A little bit of Martha Stewart — Catholic-style — comes out in me as Easter approaches. I enjoy looking for special touches that I might add to the usual Easter basket fare. At the top of my list is always chocolate — what’s new and what’s pretty — and gifts that help connect my children to God and our Catholic faith.
The Chocolate Pizza Company’s Swiss-style chocolate egg (6 ounces) is a delicious piece of artwork — with swirls or color — and hand decorated with your child’s name. This egg is not only nice to look at, but it also offers big bites of smooth chocolate. As an interesting side note, Ryan Novak, the owner of the company, was 15 when he started washing dishes and mopping floors at the store located in Marcellus, New York. He worked his way up through every position in the store and, in 2010, at the age of 21, Novak purchased the company. He expanded his company into the biggest maker of chocolate in central New York with a new production and retail facility in addition to the Marcellus, New York, store.
These little white chocolate bunnies from Vosges, a Chicago company, are filled with dripping caramel that are infused with dried strawberries, lemon zest, and hibiscus. Vosges earns the right to call their chocolate gourmet because these bunnies taste like real strawberries and not fake strawberry flavoring. My only regret is that one bunny is gone in two bites and there are only five bunnies in the nicely wrapped (1.9 ounce) package. Available at fine grocery stores.
Lisieux Nail Polish features Christian-themed nail polish with colors named after saints, places in the Bible, or Church tradition. In 2016, Kristen Popov, from Syracuse, New York, created the company after noticing other nail polish companies used crass names for their line of colors. She saw a need in the market for a professional quality polish whose color names bring to mind holiness. For example, her shimmery wine-colored polish called “Water into Wine” (.04 fluid ounces) is named after Christ’s first miracle performed at the Wedding Feast at Cana.
Lovely, handmade pendant of the twin hearts of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary encircled by the crown of thorns from Catholic Gift Company. Features 1-inch bronze setting with your choice of an 18 or 24-inch chain with lobster clasp. Catholic Gift Company is owned by Heidi DeAlessio, a Catholic wife and mom of four from New Milford, Connecticut. She opened her business with “a desire to provide gifts for Catholic families that keep them connected to their Catholic faith.”
Pair the two hearts necklace with Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque And the Sacred Heart of Jesus by Emily Beata Marsh, FSP. This illustrated book is about how St. Margaret Mary brought the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus to the world. Written in an engaging style, my 7 and 9-year-old children loved learning about Sr. Margaret Mary became a Visitation Sister, about how Jesus appeared to her, and about First Friday devotions. Like many of the books in Pauline’s Encounter the Saints series, this book included information about other saints of the time. In this book, we learned about St. Margaret Mary’s confessor, St. Claude de la Colombière, SJ.
Handmade in Italy by an artist who does church murals, this vibrantly colored Agnus Dei ceramic tile (approximately 4″ x 4″) is perfect for a home altar or to hang on the wall. TerryTiles Etsy Shop offers hundreds of religious ceramic tiles for traditional and modern taste including the Stations of the Cross. It ships from Italy, so it might cut it close to make it in time for Easter Sunday. Luckily Eastertide lasts 50 days, so, really, your gift won’t be late if it arrives after April 1.
Handmade by a mom in Maine, Eco Finger Paint features five paint colors — blue, green, orange, magenta, and yellow — made from plant extracts. You mix the powder with water, so no wasted paint — just fun.
Wire Farmhouse Basket
You’ll need something nice to hold your Easter finds, and this vintage-inspired Farmhouse Basket (12.5″W x 8.2″ D x 7″H), made of wire with a wooden handle, from World Market won’t end up in a closet somewhere. It’s pretty and it can be used to store fruit and vegetables after Easter — if your children let you.