When my mother was a young mom, with just one little girl (me), she dreamed of putting a fancy chocolate egg in my Easter basket. When she was little, her father had worked extra shifts, as Easter approached, so that he could stop by the candy counter at the J.C. Penney department store and buy these eggs—the kind with rich truffle insides, personalized with your name and a pastel flower on top. Unfortunately, such a purchase was beyond her budget, so she turned her disappointment into resourcefulness and found a gingerbread cookie recipe. She designed her own bunny pattern cut from a brown grocery sack and invented “ginger bunnies.” As it turned out, I was delighted with my cookie, so mom passed on fancy chocolate eggs from then on and a tradition was born.
These bunny cookies’ ears are usually filled with pink frosting and their tails are decorated with coconut flakes, marshmallows or sprinkles. Most importantly, each over-sized cookie features the name of a child. This way, a basket that is hidden can easily be identified and either retrieved or passed over during the annual Easter hunt. These soft, spicy cookies continue to be a much-anticipated and beloved part of Easter morning, because as an extended family we continue to honor it—in three different states and for more than a dozen grandchildren.
Ginger bunnies have even been prepared and baked ahead of time, so that they can be carefully packaged and sent to missionaries who are serving far from home. Every year, as I roll out my big ball of refrigerated dough and carefully cut around my grocery-sack pattern, I am reminded that it isn’t the big and expensive things we do, but rather the small and simple things that plant the seed of happy memories and create family connections across generations.
And, so that these traditions are passed on, we write them down. In the Book of Mormon, Jacob reminds us, “…we can write a few words which will give our children a small degree of knowledge concerning us, and in this thing we do rejoice, hoping that our children will receive (these stories) with thankful hearts, and look upon them that they may learn with joy concerning their parents.” (Jacob 4:2-3).
This post was submitted by blogger Stacy Julian. Ms. Julian currently writes for her own blog site called “a very fruitful tree.” You can contact Ms. Julian at firstname.lastname@example.org