Sunday, March 13, 2016

Easter Symbols :: More Easter Basket Stuffers & Catholic Gift Ideas {Plus a Basketful of Giveaways!}


Last year I shared 100+ Easter Basket Stuffers & Catholic Gift Ideas and I have even more to share with you this year! In addition to new books, I always try to fill our children's baskets (and the Easter Basket I fill for the Whole Family) with gifts and candy representing their patron saints and inspired by the various Easter symbols: Cross, Lamb, Bread of Life, Lily, Egg, Butterfly, Peacock, and Bells.  

Below you will find an explanation for each of the Easter symbols, along with some Easter basket stuffers and gift ideas for each of the Easter symbols as well. 

Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of 20 prizes from my generous sponsors with a combined value of over $750! (With Easter so early this year, I actually wasn't going to host another BIG giveaway this spring, but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to give away some more great prizes to all my visitors while promoting all of these wonderful businesses at the same time! Good luck to you all!) 

Note:  Links to Amazon and Holy Heroes are affiliate links. If you choose to click any of the links, then add an item (any item!) to your cart and complete the purchase, I will receive a percentage at no additional cost to you. Thank you!


.: Cross :.

The cross is the most universal and oldest of all Christian symbols. It not only symbolizes Christ, but for Christians it is also a symbol of our religion and redemption won for us through Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Cross: 
  1. Handmade Chocolate Crosses made with Cross Candy Molds
  2. St. Benedict Two Tone Wall Cross
  3. Into the Sea, Out of the Tomb: Jonah & Jesus (I LOVE this brand new book! Really looking forward to sharing it with the kids!) 
  4. Benedictine Medal T-Shirt from Catholic To The Max
  5. Crucifixion of Christ Cookie Mold (on my wish list) 
  6. Spring Cross Bookmarks Plastic Canvas Kit (I think my kids would enjoy this craft.) 
  7. Hershey's Solid Milk Chocolate Cross (I buy these locally, when I don't have time to make my own.) 
  8. Crucifixion of Jesus Tapestry Rosary Pouch (many additional designs available including: Madonna and ChildSacred Heart with Immaculate, and more.)
  9. In This Sign You Shall Conquer (Audio Drama) from Regina Martyrum Productions


.: Lamb :.

The lamb is also a symbol of Christ. In the Old Testament lambs were often sacrificed on an altar to expiate sins. Because Christ was sent as a sacrifice for the sins of the world, Christians refer to Him as "The Lamb of God (Latin, Agnus Dei)" (John 1:29), and "The Paschal Lamb" (Exodus 12:3-11) from whose sacrifice shelters the People of God.


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Lamb: 
  1. Lost No More Puzzle (We put this together in 2011.)
  2. Schleich Animals (lamb, peacockroosterchicks, etc) 
  3. Lamb of God Painted Egg from St. Luke's Brush
  4. Lamb of God Pendant
  5. Jesus the Good Shepherd from Naturally Catholic
  6. Lindt Chocolate Lambs
  7. Jesus and St. John the Baptist with Lamb Pendant
  8. Small Pascal Lamb Cookie Mold
  9. From God to You: The Icons Journey to your Heart
I also really love our Eggs on Pedestals including the Good Shepherd Egg on Pedestal. I have the collection of three Eggs on Pedestals. They are hard to find! Only three left of the Good Shepherd Egg at this link.

Here are a couple links that others have shared with me recently: Easter Egg Play Set (includes lamb) or Easter Basket with Stuffed Toys (includes lamb and butterfly)


.: Bread of Life :.

Bread is the universal symbol for sustaining and nourishing life. It symbolizes God’s nurture and care of His People. The Israelites in the desert were fed manna from the heavens prompting Moses to exclaim, “this is the bread which the Lord has sent for you to eat” (Exodus 16:15). Christ likened Himself to manna when after the miracle of the loaves, he spoke the words, “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” Bread is also used at each mass to become the Body of Christ in keeping with the Lord’s command: “Then he took bread, and blessed and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, This is my body, given for you; do this for a commemoration of me” (Luke 22:19).


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Bread of Life: 
  1. The Last Supper Building Block Set (Available from Catholic Child here! You can find the LEGO version one of our boys created in the archives!) 
  2. Last Supper Wood Blocks and Blessing Blocks from Almond Rod Toys 
  3. Bread of Life made with this Candy Mold 
  4. Father Leopold Celebrates Mass (also currently available from Holy Heroes - Our older boys love creating their own LEGO Mass and Cathedral, but I think our 8 year old will love this set!)
  5. Wooden Catholic Mass Kit from Almond Rod Toys 
  6. Personalized Holy Cards from Keepsakes by Carrie (I'm in the process of ordering personalized Holy Cards for each of my children with the dates of their Baptisms and First Holy Communions to add to their Holy Card collections! I've already rounded up all the information, but still trying to decide on additional quotes or prayers to include and which design to pick for each of the children!) 
  7. Miracle of Marcelino DVD
  8. My Little Church from Catholic Child
  9. Man to Mangia Altar Gang CD from Holy Heroes


.: Lily :.

The lily symbolizes purity. Its stoic structure, pure white color, and delicately sweet aroma attribute to qualities of royalty, purity, and chastity. It is the symbolic flower of the Blessed Virgin Mary and is sometimes depicted with other saints who possess these qualities. A lily among thorns represents the Immaculate Conception as the purity of the Virgin is preserved among the fallen nature of the world. Legend says that the lily originated from Eve’s tears when she and Adam were banished from the Garden of Eden. Another legend claims that lilies sprang up from the ground when drops of blood fell to the foot of the Cross. During the Easter season, many churches line their altars with Easter Lilies to signify the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the hope of eternal life.


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Lily: 
  1. Purchase an Easter Lily for your Home
  2. Saint Joseph is holding a lily, one of his own symbols, in this darling doll from Shining Light Dolls; the Our Lady of Lourdes ("I am the Immaculate Conception") doll is also very appropriate for this Easter symbol!
  3. Lily of the Valley Tumbler Candle from The Cloister Shoppe (We're still enjoying the lovely candles we ordered from the Sisters for Christmas!) 
  4. The End of the Fiery Sword: Adam & Eve and Jesus & Mary
  5. Oval Lily of the Valley or Lily of the Valley with Rose Cookie Mold by House on the Hill (You can find another lovely Lily of the Vally cookie mold here.) 
  6. Fleur de Lis Bundt Pan
  7. Song of Bernadette (The lily is also one of St. Bernadette's symbols.) 
  8. Easter Sunrise Blend from Mystic Monk
  9. Mossy by Jan Brett (We love this picture book - A story about Mossy, a beautiful turtle from Lilypad pond!)


.: Egg :.

The egg represents the resurrection. Like the tomb of the crucified Savior, the egg encloses a self-supported life. At the appointed time, a new and glorious life within bursts forth from its enclosure.


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Egg: 
  1. Sweet Surprise Chicks from See's (available directly from See's here)
  2. He Is Risen! Natural Wood Handmade Easter Puzzle
  3. DIY: Cross Stitch Easter Egg Craft
  4. Decorative Religious Egg Wraps
  5. The Miracle of the Red Egg
  6. Carved Easter Egg Candle from The Cloister Shoppe
  7. Ukrainian Easter Egg Decorating Kit (Wooden Easter Eggs are great for crafts too!)
  8. Balancing Hen (This is a new purchase for this year. I think my 4 year old is going to love it. Probably the 15 year old too!)
  9. Birds Nest Pearl Earrings from Gail's Designs (I'd love a pair of these. Aren't they darling?)


.: Butterfly :.

The butterfly is also a symbol of the resurrection of Christ, but moreover the resurrection of man, as Christ promises us. The three stages in its life (caterpillar, chrysalis, butterfly) can be attributed to the three stages of man’s existence (life, death, and resurrection).


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Butterfly: 
  1. Butterfly Garden or Butterfly Pavilion 
  2. Life Cycle of a Monarch Butterfly
  3. Folkmanis Mini Monarch Butterfly Finger Puppet (We've collected nearly all of these sweet little finger puppets over the years.) 
  4. Butterflies Matching Game or Bugs & Butterflies Matching Game
  5. Butterfly A-Z Puzzle  
  6. Bug Bingo (Bird Bingo is another favorite in our home and this year I plan to give one of the girls Match a Pair of Birds: A Memory Game.) 
  7. Orange Monarch Wings (Available in different colors. Rose loves her pink butterfly wings!) 
  8. eeBoo Butterfly Sketchbook with coordinating colored pencil set  
  9. Decorate-Your-Own Butterfly Box or Butterfly Magnets


.: Peacock :.

Christians have used the peacocks as the symbol of immortality and are an ancient symbol of the Resurrection. Legend tells that the flesh of the peacock never corrupts. The peacock is often depicted in Christian art such as in Fra Angelico’s Adoration of the Magi and other Nativity scenes.  (Can you spot the peacock in the header over at my other blog, Catholic Cuisine?)


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Peacock: 
  1. 12" Perry Flopsie
  2. Life on Earth Matching Travel Game or Life on Earth Memory Game
  3. Peacock Curves Stacking Blocks
  4. Peacock Teapot
  5. Supplies for decorating Peacock Cupcakes or making Peacock Candy
  6. Night and Day First Eucharist Rosary from Mary Devotions - "The beads are 6mmfire-polished round Czech glass, in a color called blue iris -- with shades from teal green, to midnight blue and deep purple." The colors remind me of a peacock! I'd love to help Barbara, even if it's just by purchasing one or two of her beautiful creations at Mary's Devotions. Please keep her family in your prayers! 
  7. Hape Lacing Peacock
  8. Holztiger Wooden Peacock (I also love the Ostheimer peacocks and other animals, but they are even more expensive!) 
  9. Peacock Journal or Peacock Beaded Bookmark


.: Bells :.

To the Christian, bells function as a summons to worship. They are rung at the procession before Low Mass, at the Sanctus to call the Faithful to enter into the deep mystery of Holy Eucharist, and at mass they are rung again to worship the elevated Body and Blood of Christ at the altar. More recently they have been used to herald the election of a new pope. Bells from local church towers also ring as reminders of the Faithful within earshot to engage in daily prayer devotions. The Angelus Bell rung at 6 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm calls upon the Faithful to pray the Angelus. Some areas ring a De Profundis bell to pray for the faithful departed. Bells are another aid for the Christian to converse with God. In some countries the bells are silent from Holy Thursday until Easter Sunday. In the middle ages farmers would comfort their families by saying, “The bells have flown to Rome, but they’ll come back on Easter!”


Here are some gift ideas to incorporate the Bells:
  1. Easter at Ephesus
  2. Chocolate Bells - These are amazing, wish they were available to order! You can also make your own using bell shaped candy molds
  3. Choirs of Angels Coloring Book
  4. Rhythm Band Hand Bells
  5. Catholic Words Memory Match Volume 1 (includes Altar Bells) and Volume 2  - They have an app too!
  6. Chime Travelers Series: The Sign of the Shamrock, The Sign of the Carved Cross, and The Whisper in the Ruins; available for preorder: The Mystery at Midnight and The Strangers at the Manger


.: A Few More Fun Finds :.


  1. Miniature Biretta (Set of 2) from Michele Quigley 
  2. The Lord Be With You T-Shirt from Faith Factory (My husband picked out the t-shirts for the older boys!) 
  3. St. Patrick T-shirt
  4. New Saint Charms from Tiny Saints (including St. Elizabeth of Hungary!) 
  5. St. Therese of Lisieux Doll from The Little Rose Shop (So cute! Making a note to keep this in mind for Rose's birthday later this year.) 
  6. Embroidered and Appliquéd Brown Scapular from Mary Devotions
  7. New Shining Light DollsOur Lady of Kibeho, Our Lady of China, and Our Lady of Aparecida
  8. Catholic Preschool Printables from SaongJai
  9. Saint Louis and His Horse Toy Figurine

2015 Easter Basket - You can find the list of books included here


* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


.: A Basketful of Giveaways :.

There will be one winner for each of the following 20 prizes! 

Prize #1 - Any four of The Illuminated Rosary books sponsored by Peanut Butter & Grace (softcover editions - value up to $63.96)


Congratulations, Jana!
"These are all wonderful ideas and items. Thanks for sharing."

Prize #2 - 3 Pendants - Madonna and Child, Baby Jesus with Cross, and the Holy Eucharist sponsored by Art Angel Gallery (Combined value $48.00+s/h)



Congratulations, Jennifer!
"Wonderful ideas! Thank you!"

Prize #3 - Life is Precious plus (3) Miracle of Life Coloring Books sponsored by Culture of Life Studies Program (combined value $44.80+s/h - Right now you can SAVE 20% OFF all CLSP products using code "ROSES" during checkout.)


Congratulations, Theresa!
"Another wonderful round up post - thank you for all the ideas!"

Prize #4 - Baby Jesus Handmade Soft Saint Doll & Coloring Book Download sponsored by Trendzilly (value $42+s/h)


Congratulations, Mary L!
"Wow! So many great ideas!"

Prize #5 - Set of Two Personalized Pillowcases (Divine Mercy and Good Shepherd: Our Father) from Prayer Pillowcases (combined value $39.90)


Congratulations, Tammy!
"What a nice giveaway. You have such wonderful prizes. Thank you for a chance to win this."

Prize #6 - First Communion Catechism and Confirmation Catechism sponsored by Saint Anne's Helper (value $39.96)


Congratulations, Angela! 
"Thank you for this post! I am always looking for new Catholic-themed basket stuffers- this is a link I'll save and refer back to! :)"

Prize #7 Saint Agnes Rag Doll sponsored by Jacob's Toy Box and Books (value - $35.00+s/h)


Congratulations, Seana!
"Beautiful ideas!" 

Prize #8 - Custom Kids Patron Saint Rosary with Holy Card sponsored by SaongJai (Includes custom design of saint of your choice! - value $35.00+s/h)


Congratulations, Amy! 
"Thank you for your blog. What you share here has helped me in many ways over the years and I hope God blesses you for this special apostolate you have!!"

Prize #9 - Infinity Veil sponsored by Robin Nest Lane  (winner can choose color: Silver, Brown, Black, White, Tan, Pink, Cranberry, Gold, Navy, or Marian Blue - value - $34.00+s/h)


Congratulations, Laura B! 
"Thanks for the giveaway!"

Prize #10 - Natural Wood Handmade Saint Doll sponsored by Naturally Catholic (winner can choose from the saints in stock in the store - value $30.00+s/h)


Congratulations, Angela! 
"thank you so much for always sharing your gift ideas! it is so helpful when trying to pick toys and catholic books!"

Prize #11 - $25 Gift Card from Regina Martyrum Productions  (value $25.00)


Congratulations, Erica! 

Prize #12 - Custom Saints 'N Stitches Pillow Doll sponsored by Waltzing Matilda Makes... (Note from Charlotte: "The winner can choose one of 27 already completed saints or request a new one of their choosing. I will work with them to create the design they want but I might have to ask them to choose a different saint if the design proves too difficult." - value $24.00+s/h)



Congratulations, Laura! 
"These are beautiful ideas."

Prize #13 - Doll's Catholic Easter Basket sponsored by The Little Habit (pictured below - value $20.00+s/h)


Congratulations, Kristen!
"So excited!" 

Prize #14 - Hug Jesus Doll sponsored by Light-n-Love of Jesus Dolls (value $19.95+s/h)


Congratulation, Jennifer! 
"I enjoy your posts so much! You make everything look beautiful. I love the idea about including Easter symbols in the baskets. I am painting peg dolls for each of my kids and getting them books, too. I hope to find some fair trade chocolate for them, as well. I haven't heard much about your mother. I hope everything is going well with her."

Prize #15 - Preparing the Easter Basket Print sponsored by Audrey Eclectic Folk Art (value $18.00+s/h)


Congratulations, Marie! 
"Thank you for all the wonderful ideas! I'm sure this post took quite a while to put together, so thank you for doing it! Also for the amazing giveaway!!! So many incredible prizes. I hope you and your family have a blessed rest of Lent and a joyful Easter."

Prize #16 - 1 deck of Super Saints sponsored by Arma Dei: Equipping Catholic Families (value $18.00)


Congratulations, Sarah!
"Wow! So many new ideas. I am so impressed by the fact that year after year you have so many wonderful ideas! Thank you so much. I would love to win!"

Prize #17 - Butterfly Plaque sponsored by Catholic Child (value $17.95+s/h)


Congratulations, Mary!
"My kids have been fighting over our rosary book lately. New one's would be great :)"

Prize #18 - Little Lessons From St. Therese of Lisieux: An Introduction to Her Words and Wisdom (hardcover) sponsored by Peanut Butter & Grace (value $21.99)



Congratulations, Justine!
"These are great ideas! We are trying to put the baskets for our kiddos together now... thank you for the great suggestions! I think the Saint dolls and coloring books are my favorite :)"

Prize #19 - Rosary Bracelet sponsored by Paradise Jewelry (value $12.00+s/h)


Congratulations, Natalie!
"Great ideas! I learned a lot, thank you!"

Prize #20 - One Sheet of Personalized Holy Cards (winner's choice) sponsored by Keepsakes by Carrie (value $10.75+s/h)


Congratulations, Tara!
"Oooh I hadn't heard of some of these shops! They'll be on my Easy favorite lists for sure!"

Bonus - All 20 winners will also receive a copy of the Cute Saint Holy Cards Printable PDF (includes 40 saints) sponsored by SaongJai (value $6.50 each x 20)



Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners will be announced in this post and contacted by email on Easter Tuesday, March 29, 2016.

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