Leanne Ernst Hill is the writer and illustrator of The Giving Sack: A Christmas Tradition and the founder of The Giving Sack, LLC.  She resides in the Heart of Virginia with her husband and two children.

Leanne is Longwood University alumni where she studied in Communications. Prior to her book release, she built a career on helping others  in local schools, health care, and foster care.


Let’s have a chat:

What made you want to write this book?

I am just a Mom—I want to love and cherish my family, make life simpler and raise kind humans. Basically the same thing every parent wants, right?  

When I was unable to find a holiday tradition that was geared specifically to warming hearts, teaching generosity, and giving children the opportunity and responsibility to give--- I decided to make my own.

The outcome was The Giving Sack.


What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

In the “About Me” handmade book that my Mom kept from when I was in Kindergarten it states that I wanted to be a cartoonist, which is a bit ironic now. I have always been a closet artist and writer, but this is my first published illustration/literary work.  Above all else, I’ve always wanted to be a mother. My Mom set such an incredible example of what a mother should be, and I wanted to be like her. 

What's one thing about you that surprises people?

I wear hearing aids. I am basically a hearing impaired, 87 year old woman without them.

What was something you've done that made you feel extreme happiness?

Super cliche, but marrying my husband has brought my life the most joy. He is a really hilarious, hardworking, supportive and a dedicated family man. He makes my smile brighter and my feet lighter. He fills me up with love. His encouragement on project and life in general has brought such beauty to my life that did not exist before him.  

Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

Girl, you have no idea how capable and worthy you are - Trust yourself, trust your heart.   

If you could instantly become an expert in something, what would it be?


What does success mean to you?

I think that if you are lucky enough to find passion and gratitude for life at the same time, I think, it looks a lot like success.

Where is your happy place?

Hobby Lobby…my heaven looks like Hobby Lobby. 

What energizes you and brings you excitement?

I am the most motivated by ideas of productivity, about anything. I love ideas, especially ones that improve lives by making things look, feel or operate better. I am easily excited by ingenuity and opportunity. 

What qualities do you value in the people with whom you spend time?

Honesty. Sarcasm. Humility. Creativity. Sense of Humor. Must love wine.

What’s your guilty pleasure?

Vanderplump Rules Reality show on Bravo. I know, I know. 

 What is your favorite quote?

I have one for every occasion, but for this book: 

"When a lot of little people, from a lot of little places, do a lot of little things, the whole world changes."- Micheal Franti