The social distancing that is being asked of all of us is providing a quiet and somber Lent. But you still need Pascha gifts for the little ones you love. You don’t want to go to the mall. And, as you may have heard, Amazon may not be stocking non-essential items.
That doesn’t mean you can’t get Pascha gifts! I’ve got links here to wonderful (mostly handmade) gifts that will be perfect for your little one’s Pascha basket. Or, if you’d rather, you and your children can spend quiet mornings making beautiful Pascha gifts. I’ve got step-by-step instructions for glass icons, red egg ornaments, and more.
Of course we’ll start with books. Because books make the best Pascha gifts. I always, always put books in my kids’ baskets. And there are two picture books that you can get that are explicitly about Pascha!
Catherine’s Pascha is about a little girl named Catherine celebrating Pascha with her family and her best friend, Elizabeth. The book works on many levels, depending on the age and sophistication of the reader. For the youngest readers, it’s the story of a child who wants to stay awake all night for the Pascha celebration. It focuses on the parts of the celebration most loved by children. At the same time, it shows the inclusivity of the Church, and it explores the universality of Pascha across space and time.
The Lucky Egg by Anna Prokos follows a little boy named Billy as he and his family celebrate Greek Easter. The story focuses on family and fun. The grandparents help prepare the special foods to celebrate the feast. They all go to church to celebrate Pascha in the middle of the night. Billy’s family brings decorated candles from home. They shout Christ is risen! and Christos anesti! And then they return home to share their special Pascha breakfast. Read my full review of The Lucky Egg.
Mother Melania’s sweet Pascha at the Duckpond and The Three-Day Pascha would be delightful to add to any child’s Pascha basket. They’re both by Mother Melania and available at the Holy Assumption Monastery bookstore or Kindle.
Children who are reading chapter books will enjoy Queen Abigail the Wise by Grace Brooks.
If you already have all of those, check out these six exceptional multicultural Easter picture books.
Where to get books
Of course, you can get Catherine’s Pascha on my website. But you should seriously consider getting books from your local indie bookstore. People just aren’t coming in to buy books like they ordinarily would. If you order Pascha gifts from them, online or by phone, you will help ensure that your favorite bookstore is still there when the pandemic is over.
A Good Book is my local indie store. If you don’t have a local bookseller, you can call the folks at A Good Book, or message them on Facebook. They can help you get any book you want, and some that you didn’t know you wanted.
Handmade dolls, toy censers, and crocheted eggs
Matushka Anna is the amazing talent behind Cozy House Curios. She creates all manner of wonderful handmade toys (plus clothing and accessories for you or your little ones).
Matushka Anna’s handmade Waldorf-style dolls are absolutely amazing and utterly gorgeous.
She can make a doll that looks like your little one.
But more popular for Pascha are the priest, monk, and nun dolls.
The dolls for babies come with everything stitched down tight, with no small parts that your little one can pull off or chew off.
She can make a custom priest or monastic doll that looks like your priest or a nun your child knows and loves.
The last day to order custom dolls for Pascha is April 1. Remember, they are handmade, one at a time, by one person. So they take time. If you want one for Pascha, get your order in ASAP.
Crocheted red eggs
I’m sure you’ve thought of getting wooden eggs for your little ones for Pascha. Or musical shaker eggs. But those eggs make noise when your little one takes them to church. These crocheted red eggs are beautiful and quiet. They’re perfect for your child’s church bag.
You’ll need to order red eggs by April 8 to be sure to get them for Pascha.
Crocheted censer for liturgical play
With one of these beautiful crocheted censers from Cozy House Curios, you can add liturgical play to your child’s dress-up corner. Matushka Anna makes the censers in silver and gold, with and without bells (or with detachable bells!).
The last day to order a censer, if you want it for Pascha, is April 8. Because these are hand-made, if you want to be sure to get one, you might want to order soon!
Wooden saint blocks and playsets
I love Little Saints blocks and playsets! The 1.5 x 3 inch blocks are just the right size for little hands. They’re made from maple, with images printed directly on the wood. The edges are nicely rounded.
The images are inspired by Orthodox iconography, and there’s a simple prayer to the saint printed on the back of each block. But these blocks are toys to play with, not icons to venerate.
Besides blocks for your little one’s patron saint (like this one of St. Nicholas), they also have larger playsets for the Divine Liturgy, Holy Friday, and the Resurrection.
Folk art glass icons
You may think it’s just too expensive to commission a real hand-painted icon for a child. Peasants in 19th century Transylvania couldn’t afford icons, either. So they created their own, painting the icons on the back side of a piece of glass. Glass icons created in this tradition have the vividness and immediacy of folk art, while still being icons in the aid of prayer.
And they are much less expensive than conventional icons painted on wooden boards. Check out the sizes and prices on iconographer Maria Sider-Rose’s website, Immanuel Icons. If you want to commission a glass icon for Pascha, you must order by Annunciation.
Pascha kitchen towels and such
So, the kitchen towels aren’t for children. But they’re wonderful! And they’re not the only wonderful things you’ll find at This and That Homestead Shop on Etsy. You’ll also find crocheted baby blankets and baby booties, and lots of other nice Pascha gifts.
Linen Easter bunny loveys and Easter bunny bonnets
Celeste is a teacher at St. Raphael School, and she supplements her family income with things she creates at Woodland Wild Handmade. Right now, she has adorable Easter bunny loveys and Easter bunny bonnets. They’re handmade of linen, perfect for your little one’s Easter basket.
Draw Near Designs
Don’t miss the Draw Near Designs Shop for some awesome coloring books (“Pascha to Pentecost” is my favorite).
And check out the Draw Near Designs Marketplace. This curated collection includes child-size prayer ropes, games, books, and a variety of other gifts.
Pascha gifts you can make
Folk glass icon project
This glass icon project was developed by iconographer Maria Sider-Rose. The step-by-step instructions make it far easier than you’d expect. Children can do it. So can grownups. And you can order the pigments you’ll need online.
Embroidered Pascha basket covers
If you check out the Practical Blackwork shop on Etsy, you’ll find all sorts of wonderful embroidery patterns, including patterns for the Pascha basket covers that were designed for Catherine’s Pascha!
Tracy’s counted blackwork patterns are incredibly easy. If you can count, and do a backstitch, you can do them. If you’re not sure of your skills, you can try one, absolutely free. It’s called Peter’s Basket Cover. This pattern uses traditional Ukrainian motifs adapted for blackwork stitching techniques. It’s easy enough for beginners. And did I mention that it’s free?
If you want one of her designs, but don’t want to embroider at all, she has one basket cover in the Etsy shop that she designed and embroidered. You just have to finish it the way you want it — line it, hem it, whatever. Check it out.
Pascha basket covers your kids can make
Your children will love this children’s Pascha basket cover project! They can make covers for their own baskets, or as a Pascha gift for their godparents. If you’re a crafty sort, you probably already have all the supplies you need.
Pascha egg ornaments
You and your kids can make beautiful red egg ornaments, for yourselves or to give as treasured gifts.
Adults and older kids can use blown eggshells. Younger kids can make the same projects using wooden eggs. Stay home, and get the supplies you need online from Michael’s online.
17 essential picture books for Orthodox Christian kids: These picture books all feature engaging stories with Orthodox Christian characters.
The Sweetest Easter Basket Treats: You can fill your little one’s Easter basket with gifts that are sweeter than candy, treats that last longer and mean more.
17 ways to use Catherine’s Pascha: Your children who love Catherine’s Pascha will love these activities that extend the book.
Buy the Book: Catherine’s Pascha
FINALIST IN THE 2015 USA BEST BOOK AWARDS
Catherine doesn’t like vegetables. She doesn’t like naps. She doesn’t like it when her mom combs her hair. She loves hot dogs, chocolate cake, and her best friend, Elizabeth. Most of all, she loves Pascha! Pascha, the Orthodox Christian Easter, is celebrated in the middle of the night, with processions and candles and bells and singing. And Catherine insists that she’s not a bit sleepy.