Easter 2017 Gift Guide
Catholic Digest’s2017 Easter gift guide features custom gifts designed especially for Catholic Digest readers, gifts for children and adults, and a special recipe.
By Lori Hadacek Chaplin
Children’s Easter basket surprises
RELIGIOUS-THEMED EASTER GIFT BAGS
Specially designed for Catholic Digest readers, KPort Gift Company Easter gift bags have eight vintage religious designs printed on organic cotton muslin. Perfect for packaging small gifts like toys, notes, candy, gift cards, and jewelry. Washable. $12 (eight 3x5 bags) or $13 (eight 4x6 bags) from www.etsy.com/listing/480452058/easter-religious-catholic-gift-bags-set?ref=shop_home_active_1&campaign_label=convo_notifications&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=convo_notifications_010170_10683759063_0_0&utm_medium=email&utm_content=&email_sent=1479908786&euid=5DXbB80RDJz3VQJCEg0WaSLpjbWx&eaid=315594736&x_eaid=899db7c7b2">Etsy.com/shop/KPortGiftCompany.
MOTHER TERESA GRAPHIC NOVEL
Mother Teresa of Kolkata: Saint among the Poor is one of the latest action-packed graphic novels from Pauline Books and Media. Illustrated in full color, the story of Mother Teresa’s life is told, beginning with her childhood, following her to the convent, and detailing her good works in India. Also included is a foreword from a priest who traveled and worked with Mother Teresa. Recommended for children ages 8-10. $12.95 from Store.Pauline.org.
GLORY BUMBLEBEE PILLOWCASE
Add a little whimsy to Easter baskets with this 300-thread count pillowcase featuring the words “Glory be!” $16.95 from www.catholiccompany.com/glory-bumblebee-pillowcase-i121958/?sli=9890069">CatholicCompany.com. 15 percent off orders of $35 or more with code: catholicco.
HANDMADE EASTER BUNNY FAVORS
Adorable tiny handmade bunny babies by California doll maker Tania Prosser are made with cotton knit velour, a wood ball, and felt ears. $6 each (2½” tall) from www.etsy.com/listing/269155396/easter-bunny-waldorf-decor-rabbit?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=easter&ref=sr_gallery_14">Etsy.com/Shop/FairyShadow.
LITTLE TOWN ON THE PRAIRIE ON AUDIO
Little Town on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder is now an audiobook. For the first time, you can download this title and all the others in the nine-book Little House on the Prairie series. Read by screen and Broadway actress Cherry Jones, Little Town on the Prairie takes place in De Smet, South Dakota. Follow Laura as she takes her first teaching job. $18.99 from HarperAudio.HC.com.
EEBOO WATERCOLOR PENCILS AND SKETCHBOOK
New from eeBoo is artist Melissa Sweet’s Bird’s Nest illustrated watercolor tin and matching sketchbook. Looking for something less pink? They also carry these items with illustrations featuring wildlife, robots, and airplanes. $16.99 (24 watercolor pencils and tin); $5.99 (60-page 8.5x11 sketchbook) from Shop.eeBoo.com.
WAFF combo notebooks’ unique waffle texture makes it possible to decorate and personalize your journal with accompanying lettered/emoji cubes. (Use code “waffbunny” for 20 percent off from April 10-16, 2017.) $12.99-$28.99 from Waffstore.MyShopify.com.
CUDDLE + KIND BUNNIES
Give a Chloe or Benedict bunny doll, and 10 meals will be donated to children in need. Cuddle + Kind’s goal is to donate 1 million meals a year. These fair-trade dolls are made by Peruvian artisans. $48 (13” bunny) or $68 (20” bunny) from www.cuddleandkind.com/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=ck">CuddleAndKind.com.
PROPS IN A BAG
Kids love to play dress up, and with Props in a Bag, parents and grandparents can encourage creative play. Choose between the builder, the camper, the magician, and the superhero. $29.99 from PropsInABox.com.
THE WOLF AND THE SHIELD
The Wolf and the Shield: An Adventure with Saint Patrick by Sherry Weaver Smith has all the best ingredients — a brave young protagonist, a wolf cub, and St. Patrick — for a Catholic adventure story. Set in fifth-century Ireland, 11-year-old Kieran’s misguided ambition is to join a ruthless band of warriors. When he rescues a wolf cub and unexpectedly meets St. Patrick, he begins to rethink his aspirations and what he knows about Christians. Recommended for ages 7-10. $10.95 from Store.Pauline.org.
EASTER GIFTS FOR TEENS/YOUNG ADULTS
KEEPING THE FAITH PRAYER BOOK
Keeping the faith: Prayers For College Students by Kerry Weber is the perfect short book (64 pages) for the high school junior or senior who’ll soon be attending college or for the college student in your family. Prayer topics include selecting a major, studying abroad, and getting an on-campus job. $5.35 from TwentyThirdPublications.com.
SCRIPTURE ILLUMINATED COLORING BOOK
Scripture Illuminated: A Coloring Book for Prayer and Meditation features Celtic, Roman, Gothic, and Renaissance style designs. Inspired by illuminated manuscripts, with a verse from the Bible, the book offers a creative way to meditate on Scripture. $16.95 from Store.Pauline.org.
THE GLORY OF COLOR COLORING JOURNAL
The Glory Of Color: Adult Coloring Journal For Catholics With Prayers And Scripture provides an opportunity for teens to meditate on profound quotes by Pope Francis, biblical figures, and popular saints while journaling and coloring. Each coloring page is accompanied by a lined journal page and a short quote. $10.95 from www.osv.com/Shop/Product?ProductCode=T1824">OSV.com.
TORRIE & HOWARD ORGANIC HARD CANDY
Easter baskets will look beautiful with Torrie & Howard’s hard candy-filled cardboard handbag. Included are four natural flavors: d’anjou pear and cinnamon; pomegranate and nectarine; blood orange and honey; and pink grapefruit and tupelo honey. Allergen-free. $7.99 from TorieAndHoward.com.
ADULTS LIKE EASTER GIFTS TOO!
Karen Berry started PrayerBowls after a near-death illness. During her recovery she learned that a complete stranger had prayed for her every day for one year, and that woman shared with her that she kept a prayer bowl. “Each day she’d ask the Lord’s blessing on the people who were in need at that time. I loved the idea so much that I quickly decided to create a distinctive prayer bowl,” explains Berry on her website.The prayer bowl, which holds prayer cards, serves as a reminder to pray daily for those the Lord puts in your path. “I am a believer in the power of prayer,” Berry says. $52 for the Celeste set (a bundle of prayer cards included) from PrayerBowls.com.
GLENSTAL ABBEY APPLE BRANDY TRUFFLES
Easter candy doesn’t have to be only for kids! Imported from Glenstal Abbey, Ireland,handmade dark chocolate truffles are flavored with award-winning artisanal apple brandy. $14.95 (eight truffles) from www.monasterygreetings.com/product/glenstal-abbey-apple-brandy-chocolate-truffles/New_Food">MonasteryGreetings.com.
BIALETTI COLD BREW MAKER
Brew smoother, less bitter coffee with the Bialetti cold brew coffee maker. Instead of heat, this coffee maker relies on time, steeping coarsely ground coffee at room temperature or cold water for 18-24 hours. Coffee can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 14 days. Makes approximately three cups. $29.99 from www.amazon.com/Bialetti-6765-Cold-Brew-Maker/dp/B01N0CLJLH/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=kitchen&ie=UTF8&qid=1489024564&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=BIALEtti++I+COLD+BREW+MAKER">Amazon.com.
HOLY WATER AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE FOR CATHOLICS BOOK
St. Teresa of Avila said, “I have myself felt an extraordinary consolation when I have used holy water. It is certain that I have felt a great joy and inner peace which I cannot describe.” In his book Holy Water and Its Significance for Catholics, Fr. Henry Theiler fleshes out the numerous beneficial effects that holy water has on the body and soul. For example, it causes the remission of venial sin and takes away temporal punishment due to sin. Also included in the book are ways to use holy water every day, written by Gretchen Filz, along with prayers for blessing oneself with holy water. $11.95 (paperback), $9.95 (ebook) from www.sophiainstitute.com/products/item/holy-water">SophiaInstitute.com.
Prices are subject to change.
HOMEMADE fudge Easter eggs
Mary Kimbrough, 92, has been making fudge Easter eggs for 70 years.
“In the beginning, the eggs weren’t so pretty, but the kids loved them,” Kimbrough, a resident of Nampa, Idaho, told Catholic Digest. “My late husband loved my eggs; I had to make sure he had the same amount in his basket as our children’s.”
Kimbrough’s husband passed away in 2009, and now one of her favorite Catholic priests, Fr. Jerry Funk from St. John’s in Boise, Idaho, puts his request in early for eggs.
“Fr. Jerry starts hounding me at least two months before Easter. He loves my eggs,” said Kimbrough, who used to own a cake shop.
Every year since Kimbrough moved from California to Idaho in 2003, she has been making 500 to 700 eggs for family, friends, and churches. “I’ve never sold one egg. I give them all away.”
Now, Kimbrough is giving her recipe to Catholic Digest readers!
Mary Kimbrough’s Easter egg recipe
In a large bowl mix well:
½ pound margarine or butter
½ teaspoon vanilla
18 ounces chocolate chips (or choose mint, peanut
butter, or cherry-flavored chips)
2 cups nuts
7-ounce jar marshmallow cream
Set bowl aside.
In a large saucepan mix:
4½ cups white sugar
12-ounce can evaporated milk
Constantly stir sugar and milk for 10 minutes, bringing to a rolling boil, and then remove from heat. • Pour hot mixture into the bowl with the marshmallow cream mixture and stir with a spoon until combined. Pour into 9x12 buttered pans. Let cool at room temperature for several hours. The fudge needs to be cool enough to hold its shape but not too solid so it won’t mold. • Measure out approximately 4 ounces of the fudge and form by hand into an Easter egg shape. (If you try to form eggs and they fall apart, the fudge has not cooled long enough.) Makes about 20 eggs. Let eggs rest for 12 hours before coating with chocolate.
2 to 3 12-ounce packages of chocolate Wilton Candy Melts (you can also choose white chocolate or flavored chocolate)
Melt candy at a very low temperature so it does not burn. Hand dip eggs in warm chocolate and allow to cool completely before decorating.
Royal icing for flower decoration
1 pound powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
3½ ounces hot water
½ teaspoon cream of tartar
Beat all ingredients (except food coloring) together in a glass or metal bowl. Divide royal icing into three or more bowls and add a different hue of food coloring (as many drops as needed until the desired shade) to each bowl and then beat. Pipe flowers using a big-star tip onto wax paper and allow to cool completely before topping eggs. Cover leftover icing with a damp cloth, and beat to rejuvenate. Yields 3½ cups of royal icing.