to wear them…. Getting up the courage in a VERY liberal area! I like the satin bag idea, too! Please post when you get those and if you purchase them online somewhere!

    And how neat that your family ALSO had the 3-D St. Peter's Basilica puzzle! I was putting that together at our house Easter afternoon – thought it went perfectly with the papal lapbook this year! I've ordered the Notre Dame Cathedral 3-D puzzle for next year's history as we move into the Middle Ages!

  14. Krista

    Sounds like it's not particularly "Catholic", but pluralistic in its approach. This is so unfortunate in our day and age – relativism and pluralism are soooo rampant!

  15. Julie

    We have never seen that version of St. Bernadette's story, but since I have been to Lourdes, I have a strong interest in her — I am glad to hear children of all ages like it. Maybe one of your children — or your whole family — will be able make a pilgrimage there someday! I would love to take my family. I went when I was in my early 20s.

  16. Celeste

    How do you like these particular veils, Jessica? I'm looking at ordering a new one for my daughter–she currently wears one that I made and attached to a headband. Do they stay put fairly well? Is the lace of good quality compared to others you have tried? Thanks!

  17. Jessica Gordon

    I had a very hard time deciding on veils for the girls, which is why it has taken me so long. These ones were more than I would have wanted to spend for them, but I love them! The Lace is so soft and lays very beautifully. (I actually purchased it in black for myself as well.) The ends are long and narrow enough that I think they could be tied as well (perhaps on the younger of the two) to stay in place better, though the trim on the veil seems to hold it in place fairly well.

    My only concern, since these will be used by younger girls, is how easily they will snag, which is why I want to find some little bags to help protect them. I will have to give you all an update after they have been wearing them for a little while.

  18. Celeste

    Thank you! Yes, the drape looks lovely on your girls, and I really like the shape and size of them compared to others I have seen online. I think we might give them a try! My daughter is making her FHC in May, so I have had an eye out for a nice veil. Thanks for sharing!


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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