Giveaway: A Homemade Year

By Posted in - General on March 27th, 2013 144 Comments

Okay, it’s been ages & ages since we’ve had a giveaway here, and this is one I’m so excited about—consider it a treat for your Easter basket that will arrive just ever-so-slightly after Easter. But we’re not sticklers around here, are we?

Jerusalem Greer sent me her lovely book A Homemade Yearblessings 2 last fall, and I read it on a flight. As I’ve mentioned once or twice or nine hundred times recently, last fall was a little busy for me. So I don’t know where I was coming or going that night, but I do know that it was night time and I was very very tired, and that I curled up against the window of a plane and fell in love with this book.

The best books are my friends, my healers, my places of refuge and rest, and that night this book was all those things for me. It’s a collection of stories and recipes and ideas for holiday celebrations and family memory-making, all structured around the calendar. It’s just as warm and darling as it sounds.

Jerusalem’s sister Judea Jackson did all the photography, and it’s a beautiful book, the kind you want to give as a gift to someone you love. Which is exactly why I’m giving one to you…

In order to enter to win, all you have to do is comment with your favorite Easter tradition—somethings that’s always on the menu, or the special way your family marked the holiday. Tell us about your favorite Easter experience, decoration, memory, flavor, church tradition.

You can comment once, and I’ll choose a winner on Saturday morning–we’ll cut things off early, at 8am.

I’ll announce the winner later that day, and this is the great news, even if you don’t win, Jerusalem’s publisher is offering my reader almost 40% off using the coupon code shauna–pretty fantastic, huh?

Happy Easter and much much love. XO

(144) awesome folk have had something to say...

  • Heidi Kreider - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Thanks for offering such a fun giveaway!

    Our fave Easter tradition? Easter basket hunt. I hide colored eggs with clues in them to direct my 3 kids and my husband to their Easter baskets. Each person has their own color (ie my son is always green, dad is always blue, daughter 1 is pink, daughter 2 is purple). They run around the yard like banshees finding eggs to take them to the next place to find the next clue that eventually leads to their Easter baskets. The difficulty depends on my energy level but one year my husband found all the clues in the Bible and my kids had to look up Bible references to find their next clue. Last year, I began to just hand out Easter baskets to my family who were ages 39, 15, 13, and 8 and they all objected and insisted on the hunt. I love that traditions are that binding!

  • Kristi Brokaw - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    I love the special songs we sing on Resurrection Sunday. Those resurrection songs always give me goosebumps.

  • Holly - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 10:51 pm

    Easter is the one holiday I host at my house! I love having the family over to fellowship & done together!

  • Megan - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    My favorite Easter tradition is spending the day with my close friends-drinking mimosas, eating too many good foods to count, and reminding each other of how blessed we are.

  • Laura W. - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    I honestly can’t think of a specific tradition… but I feel like if we don’t sing, “Up From the Grave He Arose” then I’m missing a piece of “Easter”. Guess that’s my traditional church upbringing shining through. :)

  • Sammie - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 10:57 pm

    I’m 23 years old and my mom still mails me an Easter basket. :)

  • Tiffany Ritter - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:00 pm

    Ever since I moved to Portland, Oregon from my native Chicago two years ago – I have realized the significance of beginning traditions.

    I have started an Easter tradition that thus far has been only done by myself but I am determined to keep it going as the years fly by: I spend the entire day outside. Rain, sun, snow, sleet, what have you. A full 24 hours outside: meditating, quiet, enjoying. It’s my reminder to stop and take a look around at all of the majestic beauty all around us.

    I hope your Easter is just as refreshing and renewing!

  • Jody McQueary - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    For as long as I can remember my Easter “Sunday best” was complimented by vinegar stained dirty fingers from dyeing eggs the night before. Despite my Mom’s best scrubbed efforts, the tell-tale remnants always meant much more to me than the ruffles at the bottom of my dress.

  • Karin Newman - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:02 pm

    Lovely book!

  • Katie - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Every year my younger cousins, Anna and Kirsten, and I paint Easter eggs. It’s become a fun tradition :)

  • Kippy36 - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    I think the celebration of Holy Week and especially the Tenebrae service! Of course, one has to sing Christ the Lord has risen today….alleluia!

  • Leah - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Easter egg hunt that my mom always did. All the eggs were filled with money and prizes so we were extra competitive about it. So much fun!!

  • Donna - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:07 pm

    This year we are starting a new tradition by serving Easter breakfast at the homeless shelter in Milwaukee. I cannot wait. Can’t think of a better way to spend Easter morning.

  • Leia - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:08 pm

    As a military family, we have learned that holidays are celebrated whenever, wherever, with whomever. This year, we’ll be celebrating with some of our “framily” by serving a Frogmore Stew–a little homage to our time in the south as we make a new “home” in the Pacific Northwest. He is risen indeed!

  • Alanna - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    One of my favorite traditions is taking pictures in the lovely Texas bluebonnets. It doesn’t always happen Easter Sunday but whenever the flowers are at their best. That and carrot cake :)

  • Mary Quillin - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:12 pm

    I remember growing up going to my grandmother’s in Milwaukee every Easter. She and my Grandpa lived in a tiny home on the east side of the city next to the river. We knew there would be plastic eggs filled with pennies hidden all around the house and soon we would begin our hunt. My memories recall images of celery and carrot sticks soaking in water before being put out for appetizers with my Grandma’s homemade dressing. I see the bowl of colored hard boiled eggs and tiny dishes around filled jelly beans. Soon we would gather around the table that would take up the entire family room. We were just … together. :-)

  • Katie - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Since my husband and I live in a new city far away from our family we attend church and then pack ourselves an Easter brunch picnic. It’s become a very fun new tradition for our small little family of two.

  • Caiti P. - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    My favorite Easter memory is of our family being in the Easter play at our old church. My sister & I wove palm branches and got to be the children sitting at Jesus feet. That seems like such a long time ago, now it is great to watch my kids enjoy Easter egg hunts & sitting through sunrise services as a family.

  • Becca - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    I love planting the Easter Lily in the backyard!!

  • Linda Bryant - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:30 pm

    Since my children are almost all grown up, I started making their Easter baskets a bit trickier to discover. Each year I create riddles for them to find slips of paper. They then have to form words with the paper which will FINALLY tell them where their Easter baskets are. Even though they are in their 20s, they still act like kids when they moan and groan through the house. Anything to create some fun, right?

  • Karyn - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:31 pm

    Easter Egg hunts and my grandma’s layered salad for Easter lunch. :-)

  • Helen Washington - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:33 pm

    I have been seeing this book talked about a lot lately. It looks like a wonderful resource for making memory center stage.

    We have a lot of Easter traditions but one that I love is listening to Second Chapter of Acts Easter Song in the morning as we get ready to begin our Holiest Sunday…I can hear those bells ringing now!

  • Kristina - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:35 pm

    Our tradition is simple and somewhat expected, especially in the south: church and family lunch. With lots of family and even more food.

  • Lauren Snider - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    When I was in high school, my church did an Easter drama to Evanescence’s song, “Bring me to life.” It was super powerful. This year, I get to dance on Easter at my church. Blessed to perform for God’s glory.

  • Amber Godwin - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm

    Celebrating the resurrection of Christ at Sunday services and spending time with extended family that we don’t get to see often enough.

  • Deb C. - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:44 pm

    First church, then a wonderful meal. Easter lillies all around. My favorite time of year!

  • Kayti - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:50 pm

    My husband and I watch the Passion together – not necessarily a ‘light hearted’ tradition, but I always look forward to getting my heart in the right place before the holiday.

  • Mary - Reply

    March 27, 2013 at 11:59 pm

    My mom writes riddles in Easter Eggs….she hands out an egg to each child and it leads them to a spot in the house where a little treat is waiting. Each kid gets a few riddle eggs. It’s super fun because even older kids are excited to work to figure out the riddles.

  • Christina - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:06 am

    Our family started doing an Easter tree with our preschool age girls last year. Each day (or every other depending on how on top of things I was) they opened an egg that had an ornament symbolizing a part of God’s story. We talked about the meaning in a very 4 year old way and hung it on our tree. It was a really nice reminder of Jesus to all of us throughout the lenten season.

  • LSD - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:21 am

    I love hearing my dad read us the Easter story right out of his bible in the morning over a breakfast around the table. It’s special. It reminds me that Jesus loves us right where we all are… even around the breakfast table on an Easter Sunday.

  • Christine Trevino - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

    Sounds like such an incredible book! My favorite Easter memories come out the many many years I spent at the church I grew up in. Back in the day, we used to do huge Easter productions that the entire church took part of, and growing up I was any number of characters in the Easter plays. In college, I was able to write and direct these Easter experiences, and it was one of the most precious and rewarding seasons of my life. I always look at Easter-time through that lens, what am I feeling? What am I singing? What am I reading in the Bible that is moving me closer to the Jesus I am celebrating? This is one of my favorite seasons of the year!

  • Allison Wyant - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:30 am

    My favorite Easter memory….watching my kids open their 12 resurrection eggs and learning about Jesus’s journey to the cross. It becomes more meaningful to them and me every year.

  • Kelly Byers - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:33 am

    One of my favorite Easter traditions was always getting a new Easter dress for church as a gift from my Grandmother. I love that she now buys her great grandson a new Easter outfit for church too.

  • Megan - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:37 am

    My favorite Easter tradition is attending the beautiful Sunday morning service with family. The hymns on Easter are always glorious! Then we have a full day of meals and family gatherings.

  • Michelle Acker Perez - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:43 am

    For as trivial as it sounds, m favorite Easter tradition is Sees Candy! Every Easter my Grandma brought bring over a 2 lb box of See’s Candy- we were not allowed to cut inside to see what each kind was; No, my Grandma and my dad would point out each one, teaching us the difference between a Scotchmallow, a Bordeaux and a marzipan. I consider it a rare (albeit odd talent) that I can now correctly identify EVERY kind of chocolate inside a box of See’s Candy!

  • Leah G - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:02 am

    I love Good Friday service. The quiet, the reflection, the candles…it stills my spirit and allows me to focus on what beauty is ahead.

  • Amber - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:18 am

    We make resurrection cookies the night before Easter. Here’s a link to the recipe: http://www.mops.org/page.php?pageid=3186

  • Mary McDaniel - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:18 am

    This might seem super obvious, but I just always remember going to church on Easter. I remember relief and joy after the darkness and sorrow of Good Friday.

  • Colleen - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:22 am

    My favorite thing is Easter dinner with my family after Mass.

  • Christie - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:25 am

    We have done a resurrection garden in a pot two years in a row and we love it! My boys love acting out the story with Lego guys! It makes it all come to life!!

  • Jody Wallem - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:43 am

    My childhood Easters started with waking up to an Easter basket by my bedside with colored eggs (which we kept in the basket and ate throughout the week–no refrigeration!) and a small gift like a new pair of white gloves or a white plastic purse to take to church. All the children would bring flowers from their gardens to stick into a large wire-covered cross at front of the church. Special days…

  • Jenny - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:53 am

    One of our favorite Easter traditions (so-say our kids) is when I tell the sorry of Easter using a tea bag, glass of water, and a match (google it, it’s neat), and they also like to tell the story of Easter with plastic eggs filled with symbols of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Easter is truly special.

  • Emily - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:58 am

    For many many years my mom took my siblings and I shopping to get a brand new Easter Sunday outfit. We weren’t allowed to wear the new outfit until then even though we often got them weeks in advance. The way we dressed up and felt special in our new outfits helped us to understand, even as young children, the specialness of Easter. A tradition I will definitely continue with my own children!

  • Melinda - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:07 am

    I think my favorite Easter tradition from my childhood was the Easter Egg hunt. We always did it inside–living in the Pacific Northwest, Easter usually fell on a blustery day–and my mother would hide little chocolate candies. However, she was always sure to hide more than I could find and to hide some in places I would never look, so that SHE could find them!

  • Lindsay - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:07 am

    Special dresses, Sweet Potato Pie, and a most delicious ham is what Easter was all about in my house growing up. My kids (ages two and four) are getting these traditions plus one more this year. We’re taking them to the highest point around and watching the sunrise with cups of tea, muffins, and reverence.

  • Melissa - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:14 am

    My favorite tradition is attending Easter sunrise service outdoors. Lovely!

  • Katelyn - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:16 am

    My family always takes a picnic dinner on the beach! Simple, but always yummy (lots of bread, cheese, and hummus) and great views! It’s a good tradition for the four of us to do since all our extended family lives far away :)

  • Lauren W. - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:25 am

    I’ve taken on my husbands family tradition were we all sit at the table, for lunch after church and everyone says one thing they are thankful/ gratful for. We do this really at every big family get together but it always seems more emotional, uplifting and meaningful on Easter.

  • Amy - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:28 am

    Every Easter I dress my girls in similar but not the same Easter dresses. We go to giod friday church service. We always have an egg hunt which my littlest always wins…because, she is sneaky. I always feel so renewed and fresh. Easter is the start of spring for me and reminders that new beginnings always exhist.
    Also I love the font chosen for the comments. It’s adorable.

  • Aimee - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:37 am

    We laugh and we love, we hunt for eggs, we decorate eggs, we have a big meal. He lives and we marvel at His gift.

  • Abby - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:48 am

    My favorite Easter memory was when I was in 4th grade in 1990. My parents, sibilings and I went to our favorite great aunt and uncles house in Bellevue, WA for Easter dinner with them, my grandparents and my dad’s sister who was visiting from Virginia. While I totally forget what we had to eat I do remember having an Easter egg hunt in Aunt Alice and Uncle Warren’s backyard, it was a sunny, beautiful day (which never ever happens in Seattle. I’ve had more egg hunts inside then out) and in a way in kicked off a week of lots of family gatherings since my aunt was visiting so we had numerous family dinners and parties the week after.

  • HopefulLeigh - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:52 am

    My grandma used to make a rice krispy lamb. She had a lamb mold and everything. It was the centerpiece every year until she died.

  • Nancy Austin - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:52 am

    For years I was involved in Easter music–high school choirs, college choirs, community choirs, church choirs. So most of my favorite Easter memories revolve around crack-of-dawn call-times and celebratory anthems. But Sunrise services are always my favorite.

  • Sarah - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 5:21 am

    Homemade whatever is always better!

    My favorite Easter tradition is having a fire at our family gathering. It’s usually too warm in the house but we load the logs in the fireplace as the last hooray of winter bringing is spring!

  • Joanna - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 5:37 am

    I love coloring easter eggs and then having egg and olive sandwiches for the next week!

  • Katharine - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 8:21 am

    Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday. A very British tradition.

  • Alyssa - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 10:58 am

    This year my husband & I will be starting a few of our own traditions. My favorite part of Easter weekend, is going to the Good Friday service. That is something we never did when I was growing up, but it’s something I’ve always done with my husband.

  • Emily Archer - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 11:04 am

    This book sounds amazing! Thank you for the opportunity to win it. My family Easter has not always been traditional, as my dad (a caterer) cooks breakfast at church for all of the congregation and visitors. Cooking for upwards of 1,000 people makes for a tired family, as we were often all involved in the process. Serving others in this manner has been a great Easter tradition…even if it means we’re dog tired at the end of the day. :-)

  • Raquel - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 11:55 am

    A beautiful Easter morning service full of rich and majestic music!

  • Anna - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    My grandma always made a ‘bunny’ cake with a jellybean face! Loved it!! This year I’ll tweak it a little and make carrot cake cupcakes but will work in the bunny face to keep with tradition!
    Thanks for the opportunity!
    Blessings!

  • Heather - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    My husband and I just got married in December and looking how we can start our own traditions in our new family. This year for the month of March we decided to just eat rice and beans (and fruits and vegetables so we don’t get sick) to empathize with the many people around the world who can only afford to eat rice and beans every single day. Then on Good Friday and Saturday we will do a full fast to prepare for Easter. When we then get to share a beautiful Easter dinner with many family and friends I think wewill appreciate the many blessings He provides us that much more.

  • Andrea Pitcher - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    We do a huge easter egg hunt late in the afternoon after church & lunch & all the official activities are over. I have teenagers & college aged boys, so the egg hunt is at a very high level. This isn’t little eggs laid on the grass. Nope, you need a military training sense of seeking & finding to get your basket full of these eggs. And they’re worth the hunt. They’re filled with chocolate but also cash and gift cards to favorite restaurants. Worth the seeking and finding. A family tradition that has grown with our boys!

  • Amy - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    What a great book! I love Easter lunch…especially deviled eggs!

  • Kaytee - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    My mom hid jelly beans all around our house every year on Easter. On the piano keys, in candlesticks, on the book case, etc. My sisters and I would search the whole house collecting them in the mornings before church. We had so much fun and it was sometimes a challenge to find them since they are so small. We could never find them all and usually a few weeks later we would happen upon one when dusting or just looking around. It was like the gift that kept on giving! Often times my mom would find a jelly bean while cleaning months later and she said she saw it as her reward for cleaning. This is such a fun memory I have from growing up.

  • Mandy - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:08 pm

    My mother has always decorated their home for the seasons. As such, her spring home is full of fresh flowers, tasteful pastels, scattered bowls of candy, and the sense that spring is in the air- regardless of the temperatures outside. She always made our house a home with her seasonal touches and warm spirit. It has been my joy to grow up in such a home and continue to enjoy her hospitality as an adult. Thanks Mom.

  • Misty - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

    This looks like a beautiful book!

    I think my favorite Easter memory has been spending time with my family. The past 3 years of living away from home I haven’t been with my family on this holiday, so it’s been spent with my friends. We’ve done a large dinner with a large group of a college friends. Last year it was a simple, much needed brunch with my best friend and this year it’ll be church and dinner with my roommates boyfriends family. This year will be special, it’s a renewal and a new season. This is my roommates first time attending church regularly and asking questions. It’s a season of revival.

  • Ginna - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 1:36 pm

    I married into my favorite tradition. Each year, no matter how old the kids are, my husband’s family has an Easter egg hunt. I thought it was a little silly for 25+ year olds to be hunting for eggs, until I learned there was money involved. It’s always so much fun, but of course I think they need some grandchildren soon before we are all 30 year-olds searching for them. :)

  • J. Collard - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    Every year the Easter traditions shift a bit for me. As a kid, we had a small easter tree and colored eggs – and that was fun. I wore my Easter bonnet hat and frilly dress to church.

    In college, we shared a passover seder and that was one of my all time favorites. We’ve done seders a couple of times since, but I do think about brining back that tradition more.

    We usually eat out on Easter, as there are many services that my parents and husband participate in for Easter day. This year, we’ll eat out at an awesome resturant with amazing steak and seafood. I’ll be attending the Eastern Orthodox church that I go to before any celebrations. The Orthodox don’t celebrate Easter at the same time as their Western counterparts this year. So when Easter comes from the Orthodox, I’ll attend the Good Friday services and other traditions that I’m just starting to become acquainted with.

    So while traditions are continuing to shift, I always look forward to Easter. In many ways, I like it more than Christmas.

  • Jen C - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 2:36 pm

    When I was a kid my parents did all the typical Easter things, eggs, baskets, candy, etc., almost to the point of excess. So I think that’s why I shy away from all that stuff now that I have my own family, but I kind of sadly realized that we have no traditions. We have always lived away from family and I can’t point to two years where we have done anything the same.

  • Holly - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    I have always loved going to a sunrise service…when I lived in Buffalo it was always still freezing that time of year so our church would have a bonfire and we would huddle around it wrapped in blankets as we celebrated Easter and watched the sunrise.

  • Holly Bazan - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    The Saturday before Easter, Grandma June drove all of us kiddos to county roads and handed us large lawn and leaf bags before we hopped out of the car. We spent the next hour selecting the choicest flowers and clover, throwing them into our bags. When we celebrated Easter at Grandma’s house we always made Easter nests. Even though it’s technically illegal, Grandma June always let us pick a few blue bonnets. She would walk out to the middle of the street stationed as our look out, and yell, “Hurry, hurry! I think someone’s coming!” as we stashed a few flowers into our bags.

    Once home we arranged our clover into donut shaped nests on Grandma’a patio. Then we carefully decorated our nest with picked flowers weaving the stems through the green clover: Indian paint brushes, Queen Anne’s lace, Primrose, Greenthreads, Winecups, and the beloved Texas Bluebonnet.

    Our nests sat on the patio in the order of our birth. First Ryan’s then Christopher’s, mine, Matt’s, Kelly’s, Brandon’s, and lastly Aaron and Adam’s.

    Grandpa placed a purple thistle in the center of each nest. He reminded us that the Easter bunny searching for a place to rest would sit on our nests, but instead of finding comfort would find a thistle. The thistle would make the bunny pop up leaving an Easter basket in his wake.

    On Sunday morning after the sunrise service, we would run from the car to see if our nests worked. The Bunny never let us down.

  • Mimi Elmer - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:06 pm

    My favorite Easter tradition is baking Easter cookies with my kids and giving them to family and friends. They usually end up covered with four different colors of sprinkles and a bi of a mess, but I love it!

  • Amy - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:28 pm

    We spend Easter with my in-laws on the farm where my husband grew up. It’s a day where we slow down, celebrate God’s blessings in our lives and enjoy being together around our table.

  • Sarah Jarrett - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Walking into a church filled with bright colored flowers. I love the “He Has Risen!” atmosphere!

  • Julie Pluymert - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:42 pm

    This book looks amazing!

    My favorite Easter tradition is our road trip from Grand Rapids to Chicago where we spend Easter with our Chicago cousins. We always venture out the night before, notoriously 30 minutes after our expected departure time… :) The three hours in the car with just our immediate family is such a treat amidst the busy, hustle bustle of the weekend. The time is spent reconnecting, reminiscing, singing, laughing and just being together.

  • Madonna - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    We start the day with sunrise services, then hiding eggs with the grandbabies and finish with a family dinner. Easter is always ham and every holiday has to include a pineapple bread pudding type dessert.

  • Rachel - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 4:50 pm

    The last few years we have spent Easter with our close friends Josh & Terra because we don’t live near our families. Now that we have moved away from them as well, we’re starting another friend-family and celebrating with a potluck after Easter service. Family is what you make it and although I miss my biological family during the holidays, my friend-family is a beautiful thing.

  • Sherrine Francis - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 5:08 pm

    Easter has changed in the last couple of years. I grew up in the Middle East (Dubai) and we had never really heard of the infamous Easter bunny and his awesome eggs. Easter was all about Jesus. It was a weekend of church. All the Christians in the city (and there were MANY) would find ourselves in church all weekend. The services started on Thursday. And then again on Good Friday (morning + evening) and again on Holy Saturday and of course on Easter Sunday. Each day involved a traditional meal. The same meal year after year. Good Friday was a day of fasting for my parents but my siblings and I went meatless (rice porridge with overcooked lentils) and finished with a special unleavened bread that had raisins in it (I wasn’t a fan as a kid.) Easter Sunday was a day of celebration: starting with church in the morning followed by a feast of a meal with our cousins and an afternoon of games + banter. Oh yes, Easter Sunday also involved a special new outfit. Today at 28, living in Vancouver, Easter weekend is a weekend of rebirth for me. I feel like I re-discover God and his love for us all over again. I feel overwhelmed and raw (in a wonderful way.) Lots of silence, running, cups of coffee, tears + smiles and more bags of Cadbury’s mini eggs than I’d like to admit. So looking forward to it this year.

  • Jenny - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 6:49 pm

    I just ordered this book last week but i would love to win a copy to give to a friend!
    My grandma used to always make these delicious little treats with shredded coconut on top and jelly beans in the middle to make a little nest. I have always remembered these and always looked forward to them. Aside from that, what I always remember the most is simply my family coming together around my grandma’s big table together, eating together and enjoying one another’s company.

  • Kelli - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    The Easter bunny always leaves a trail of eggs from our kids beds, down the stairs to their Easter basket. This is a little trickier now that we have one in college!

  • Heather Traub - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    This year I was trying to mux things up for our growing kids & they still want “the hunt” for the Easter baskets! The night before I write out clues that take each one on an individual adventure to find their basket. There are rhyming clues that describe where the next clue is until they discover their basket. My mom used to do this & this year, it’s less about candy & small trinkets, but about a special gift.

  • Kathleen Palmer - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Every year, my mom pulls out our old easter baskets from when we were kids, fills them with bright green fake grass, and fills them with eggs and candy and of course, a chocolate easter bunny. It’s always done in secret even though we are all in college now.

  • Jo Ann Klandrud - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 8:32 pm

    My Grandma always hosts and all the grandkids have an Easter egg hunt–I still search the house and after all these years am still finding new places where Grandma is hiding eggs. And yes, she still includes me–even though I’m 28! One year we found a really well-hidden egg two months later.

    Great memories. Fun that we continue making them as a family.

  • Mindy - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    My favorite Easter tradition are the ones I will begin this year with my daughter, who is now just old enough to understand Easter baskets (and sugar!!!), curious enough to go on an Easter egg hunt, and so adorable that she will look great in a frilly Easter dress, hat, purse and cute tights on Sunday at church. Last year she was still a small baby so this year is going to be all kinds of fun!

  • Lindsey Wilson - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    My favorite Easter memory was the anticipation of the sunrise service at my home church. My sisters and I would wear matching Easter outfits and would arrive early at church to eat breakfast with everyone before the service started. The older women in the church would do such a great job preparing the potluck breakfast and the kids would contribute by bringing in their “artwork” easter eggs to share. After church we would head over to Grandmas, for Easter dinner, which included ham and cheesy scalloped potatoes! My grandma would then hide easter baskets and eggs all over her house and outside for my sisters and myself to find. At ages 27, 25, and 23 we still have to find our hidden easter baskets! When I got married back in 2010, my grandma made sure to get my husband an easter basket too! So each year my husband and I get to go easter basket hunting together :)

  • Karie - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    Our favorite tradition is the town Easter Egg hunt on Saturday before Easter. Everyone in town gets together and it may go quickly but the kids have a great time.

  • Marina - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 10:49 pm

    Holidays are always busy for us because I’m super-involved with music at church. This translates to lots of rehearsals, late nights, early mornings, lots of fun and not a lot of time devoted to traditions. However, my husband is very good at hiding eggs with money in them for our “kids” (now young adults). We also eat way too many Reese’s peanut butter eggs and either go out for lunch or we choose our favorite meal, i.e., steak & roasted veggies or Chinese food and I do my best to throw together a casual, yummy dinner on Sunday evening.

  • Charity Rios - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 10:55 pm

    I love the Easter egg hunt, loved it as a kid, love watching kids have it, even put one on for our church kiddos when I was a children’s pastor. I can’t wait for the day when we have children of our own and get to host one!

  • Becky Wenrich - Reply

    March 28, 2013 at 11:04 pm

    Current favorite tradition is watching our three-year-old daughter hunt for her eggs and her basket. She gets so excited and so do we!

  • Blythe Chapman - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 1:06 am

    All growing up I never remember an Easter that we did not go to my dad’s parents. My grandmother always had the same menu and as she is an AMAZING cook, no one minded. After college, I moved to a country in Central Asia where the majority religion is Islam. I was over 10,000 miles from home and ham was NOT going to be served so i turned my next favorite Easter food, deviled eggs. They were not pretty looking but boy did they taste like home. While so far away, this little taste of home was a balm for my soul.

  • Amanda - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 3:56 am

    Every few years my parents would have a Passover Sader with our immediate family. They wanted to make sure my brother and I had a good perspective on the events before Jesus was crucified and rose again.

  • Sandy - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 4:14 am

    The Easter Angel visited our house with fun baskets rather than the Easter bunny :)

  • Kayleigh Hofer - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 4:25 am

    Growing up Christmas was always my favorite holiday. Easter was also fine in my little kid world- we got to color eggs, we got a gift basket, and if there wasn’t snow left on the ground we got to have an easter egg hunt. But it never beat the mystery and wonder of Christmas. It wasn’t until I was 19 years old that Easter truly hit home in my heart. My faith in Christ took huge 180 for the better my freshmen year of college and the true reality of Easter and why we celebrate overwhelmed me like an awe inspiring sunset. I was in awe of this holiday and the celebration and the clear reminder and truth of what the blood of Jesus did for me. 6 years later I don’t necessarily have a favorite tradition, but I do have a new favorite holiday… and it is Easter. I love lent, I love slowing, I love the season of reminding myself that there is freedom in laying down my life. He is risen!

  • Nadyne Parr - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 6:28 am

    In the early 90’s, I went to Willow Creek and volunteered on the production team during the annual Easter production, “The Choice”. Ted Thomas played Jesus. Every time he walked off stage, after playing a particularly poignant scene, he would kindly smile and thank me for my service to the show. I felt like a nobody really, but he made me feel like what I did mattered. He was just like imagine Jesus to be. To this day, those Last Supper, Crucifixion, and Resurrection scenes – played so beautifully by those actors and singers, still impact my vision of what it must have been like to actually know Jesus personally and be an eyewitness to His love and power.

    Oh, and my Daddy would buy all my sisters and me, wrist band corsages to match our Easter dresses, for us to wear on Easter Sunday morning. I always felt like his princess when he brought home flowers.

  • Jess - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Giving myself permission to devour all the dark chocolate I can get my hands on.

  • Natalie Farthing - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 1:54 pm

    My mother and I are full time employees at our church, so Easter to me always means lots of time serving and getting ready to open our church doors up to new families.

    This year my dad and I are both serving in the Children’s program. Can’t wait to be dressed up in costume with my dad telling the greatest story to hundreds of elementary school aged kids.

  • Sarah Caldwell - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I love our Easter tradition of spending the day with my in-laws and husband’s family and celebrating with a big meal around the table and then spending quality time together.
    I would really love to read this book – thanks for the giveaway!
    (LOVING Bread & Wine – going to blog thru the recipes a la ‘Julie & Julia’ on my blog this coming month! :)

  • Hannah - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    This year the hubby and I are starting a new tradition. We are going to our church’s Easter service on Saturday night and then having dinner (an pre-Easter date night of sorts); and then Sunday we are going to sleep in, hang out in pjs, and spend time together in the comfort of our home. We both agreed that this year we just wanted to slow down and take a break from the hustle and bustle and just “be” for a day. I’m so looking forward to it! Happy Easter!

  • Kristina St Clair - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Visiting my grandmother’s church as a child and the wonderful, scoopy, pitchy soloist belting the Easter hymn “HE LIVES!! HE LIVES!!” Burned in my brain.

  • Candice Eisenhauer - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    As a kid, favorite memories were simple egg dying (trying to make the prettiest one) and hunting for eggs in the yard. Then dressing for church in dresses, white shoes, etc….traditional ham dinner with grandparents later on. Simple but good.

  • LaNell McD - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    My favorite tradition is church with the family, and then a big lunch, followed by an egg hunt – with all kids – even those in their 20’s….as long as their Dad puts cash in the eggs – they will hunt!

  • shana - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 5:23 pm

    count me in, please! my favorite easter tradition is going to church and celebrating the resurrection with my family and our larger church family. such a wonderful, powerful morning!

  • Isabelle Hicks - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    For the past five years , my Easter was spent in beautiful La Jolla with 150 other high schoolers. As a youth group, we went to the early service at La Jolla Presbyterian Church and then went to the beach for lunch. In the afternoon, we would get on another bus to Mexico, where we would spend the week building homes for the less fortunate. I loved the community and drew so much closer to God on these trips.
    I am in college now and am sad I could not go this year. But I am starting a new tradition of traveling to my friend’s homes and experiencing their family traditions.

  • Amanda - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 7:52 pm

    My favorite Easter memories are the times that it was actually warm enough for the whole family to take a walk in my grandparents’ neighborhood. They lived near a lake and it was fun to look at all the much fancier homes on the lake.

  • Julie - Reply

    March 29, 2013 at 11:58 pm

    Ham is our favorite part of the Easter meal, however it MUST be served with our family’s ham sauce. My daughter won’t ever eat ham without it!!

  • Anna - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:24 am

    My favorite tradition is the big Easter egg hunt! As we have gotten older, the treats inside the eggs have gotten better and better :)

  • Christine - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:06 am

    I love looking for the Easter baskets my parents (still) hide for us. The funny part is that every year they seem to be in the same locations, just rotated from kid to kid. So fun still, though all 4 of us are over 18!

  • Natalie - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 3:46 am

    Now that I have kids, some of my favorite traditions include making palm branches and parading around singingn “Hosanna”, dying Easter Eggs, post church brunch with families that also have little ones, and I’m a bit ashamed to admit it-sneaking a Cadbury egg from one of my boys baskets the night before. It’s the only time all year I allow myself one-pure bliss!

  • sarah - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 5:58 am

    forming little bread bunnies with hershey kisses hidden in the bellies. we never baked fresh bread at any other time of year, but easter was apparently the time we got our “homemaking on ” in this department. i am almost giddy to start the tradition with my 2year old daughter this year….Sometimes remembering the blessings of the little things growing up, come around to bring that deep-seated joy in my parenting.. and always surprise me.

  • Kristen - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 8:23 am

    My favorite Easter memory was the day that I fasted on Good Friday with two of my closest friends back in high school. I felt more innocent back then, closer to Jesus, more desirous of a relationship with my God. Anyways, we spent the day fasting, baking bread while intermittently praying the Rosary and Stations of the Cross and other prayers. I watched The Passion for the first time that day. It was, I believe, one of the most blessed days I have ever lived; because not only was I in community – in the company of people that I absolutely adored – but I spent the entire day in solemn and grateful prayer. That is what Easter was about for me on that day: solemnity, remembrace, gratitude. I only hope to remember that during the years to come.

  • Jalynn Patterson - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 10:11 am

    My favorite Easter tradition is everything that we do. It is hard to pick just one. But above all we use it as a day to just slow down, be with our babies and thank God he saved us.

  • Beth - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 10:55 am

    In preparation for every Easter, my sisters & I would get new dresses (& sometimes obnoxious, wide-brimmed hats). Waking up that morning to put on a brand-new dress made us feel beautiful & had great symbolism.

  • Grace Bower - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 10:58 am

    It is 11.45 Saturday night here – and 6.45 in Boston so i hope I get in! Favourite Easter Sunday morning memory was skipping out of my daughter’s church with blackened windows and going up the road to a beautiful sunfilled cathedral with the sun shining through the stained glass windows. Her sister and I got there for the end of the service and celebrated the Easter Sunday eucharist before getting back to the first church. we were upstairs in the balcony while she was downstairs with her friends. As long as she doesn’t read this my dear daughter has no idea to this day many years later! This year I started making crosses of natural and found materials each day for Lent – managed over twenty – next year I hope they are daily.
    THANK YOU for all the wonderful ideas shared by other readers – spring is the right time for Easter – loved my first northern hemisphere Easter. Here in New Zealand we are already in autumn but hope to have a beautiful dau for Easter day

  • Jenn - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    My favorite Easter tradition is the meal of course, ham, Mac & cheese, etc. just reminds me of spring!

  • Sierra - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    My family always had an Easter egg hunt on Sunday morning before we went to church together. We also dyed dozens of eggs on Saturday night with my parents. We still take time to due Easter eggs together and have a big Easter feast after church. It’s a great cozy family day!

  • Tim Maher - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Easter, Getting to Thank God every year by Saying the prayer where we give Thanks for proving he was whom he said he was. The Apex of a Christian Life!

  • lindsey johnson - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    So glad I saw this before it was over! My favorite Easter Sunday memory is when I wauld be in Houston with my grandparents. I wasn’t raised in church and my parents weren’t christians, so when I went to stay with my very german mimi and papa who attended the Lutheran Church, we would always go with them and they would take us to sunday school where we loved to hear the stories. And in church, we would get to take communion with them – the kind where you kneel and are blessed by the pastor. Then we would go back to their magical home and have an easter egg hunt and eat her cornflake chicken she made for us. She died when I was 17 and I feel that loss most at Christmas and Easter because she was so determined that we would know God that she would fly us to them for the holiday or come to Nashville to spend it with us.

  • Kristina - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:12 pm

    I always used to love dinners around the table at Easter, but now with my four kids I’m loving reading the Jesus Storybook Bible to them through Holy Week.

  • Rachel - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    Easter morning church! I have spent my Easters in many places…my grandparents’ farm growing up, campus church during college, abroad in India for a couple of years, in Colorado far away from my family…this is the one tradition that remained constant.

  • Corinne Somerville - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:14 pm

    First…I’m SO excited for the release of “Bread & Wine” !!!!!

    Second…Thanks for the chance at such a great giveaway :)

    Third…My favorite Easter tradition is my side of the family all gathers at my parents home on Easter Sunday afternoon for a traditional Polish dish called “Goulash”. It was a dish made when times were especially difficult by my Polish immigrant great grandparents and we eat this same dish every Easter to remember Christ’s sacrifice and also the sacrifice my great grandparents made to bring a better life to their family.

  • Lori - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm

    My family Easter tradition is a big photo in all our finery – after church and before lunch. It’s fun to see all the changes through the years!

  • Jen - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    We decorated milk jugs for our Easter baskets! Talk about homemade! :) We cut a hole opposite of the handle, cut construction paper bunny ears, eyes, nose, etc.., and glued cotton balls all over, especially a big clump for its tail! It was the most fun making easter baskets I can remember having. :) We’re going to start the tradition with our children next year (they will be 4 and 2 by then)!

  • Leslie Burke - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    It’s the egg hunt. No matter what the weather (snow, rain or otherwise) we always did the egg hunt outside in my parents’ yard before church.

  • Alison Strobel Morrow - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    This sounds like such a great book! I could use some ideas for making things a little more homemade around here.

  • Bonnie - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    When I was a little girl I remember being so excited to wake up and find my Easter basket at my spot at the the kitchen table. Now that I’m a mom I love doing the same thing for my 3 little ones .

  • Zlata Odrazilova - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    I am originally from the Czech Republic and this is our Easter tradition (glad I live in Chicago now) :
    Young, live pussywillow twigs are thought to bring health and youth to anyone who is whipped with them. An Easter pomlázka (from pomladit or “make younger”) is a braided whip made from pussywillow twigs. It has been used for centuries by boys who go caroling on Easter Monday and symbolically whip girls on the legs. In the past, pomlázka was also used by the farmer’s wife to whip the livestock and everyone in the household, including men and children. There would be no Czech Easter without the pomlázka.

    Boys used to make their own pomlázkas in the past. The more twigs, the more difficult it was to braid one. This skill is not widespread anymore and pomlázkas can be bought in stores and street stands. Some men don’t even bother and use a single twig or even a wooden spoon!

  • Amy - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    This may be a bit superficial but a special memory was always going shopping with my mom and sister for our Easter dresses. Sure it was fun getting a new dress but the time with them was always so fun and precious.

  • Gina DiMartino - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    My grandma still hid Easter baskets for us even though we are all grown up. I think she got more enjoyment out of watching us look for them than we did trying to find them, but since this will be our first Easter without her, I know it is a traditition we will all miss.

  • Rachel - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    My mother’s made chicken crêpes every year since my sister and I were little – they’re entirely synonymous with Easter for me now, though I have to learn to make them at some point for my own family!

  • Jen - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:32 pm

    I think Easter dinner is my favorite tradition. Whether I’m cooking it or we’re with family and my mom or mil is, I love the meal, gathered with ones I love.

  • Danae L - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    It’s not a regular tradition in my young family, but I fondly remember attending an Easter vigil service in college. After walking through the dark of Saturday night, the joy at sunrise was that much more profound and sacred.

  • Katherine - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Church Sunday morning, ham with roasted pineapple, and Easter egg hunt in the backyard.

  • Christine - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Twice baked potatoes, “Love’s redeeming work is done, a-a-a-a-a-le-lu-ia!”, lilies, chrysanthemums, daffodils, tulips…this is my 8 month old Benjamin’s first Easter celebration, so needless to say I’m looking forward to carving out some sweet new Easter traditions this year!

  • Lesley - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    My favourite tradition is a dawn church service on Sunday morning. Then eating our Easter eggs that afternoon. And sometimes we’ll roll boiled eggs down a hill either on the Sunday or Monday.

    Thanks for the great posts xo

  • Amy - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    I loved coloring the Easter eggs. It was such a great family bonding time in our house, especially since those times were few and far between. If I ever have children this along with new traditions will hold a special meaning to me

  • Emily H - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

    My favorite Easter tradition while growing up was going to church to see the large Easter choir. For Easter Sunday the choir welcomed anyone who wanted to sing to join them. The choir would at least double in size, and the music they made, along with some brass instruments and the organ, would always make the day that much more special.

  • Lyndee - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    When I was little, we would sometimes drive 10 hours to my grandparent’s house to celebrate Easter. It never failed that the man who led worship would grip the podium, lean forward, scrunch his face and begin belting, “Up From the Grave He Arose.” My sister and I were terrified every year. Now we think of that man with fond memories and a couple of chuckles every Easter.

  • Shelby - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:07 pm

    Egg hunts, morning church and lots of pies after lunch!

  • Beverly - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I think my favorite tradition was just the fact of seeing all of our family when I was young. Every Grandparent, Aunt, Uncle , and Cousin. I did not realize it then, but now that so many of them are in heaven, it was better than all the candy in the world. We all laughed and loved, and of course had on our Easter best. LOVE the best gift God give us and that we can share with others. (Also Grandmas lamb cake was pretty wonderful). Happy Easter all!

  • Ginnie Grant - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    I have two, if I may….but one led to another ~ sort of…My mother began every Easter morning with a joyful, “He is Risen” and she taught me to respond, just as joyfully, “He is Risen Indeed!” When I first moved to Chicago and lived in the city, I attended 4th Presbyterian and I went to their Sunrise Easter service at Oak Street Beach and when the sun rose and we were leaving the beach, I turned back toward the lake and there was a huge cross in the sand, a shadow made by the lifegaurd’s chair….and I was awestruck and thought, the LIFE GAURD’S (Jesus) chair made the shadow of the cross…..how simply amazing!!

  • Christine Gough - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Reading the Jesus Storybook Bible this week, making resurrection rolls on Sunday and this year….making bread! From your book! Sullivan St Loaf was. Success! New Maundy Thurs tradition!

  • Melissa - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    My favorite tradition is to make the whole weekend count. Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Sabbathing on Saturday and then Easter Sunday. I’ve been moving a lot the last few years, but I love the diversity of the church in the places I have celebrated.

  • kristina - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    My favorite tradition are the Easter baptisms. This easter I am finally getting baptized after a few years of waiting to feel like a part of a church community- i have finally found my church family. hooray!

  • Veronika - Reply

    March 30, 2013 at 2:14 pm

    We got both our daughters baptized on Easter. So it holds a very special memory for me. But I also get a little sad this Easter, since I had a miscarriage last year on Good Friday.
    To cheer me up I just made our traditional German Easter bread (Hefezopf). Love it!

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