Tuesday, March 22nd

Celebrating Easter

Easter, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after the Crucifixion, is Christianity’s most important holiday. Easter is a moveable holiday, celebrated in the West on the first Sunday following the full moon after the vernal equinox on March 21. Orthodox Christians typically celebrate the holiday a week or two after the Western churches. In either case, Easter Mass is considered the most important service of the year.

In the week before Easter, many families dye hard-boiled eggs with food coloring. These eggs are used for decoration or as part of the Easter egg hunt. Stores sell special kits for this purpose, or food coloring can be used.

Easter mornings for Christians typically start with the hunt for the Easter basket, left by the Easter Bunny. The Easter Bunny is a mythical character that children are told comes the night before Easter and leaves the Easter baskets for the children. Some families make bunny tracks with powder throughout the house or, if the weather cooperates, in the snow outside. Easter baskets typically contain a chocolate Easter bunny, jelly beans, marshmallow Peeps, and chocolate eggs.

An Easter egg hunt, using either hard-boiled eggs or plastic hollow eggs, filled with candy and pennies, is an Easter tradition loved by young and old. Youngsters, sometimes still dressed in their Easter finery, hunt for eggs hidden either at home or at community-sponsored events.

Every year, the White House hosts an Easter Egg Roll. This tradition is 138 years old. This year, 35,000 people will gather on the South Lawn to enjoy games, a fun-run, cooking demonstrations, stories, and the traditional egg roll. Artist Joy Cho designed the five commemorative eggs, consisting of 4 eggs signed by the President and First Lady, and one “signed” with the paw prints of Bo and Sunny, the First Family’s Portuguese Water Dogs.

Easter Greeting Cards at Greeting Card Universe

Greeting Card Universe also carries Easter cards for those relationships you often don’t see elsewhere, such as For Both My Dads or Both my Moms , In Remembrance, For Work Husband or For Work Wife

Greeting Card Universe Easter Time/Spring Has Sprung Pinterest Board

Tuesday, March 31st

Easter: A Time of Miracles


Christians throughout the world celebrate the miraculous resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday, putting the spring fertility symbols of bunnies and eggs in second place, but other miracles are believed to have taken place over the years during this holiday. Here are a couple of the times when people have had a very personal reason to thank God when Easter came around.

In April 1954 in Oklahoma City, 9 year old Patricia Payne received a minor head injury when she was hit by a swing on the playground. She seemed fine until after she came home from a movie, fell asleep and didn’t wake up. Her terrified parents took her to the hospital where she lapsed into a coma for three days. On day four, the crisis came and her father watched her die, but doctors resuscitated her and scheduled an emergency operation to remove a blood clot from her brain. The next day, Patricia woke from her coma, an Easter miracle for which her parents were thankful.

On Easter Sunday in Moscow, Idaho in 1993, high schooler Chad Pierce and his younger brother Gil were hunting squirrels. When a squirrel ran into a long irrigation pipe, Gil lifted the pipe to shake the critter loose. Unfortunately, the pipe hit an overhead power line and Gil received a massive jolt of 15,000 volts of electricity. When he fell unconscious and not breathing, Chad began CPR, but Gil didn’t respond. He had no pulse. Chad carried what he believed to be his brother’s corpse to the car. On the way to the hospital, Gil regained consciousness. Doctors told Chad he’d saved Gil’s life. Later, their father Ward Pierce said Chad’s actions and Gil’s recovery were, “a plain Easter miracle.”

Cincinnati, Ohio bus driver, Elmer Hambaugh, received his own Easter miracle on Good Friday in April 1980 when he noticed his bus – he’d left the engine running and the brake on – rolling toward the street. Without thinking, he ran after the bus and managed to catch hold of a sign on the rear, but slipped and fell on his stomach under the bus. Hambaugh was praying for a miracle when the heavy bus wheel ran over his left foot … and suddenly stopped. Later, doctors found that amazingly, his foot wasn’t crushed, but had received only severe bruises and cuts.

Greeting Card Universe helps you celebrate the miracle of Easter with our unique Religious Easter Cards in traditional and contemporary designs. Running a little late? Buying last minute cards couldn’t be easier. Just order on-line and get free, in-store pick-up – usually in 1 hour – at most Target and Bartell Drug Stores.

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Wednesday, March 25th

Basket Case: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Easter


Easter is a religious holy day for some, a fun occasion and an excuse to eat a lot of chocolates and candy for others. Whether you’re a Christian rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ or you’re celebrating the arrival of Spring and the Easter Bunny, here are some facts about this annual holiday you may not know:

  • Easter baskets originally derived from Catholics taking Lenten food with them to Mass. But in the 19th century, European chocolatiers began crafting beautiful chocolate Easter eggs and elaborate sugar eggs to give as gifts. By the early 20th century, the idea of an Easter basket filled with sweet goodies caught on like wildfire. Today in the US, Easter is the second most popular candy giving holiday.
  • It’s customary for Polish Catholics and descendants of Polish immigrants in the US, Canada and elsewhere  to bring a basket filled with symbolic Easter food, such as butter shaped like a lamb, colored hard boiled eggs, meats like lamb and ham, horseradish, bread and sweet baked goods to the church to be blessed by the priest−a practice called Święconka that has been going on since the 7th century.
  • The Easter bunny hasn’t always delivered the Easter egg goods. Before the bunny hippity-hoppity’d his way to the top—thanks to German immigrants to the US, the holiday egg-bringer was a rooster (the Belgian Walloons), the crane (Westphalia), the stork (Thuringia), the fox or hare (Germany) or a cuckoo (Switzerland).
  • In Finland, the Easter celebration is a lot like Halloween—children dress as witches or trolls and go door to door. The girls carry pussy-willow twigs decorated with feathers and demand treats. Here it’s not the Easter Bunny but the Easter chicken who brings colored eggs.
  • Long ago in European countries, Easter eggs formed part of the tithe (rent) paid to one’s landlord and were given to important villagers like the priest, schoolmaster and village grave digger!

Spring into Easter with Greeting Card Universe’s unique collection of Religious Easter Cards or just fun Easter Cards for every member of your family and friends. It’s easy! Order on-line, add a personal message and your cards will be in the mail the next business day. Or get free in-store pick-up, usually in 1 hour, at most Target and Bartell Drug Stores.

 

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Wednesday, March 27th

Five Egg-Cellent Easter Traditions

Easter is both a secular and religious holiday, a moveable feast whose date varies each year. In 2013, Easter falls on Sunday, March 31. Some traditions are universal, such as attending Mass or a religious service, while other Easter traditions reflect the rich cultural heritage of individual nations. Here are five Easter traditions from the global community that go beyond chocolate bunnies and jelly beans.

Red Eggs in Greece: Holy Week – the period from Palm Sunday to Easter, is the most important time in the Greek Orthodox Church’s calendar. While eggs are dyed, the only color used is red to symbolize the blood of Christ. Red is also the color of life. The eggs are distributed by priests following the Easter liturgy.

The Easter Bilby in Australia: Rabbits are considered invasive and destructive pests in Australia, so the Easter bunny isn’t a popular figure. Instead, since 1991, many Australians enjoy a chocolate Easter Bilby, an endangered rare marsupial. Money raised by chocolate bilby sales fund protection campaigns.

Like Halloween in Finland: Beginning on Palm Sunday, many children dress as witches and  go door to door, wishing each householder God’s blessing while fanning them with willow branches. In return, they receive sweets, Easter eggs, and chocolates. The Easter witch is a popular character in many Nordic countries. While this began as two separate traditions in different parts of the country, they have blended together in modern times.

Watering of the Girls: In Hungary, an old folk custom and fertility rite  is followed on Easter Monday, also known as Ducking Monday. Young men and women dress in traditional costume, and the young men sprinkle or spray water on the girls (or sometimes empty an entire bucket over them). Instead of water, a boy might spray the girl with perfume or cologne instead. Afterward, he asks for a kiss and may also receive a red dyed egg.

Whip It in Slovakia: As part of the Easter celebration, men and boys carry a traditional woven willow cane decorated with ribbons. They chase girls and women and “whip” them on the legs, but the blows are supposed to be symbolic rather than painful. The woman offer children chocolate and men a drink of spirits, and also add a ribbon to the cane. While the folk custom is becoming rarer in cities, and many modern women dislike the practice, in rural areas it’s still believed to help women be fertile and healthy for the coming year.

Greeting Card Universe offers thousands of unique Easter cards in 84 categories AND you have the convenience of ordering on-line and picking up your cards – usually within one hour – at most local Target stores. So hop to it and send wonderful Easter wishes to your family and friends!

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Saturday, March 31st

5 Easter Traditions and What They Mean

Spring is bustin’ out all over!

Nature renews itself, coming out in vibrant greens after the winter doldrums, the clocks “spring ahead” an hour, and Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the ecclesiastical  full moon following the Vernal Equinox. This year (2012), Easter falls on April 8th.

Easter is, for many, a Christian festival celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ as well as the end of Lent. However, in the Western world, certain non-religious traditions have become part of the Easter celebration. Want to know more about your favorite parts of Easter? Here are…

5 EASTER TRADITIONS & WHAT THEY MEAN

Easter Parade: In America, the Easter parade tradition began in New York City when high society ladies and gents in the mid-1800’s, who attended services at Fifth Avenue churches, promenaded afterward, both to view the magnificent flower displays in other churches and to show off their new outfits and hats, which were, of course, the latest fashion. Lower and middle class people gathered to watch the spectacle, making it a popular festivity. Today,other cities host their own Easter parades including New Orleans and Richmond, VA.

Easter Eggs: The tradition of decorating eggs for Easter is believed to have pagan origins, as eggs are a symbol of fertility and the renewal of life. The practice of Christians decorating eggs to symbolize Christ’s tomb and His resurrection began sometime in the 13th century. The secular practice of egg-hunting began with egg rolling, first recorded in 1878 as taking place on the White House lawn when President Rutherford B. Hayes was in office. The annual White House Easter Egg Roll still takes place today on the Monday after Easter.

Easter Bunny: The precise  origins of the Easter Bunny aren’t clear, but most folklorists and historians believe the egg-laying rabbit may have been brought to America by German immigrants in the early 18th century. Their children believed the “Osterhase,” a white hare, would lay colorful eggs if they were good, and the custom spread.  In the 19th century, the Easter Bunny’s offerings grew sweeter, leading us to…

Easter Candy: The first Easter confections were made in Germany from pastry and sugar. In the early 19th century, including chocolate eggs in a child’s Easter basket became popular in Europe – likely due to the new industrial chocolate manufacturing – and the practice soon spread to America. Jelly beans, though first mass marketed by William Schraft in the 1860’s, began to be put into children’s Easter baskets in the 1930’s (note that flavors – such as cherry and black licorice- were not added to jelly beans until the 1970’s). Bonus facts: the world’s largest chocolate Easter egg was created in 2010 by Supermercados Imperatriz Ltda and Nestlé in Brazil – the egg weighed 14,917 pounds 2 oz. The largest chocolate rabbit stood 12′ 5″ tall, weighed in excess of 6,635 pounds, and was made for Duracell (the Energizer Bunny, anyone) in South Africa.

Easter Ham: In Europe, lamb has long been a staple of the Easter dinner table. However, in colonial America, ham was far more plentiful in many communities. Hams put up in November to cure would be ready to eat by April. By the 1930’s, home cooks were experimenting with various methods of glazing their hams for increased sweetness including pineapple, molasses, sugar, ginger ale, marshmallows, and honey. Today, many Americans enjoy a traditional ham dinner, although some prefer vegetarian or other healthful options.

Greeting Card Universe offers lots of custom Easter greeting cards for you to exchange with family and friends. From religious cards celebrating “He is Risen” to designs featuring the Easter bunny, rabbits, eggs, chicks, flowers, and other symbols of spring, our “egg-cellent” selection is sure to please.

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Friday, April 22nd

Easter: Its Beginnings and Its Cross-Cultural Traditions

Easter Greeting CardFor the very little ones in the family, Easter 2011 will be the first Easter they celebrate. For others, this is one of many Easters that have been enjoyed throughout the course of their lifetimes. While having the fortune of celebrating many Easters is a good thing, one unfortunate outcome is we experience so many Easters we start to take the holiday for granted. The origins of Easter become somewhat peripheral and that is a great shame. Easter truly is a vaunted and valuable holiday for many which is why its history and traditions are so well worth remembering and honoring.

Easter is frequently considered the most important of all Christian holidays. Yes, it can be considered even more important that Christmas. The Christian tradition of Easter entails celebrating and memorializing the resurrection of Jesus Christ three days after his passing from crucifixion. This holiday is intended to acknowledge the divine nature of Jesus and to reflect on his ascent into heaven for the forgiveness of humankind’s sins.

So, where does the Easter Bunny fit in?

No, this is not stated as a flippant segue. It is simply stated so bluntly that when we do not reflect on 2,000 years of history we lose some insights into the totality of a holiday’s tradition. The Easter Bunny is a whimsical symbol of the Easter Holiday that emerged innocuously and became far more popular than people imagined.

In many ways, the concept of an Easter Bunny is similar to that of Santa Claus. The Easter Bunny rewards young children for being good by providing them with candies, toys, bright colored eggs, and sometimes even Easter greeting cards. The image of the rabbit as a gift giver likely dates back to the Holy Roman Empire and, like many Roman/Pagan symbols, it was incorporated into Christian symbolism and given a more positive image and meaning. The symbol of the rabbit in pre-Christian Rome was representative of fertility and is a far cry from the wholesome image the Easter Bunny presents today.

The modern concept of The Easter Bunny dates back to the 17th century in Germany. The concept of an Easter Bunny helped children too young to understand the full significance of Easter to enthusiastically celebrate it.

The Easter Bunny remained a German tradition almost exclusively until the 18th century when immigrants to America brought with them their culture and traditions. There clearly was a huge benefit to welcoming the Easter Bunny to the new world: he helped children behave! Remember, only those children that were good would receive bright colored eggs in a basket on Easter morning. The promise of such a gift could certainly motivate a young one to behave properly.

The holiday of Easter, like so many holidays, can be considered an amalgam of various cultural traditions. In many ways, this is a good thing because it allows the holiday to remain perennially popular.

Thursday, March 10th

Spring Is Near!

For many Americans, the thought of spring sounds like relief from a long and cold winter. After months of clouds, rain and snow, it is time for the sun to warm the fields and melt the snow. Spring is the time when families begin to plan picnics in the park and for some cultures, it is also the time of the new year!

The first day of spring marks the Persian New Year, also known as NoRooz, a tradition that has been celebrated for nearly 2000 years. NoRooz means ‘new day’ and not only marks the day to start the new year, but also the day to start the life giving season of Spring! With under 2 weeks left of winter, now is the best time to send out Persian New Year Cards.

Another holiday that is just around the corner in spring is Easter. This year, Easter falls on Sunday April 24th, and marks a day that brings many families together, around the world. Traditional celebrations include picnics and large family gatherings where great feasts are enjoyed and the children participate in Easter egg hunts. Our selection of Easter Cards offers you access to the highest quality artist created cards online!

The last holiday you need to remember this Spring is Admin Professionals Day. From small businesses to multi-national corporations, administrative professionals have been helping busy executives for years. Admin Professionals Day is on Wednesday, April 27th and offers you the chance to say thank you to all of the people who help keep your business running smoothly. Take the time to send out Admin Professionals Day Cards, this year!

With GCU’s help, sending out cards becomes quick and easy! Take the time to reach out to those you care about this spring. Sending out unexpected greeting cards to your friends, family members and co-workers offers you a great opportunity to express your gratitude in a way that will surely make them feel appreciated.

Happy NoRooz Card Happy Easter Card Admin Professional Day Card
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