Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Easter is a Shapeshifter

History, and how our perceptions as society change over time, is fascinating to me. Is it fascinating to you?


For instance, where did the word Easter come from?


Originally it was called "Pascha," meaning Resurrection Sunday. (From the Jewish pesach, or Passover.) The word Easter comes from "Eostre," originally Ostarmanoth (or Eostremanoth), the name Charlemagne replaced April with. Eostre is an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "the month of opening" or "the month of beginnings," aka, SPRING. So because the Pascha fell in the season of Eostre, it eventually took on the name of Easter. (Word evolutions are a funny thing.)


You've probably heard that "Easter" came from pagan roots. That's what I'd heard. That may not be so. In fact, Easter eggs were a sign of new life. Bunnies were a symbol of new life as well in the sense of fertility. Might they have entered the picture later as a pagan symbol? Sure. But maybe not.


So whether you're religious or not, whether you believe or not, this recent holiday celebrates a sacred, religious moment in history. A moment that gives me hope.



Two weeks ago, JA Andrews shared A THREAT OF SHADOWS along with two truths and one lie. Anyone who guessed was entered to win an eBook, and if the randomly selected winner guessed the lie correctly, they would win the bonus A KEEPER'S TALE.

The game:

1. I have aphantasia, which is the inability to make pictures in my own head.
2. I hate aluminum foil so much that I refuse to touch it. Or anything it’s wrapped in. 
3. I have a degree in rocket science.

The lie: #2.  

From Simone: Huge lie. I actually have OCD and I'm a neat freak! I can't stand any extra clutter or things out of place. I like my house to look like a museum. Sometimes I drive my husband a little nuts with all of my organizing and getting rid of things we don't need, but our home is very peaceful. 

And the winner is:

...DRUM ROLL...

Liz!

Congrats, Liz!

And now for an AWESOME fantasy:

When Kara Magari uncovers a secret door in the middle of the forest, she discovers (and trips through) a portal to a hidden world full of terrifying things: Ourea. She just wants to go home, but the natives have other plans for her. She clashes with immortal shapeshifters, is carried off by a dragon, nearly dies on several occasions, and somehow becomes the master of an ancient book of magic called the Grimoire. Every time she thinks she’s safe, her new “friends” show their true colors.

Kara needs an ally, or she might not survive Ourea’s monsters. She drops her guard when Braeden, a native soldier with a dark secret, vows to keep her safe. And though she doesn’t know it, her growing attraction to him may just be her undoing.

For twelve years, Braeden Drakonin has lived a lie. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. Though he begins to care for this stranded girl, there’s something he wants more. He wants the Grimoire.

Welcome to Ourea, where only the cunning survive.

Buy your copy on Amazon.

Ready to meet the author?

When S. M. Boyce graduated with a degree in creative writing, she realized that made her well-qualified for serving French fries. It would take years of writing hundreds of thousands of words of all kinds before she became the fantasy and horror novelist she is today.


Boyce specializes in action-packed stories that weave in fantasy, mystery, and heroines with a knack for mischief. All romantic leads are based loosely on her husband, who proves that soulmates are real.

You might stumble across her munching on brie and apples.

S.M. Boyce gave me two truths and one lie to test your "lie detector" skills. If you guess the lie, right or wrong, you will be entered to win an eBook of LICHGATES(Open internationally.IF YOU DON'T HAVE A BLOGGER ACCOUNT WITH AN EMAIL ON THE PROFILE, PLEASE LEAVE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS IN THE COMMENTS OR EMAIL IT TO crystal@crystal-collier.com WITH YOUR SCREEN ALIAS.

You have until Tuesday, May 2nd at 2 p.m. EDT to guess. Be sure to come back for the answer on May 3, 8 a.m. EDT.
TRUTH OR LIE

1. Before quitting to write full time, I used to work as a software tester and was even promoted to lead/deemed the project expert of the software.
2. I planned a cross-country move from Maryland to Washington state in 2 weeks, from idea to move-in.
3. Due to an addiction to glittery things, I own 24 carats worth of diamond jewelry.

So sleuths, which is the lie? How do you feel about Easter? Do you celebrate it, and if so, how? Have you met S.M. Boyce? Do you like portal stories?

126 comments:

  1. Easter is all about hope. Without the Resurrection, there would be no hope of getting into Heaven.
    I'm going to guess the third one is the lie.

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    1. Totally agreed. It's my favorite holiday.

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  2. Congrats to S.M.Boyce on her new release. I'm going to say number 1 is the lie.
    Hope all is well with you, Crystal. Have a lovely week.

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    1. Thanks, Nicola! Doing well...mostly. =) Hope you have the best week as well!

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  3. Congrats on the new release. Number 3 for the lie.

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  4. A lovely take on Easter. Yes, I'd always believed it had its roots in a pagan festival, but I don't think that matters. Easter is about resurrection and yes, the eggs represent new life (not that I had any eggs this Easter, LOL!) Love the multi-colored chicks!

    The lie is #2.

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    1. Yeah, I kinda skipped out on the eggs this year too, but we'll blame that on the baby. =)

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  5. Hi Crystal - glad things are going to plan: up and down times ... Easter is Easter ... new beginnings with some careful thought. I think # 3 is the lie .. cheers and have a peaceful time ahead with the bump ... Hilary

    http://positiveletters.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/p-is-for-pigs.html

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    1. I'm about to answer your question on my WEP post ... give me a few minutes!! Cheers H

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  6. Fun information about Easter. I hope you had a fun day with your kids.

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  7. Thanks for the quirky tale of where the word "Easter came from. Congrats to Liz! I've seen S.M. Boyce's name around and I always assumed she was a he! Well, the initials are supposed to make L.X. Cain appear male, so it makes sense others would do it too. Have a great day, Crystal!

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  8. Sounds like an intriguing book! Definitely adding it to my TBR :-)

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  9. Fascinating history of the origin of Easter! I'm going to guess that #2 is the lie.

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  10. I love portal stories. This is a tricky one to guess, but I'm going with #3.

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  11. I'm ALL about celebrating the start of spring. Not religious and don't care to celebrate that, but sunshine and blooms and green grass? That's my heart!

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    1. Well, since spring is the coldest we get around here, it's pretty much a year round thing. =)

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  12. Nice to meet you Crystal! Loved your post on Easter thank you. Also Passover or Pesach, celebrating the Jews' exodus from bondage in Egypt to the Promised Land. I believe in your addiction to glittery things, unsure whether 24 carats is a lot or a little, it sounds like a lot so I'll go with #3. Say cheese ...:)

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    1. Cheese all the way! Thank you for the return visit, Susan. So wonderful to meet you!

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  13. I'd like to decorate for Easter more. There's something about the colors that just make me happy! And hopeful that warm weather will be sticking around for good. =)

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    1. LOL. Come to Florida. The warmth isn't a problem. ;)

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  14. Oh wow. And I thought I hadn't guessed the lie. (I've been wrong so often.)

    Word origins are weird. There's a blogger who does etymology once a week. Strange stuff.

    As for the lie, I'm going to guess #2.

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    1. I adore Etymology. Actually, I know of two bloggers who focus on it once a week. Both fascinating places to stop.

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  15. I love that guy in the second gif! ^_^

    I never knew where the word Easter came from. I'll have to tell my sister. She's been wondering about it.

    Lots of things are glittery...hmm, going with #3.

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    1. Right!? Crazy how these things come about.

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  16. That is interesting about Easter! I never knew all that. I know someone that won't celebrate it because it's a "pagan holiday". I kind of feel like holidays are what you make of them as a family.

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    1. Agreed. You should aim that friend this direction, eh?

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  17. Easter always feels like new beginnings. I love spring anyhow.

    I used canola oil in baked goods. I don't like the flavor of olive oil in sweets. I use olive oil for sautéing veggies and meats though.

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    1. I see. That works. They do definitely have different flavors. My hubby is extremely biased about oils, and Olive is the only one he really likes.

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  18. Easter is in autumn where I live, so all the spring imagery seems odd… I'm guessing #3 is the lie.

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    1. That's like us at Christmas. Everyone is going on and on about a white Christmas, and I'm like, "Nope."

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  19. Doesn't matter where Easter came from - it's the celebration of Christ rising from the grave now.

    My guess is #1.

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    1. Agreed, but it always was--according to the history.

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  20. Jesus is the reason for the season. The rest is for the kids.

    Have a fabulous day. ☺

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  21. New beginnings and new life a lovely season to celebrate.
    I'll guess #3 is the lie!

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  22. I'm not of the Christian faith, so personally I don't observe Easter but where I come from in India, it is marked with both solemnity and joyousness across the city. And the whole country. Spring is a season of renewal, so it makes perfect sense that you celebrate the Resurrection at this time.

    Thanks for your visit and your kind words on my A-Z post.

    Best wishes,
    Nilanjana.
    Madly-in-Verse

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    1. It all definitely fits, eh? My hubby and I hope to come see India one day, an extended stay. We'll see if that dream is ever fulfilled.

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  23. I've been doing a lot of research on the Pagan and Wiccan religions lately, and the Easter traditions we do nowadays did come from Pagan roots. The point of that is that other religions and traditions steep into each other. It's a great thing...if more people could realize that and stop shaming other faiths. So...this comment is more serious than I intended. Oops. LOL I'll end it with: I love Easter. Always have. :)

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  24. Whenever I think of Easer eggs, I now think of Jim Gaffigan and his "how 'bout eggs?" bit...he cracks me up. Thanks for the visit today :)
    ~Katie
    TheCyborgMom

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    1. Really? I haven't seen that one. I need to check it out.

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  25. I got the sense the egg hunts and bunnies and such are a fairly recent addition, a way for nonbelievers to participate, a way to turn a church holiday into something that stores can cash in on. And I'm seeing fewer people getting into this pop-secular version, which doesn't seem like a particularly bad thing. It gives space for it to be a religious holiday primarily. After all, it's the most important holiday in the Christian calendar, really. A time of great rejoicing for all Jesus has done for us.

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    1. Agreed. And yes, decorated eggs became a thing in the 1800's, and hunts much later than that. I'm not sure the full history on the bunny, but I should really research it, eh?

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  26. great covers for these books today! I don't celebrate Easter but I do like the atmosphere

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    1. Don't believe him, Chrystal. The Dazzzzling Dezzzmeister celebrates Easter in a very special way. It starts with a truckload of chocolate eggs being delivered at his house. (I guess the guy has generous fans in every corner of the world.) Then he sends me a picture of him swimming in a tub filled to the brim with said eggs. On the back of the picture he always writes the same thing: "Jealous yet?"

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  27. Language changes definitely are fascinating!
    If only the cunning survive, sadly, I'd be one of the first ones gone! :P

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    1. I bet you'd last longer than you think.

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  28. Bunnies as a symbol of new life... I had never seen it that way. I've actually learned something new about Easter. How about that :) I guess even the bunnies can keep their chocolate eggs, much as I would like to try each single one of them. Yes, I'm still moody :)

    Thanks for stopping by. Your words sure put a smile on my face.

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    1. LOL! Mission accomplished. Glad I could do it, Blue.

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  29. Love your blurb, S.M.
    Lie #3
    I had never heard that Easter came from pagan roots. Blush.

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    1. Really?! Awesome! You are one of the few, apparently. Personally, there's too much misinformation running around.

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  30. Christmas is also timed around the winter equinox. It's interesting how the Christian side and other observances mingle and overlap. Think I'll have to go for #3 as the lie!

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    1. It really is, and if we look at the reasons why, it's often not what we were told as children.

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  31. "Peep Dynasty" .... still chuckling and smiling. :)
    I love Easter! He is Risen!

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  32. That was a fun history. So often these backgrounds get lost. And congrats to SM on her new book!

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    1. Right!? We get so stuck in the oral traditions that we don't seek for a deeper truth.

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  33. That second gif is hilarious! I didn't know any of these facts about Easter, except that I'd heard it descended from paganism as well. Anyway, it's a lovely time of year although I dislike the materialism of it and prefer to focus on the resurrection of the Savior and on my gratitude for Him, not to mention my gratitude that spring is now here and a long cold dark winter is behind us for several glorious months.

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    1. I'll second that...all except for spring. We've been having that for 3 months now...but it's more like summer at this point.

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  34. I love everything about Easter. The meaning behind it, the time spent with family, the good food. Decapitating a chocolate rabbit with your teeth. I didn't know about the meaning behind the name itself, though. Very cool stuff.

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    1. LOL! You would go for the decapitating. Will that be your next cartoon? :)

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  35. I'm not Christian so only celebrate for the family time. But I really like how the symbols like bunnies and eggs symbolize hope. We can all get behind that.

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    1. Agreed. The season definitely has a feel of hope to it all around.

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  36. I came to history late. At school it was taught (badly I believe) as dates, rulers, battles. Boredom.
    When I learned that history was about how our forebears lived I was hooked.
    Easter on this side of the world falls in early autumn so the new life thing is in hiatus.
    Congratulations to SM Boyce. Brie and apples is a wonderful combo.
    The lie is number 1?

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    1. History rocks, eh? The part that gets me is the different thought processes they must have had when society had such different rules and expectations.

      That's okay--the whole fall thing. It's summer here.

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  37. I think #1 is the lie. As for Easter, I see it as a time for family. Time to spend with ones I love, and that makes me happy.

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  38. I enjoyed hearing about the origin of the word Easter.

    I think the last one is the lie.

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    1. It's definitely not what we'd imagine, eh?

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  39. Well that was fully packed post Crystal, lol. You should perhaps post more often :) Loved the history of the world Easter. I had heard/read of Easter as a pagan fertility ceremony that (like everything) the Catholics co-opted into the rising of Christ. Very interesting reading here.

    Hoppy Writing Crystal. Hope all is going well with your series.

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    1. History is never a straight line, but rather a series of evolutions that bring us to the present. ;)

      Writing is...well, less in the last several months, but we'll nonetheless. I suppose you didn't hear the news. And yes, there 2 parts to every post. When I split them out many years ago, my blog lost its identity. We learn from experience, eh?

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  40. I guess 3 is the lie. I don't celebrate Easter myself, but Saturday I ended up running in a Resurrection Day 5K (where I won a white chocolate bunny as a door prize), and then covering an Easter egg hunt for the paper.

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  41. LOL! Those gifs and memes are winners.
    I hope you enjoyed your Easter celebration.

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    1. Definitely, and I hope you had a wonderful weekend as well.

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  42. A post full of interesting things, Crystal. I really enjoy portal stories, so S.M. Boyce's book sounds intriguing. I think #3 is the lie. I really don't celebrate Easter anymore, other than to get-together with family or to go out for a special brunch. It's a time of renewal and hope and joy in renewal. Currently I'm caught in a struggle between my scientific side and my religious side.

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    1. Don't let science win! ;) What I'm saying is, we are half and half, so to let either side rule the whole is just silly.

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  43. Fun fact: in the Serbian Orthodox Church, Easter is the most important holiday. The word for Easter is "uskrs" (common folks use it) or "vaskrs" (the Church uses it), and it literally means resurrection.

    I hope you enjoyed this Easter!

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    1. Love it! Thank you for that fabulous insight.

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  44. Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

    Going to say #3 is the lie...

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    1. I did, thank you. I hope yours was excellent as well.

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  45. The origins of Easter are fascinating. I think #3 is the lie

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    1. Too true, and I only scratched the surface.

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  46. I'm thankful for Easter because it causes me to reflect each year. I have to confess that I watched the second gif two times, okay fine, three times before I realized what actually happened. I was like, "What's this guy's deal? Who hates Peeps that much? I love them!"

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    1. LOL! I busted out laughing when I saw it. Truly. It's totally his reactions.

      That's awesome: using Easter as a time to reflect.

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  47. #3 is the lie or then again it could be 2 or even 1 I’m not very good at this!
    I found your explanation of the word Easter really interesting, and I loved all the images. My favourite ‘portal’ story is The lion, the witch and the wardrobe so yes I do like them.

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    1. That's a great one. Having a hard time getting the kids to read it, although it is in the collection.

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  48. Oh wow! These covers are all kinds of amazing!

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  49. Easter has always been festive and that's all that matters to me. Another reason to celebrate life. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  50. It was great watching my husband color Easter eggs with the kids. His parents were Jehovah's Witnesses, so he never got to do any of this stuff when he was younger. There's something special about watching a grown man get a little giddy about dying eggs.

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  51. I think the 3rd one is the lie.
    I enjoy and celebrate Easter as a Christian. It's a great time of year to be hopeful and have new beginnings.
    I do like portal stories, and this one sounds pretty cool.

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  52. Fun facts. I love that Easter is celebrated in the spring and that there is a holiday representing hope and life. :)

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  53. I have a minor in linguistics, so I love word origins and evolutions!

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  54. Easter is such a special celebration. The history of the word is interesting. I didn't know, but love to read the story from the Bible. Have a great weekend.

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  55. Easter, like Christmas, is about the meaning - what we're celebrating - far more than the symbols, traditions, or even the date.

    Congratulations to S.M. Boyce on her new release. I'm going to guess number one is the lie because it sounds completely true.

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  56. Meant to add - I love the first two mini-clips.

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  57. That first image of the adorable little girl collecting Easter eggs reminds me of what Easter was like when our kids were little. Good memories, but Easter has a lot deeper meaning than eggs and Easter baskets. My favorite thing about Easter has always been attending the community sunrise service.

    Okay, I'll guess #3 is the fib this time around.

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  58. The rainbow-colored chicks are cute! It would be very funny if such things came out of colored Easter eggs! Hope you had a great Easter!

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  59. We celebrate Easter with a trip to church along with a hunt for plastic eggs filled with treats--so the best of both worlds perhaps.

    I would love to win a copy from this new contest. My email is tamara (dot) narayan (at) gmail (dot) com

    R is for Reptilian Elite

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  60. Well at least I got to see the awesome creature spring into action even if it did freak the guy out, lol

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  61. I hope you had a great Easter! I love all those little videos you used! So cute!!

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  62. Your posts are always hilarious Crystal. Thank you. I am guessing number 3 is the lie :)

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  63. OMG That Batman gif is the best thing ever!

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  64. In Russian, it is "Pasha," which means Passover. One of my favorite memories is going to church in the middle of the night while I was there, and everyone greeting each other with "Christ has risen," and "Indeed, He has risen."

    It's a tradition my husband and I have continued with our kids.

    Hope you had a wonderful Easter!

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  65. I always thought there is plenty of evidence that shows that most religious holidays have their roots in pagan fests. Easter, as far as I remember, is celebrated as a fertility fest.

    Have a great day,
    -Kati
    Almost Stylish

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  66. I am guessing the lie is #3! That sounds like a lot of glitter to me. :)

    Lots of interesting food for thought on your blog today.
    ~Jess

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  67. "Easter is a sacred, religious moment in history. A moment that gives me hope." Yes, and also an opportunity to reflect...to be grateful for our many blessings!
    Hope your Easter was a good one, Crystal! Filled with lots of cheese!

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  68. From what I've learned from my pagan friends, Easter does indeed come from older religions, chiefly https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%C4%92ostre or Ostara. What I think is interesting is that she appears in Neil Gaiman's "American Gods", where it's pointed out that she's both remembered and largely forgotten at the same time.

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  69. Hope you had a wonderful Easter. Ours was fun, and then we had my little guy's birthday with Gramma visiting for the week! My guess for the lie is #1 because it seems ordinary.

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  70. My guess is lie is number two, but I honestly have no idea! lol I liked your Easter info, and hope you had a great one!

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  71. History is fascinating. Easter is indeed a special time. Love the Peeps Dynasty image and the Batman egg gif is funny.

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  72. Taking number one as the lie. As to Easter, it's a nice way to say goodbye to winter and hello to spring!

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  73. Spring is a wonderful new beginning, Easter and all the bunnies included.

    I'm going to go with #3
    Discarded Darlings - Jean Davis, Speculative Fiction Writer, A to Z: Editing Fiction

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  74. Congrats to Liz! Hope you had a happy Easter break!

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Hit me with your cheese!