Thursday, December 22, 2011

Blessing Bags: A way to give back this holiday season.

Recently, I have been thinking about things that I am grateful for, things that I am very blessed to have, and some basic things that I have that are often taken for granted. I have been seeing "Blessing Bags" circling the air between blogger, facebook, and pinterest, so I thought I would share my version of the Blessing Bags in hopes that it may put others in the giving spirit this holiday season.

Blessing Bags are easy and fun. They are also an inexpensive way to give a small gift to someone in need or to a neighbor. The Blessing Bags started as a way to give to local charities, especially the homeless. Many people do not want to give the homeless money because they are afraid of where that money will go and what it will be used on. Blessing Bags are a great way to give a homeless (or other person in need) some basic essentials to brighten their daily life. It will help get their mind off of their daily struggles, and the most powerful thing of all is that these bags are not taken for granted. Any individual who is in need will appreciate this little bag of goodies and be so thankful for such a thoughtful person.

The original idea of the Blessing Bag was a way to create a bag full of small/travel sized necessities for people in need. An example includes:

A bag (even a ziploc) full of:
travel sized toothpaste
travel sized toothbrush
travel sized shampoo
travel sized conditioner
travel sized deodorant
travel sized body spray
disposable razor
travel size shaving cream
travel size q-tips
travel size tissues
bar of soap

It can even include small items of food, such as:
crackers with cheese/peanut butter
fruit cup
applesauce cup

Even travel sized medicines, such as tylenol, motrin, etc.

That was the basic idea. The idea of giving this holiday season.

Since I was a bit late on discover this great idea, I decided to take a different approach. I decided to find local military families whose spouses are deployed during this time. In my neighborhood, there are several.

My approach is to send them love and happiness, and a touch of warmth for this holiday season. To let others know that we are here for them and love and support them.

For my bag, I gathered several brown lunch bags. I baked lots of baked goods. Breads, Gingerbread men, cookies, brownies, muffins, fudge, etc. I put a little of each in each bag. I also put individual packages of hot cocoa and marshmallows. I punched holes in the bag to tie ribbon to close it tight. I also put a tag on the ribbon with a quote of thanks and blessings.

Tomorrow I will be sending these to each of the houses while they are out for the day.

As a military spouse myself who has had her husband deployed during the holiday season, I know just how much it would mean to me. How thankful, and how excited I would be to know that people cared, loved, and supported me and my family during that time. I hope that this small gift of giving to these local families will bring a sense of warmth to their holidays.

Did you do any gift giving this year? If so, what did you do? I would love to hear other ideas and  your way of giving during this time of year, whether you are a military spouse or not!

Merry Christmas to everyone, and Hope you all have a happy New year!! 2012 is just around the corner!


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