Saturday, December 3, 2016

The Gift to Give

Each year, until last Christmas, I would ask my sister, “What would you like for Christmas?” She would always respond something like, “I am blessed. I don’t want anything. Rather, give to those in need.”

Instead of asking her last Christmas, I simply prepared and gave her “Blessing Bags” for her to pass along to those in need. I don’t think I’ve ever given her anything she liked and appreciated better – ever!

This year, I’m expanding the tradition, to give a Gift to Give.

And, this year, rather than just filling up several gallon size Ziplock bags, I’m creating fabric shoulder bags for the homeless to have as an additional gift. This way they may easily carry and keep items safely stored away.

I grew up with Grandmothers and childless Aunts making us something for Christmas. I so appreciated the time and effort they spent creating something for me. Because I love sewing something, making special one-of-a-kind gifts, I’ve been pondering what I could do to fulfill this “need” I have, I guess, to also give a part of me.

However, I’ve learned many folks don’t like “stuff” or “clutter” and tastes vary from one to the next. For some, their “gift” will be simply a gift card from their favorite store. That way they can get exactly what they want and nothing is re-gifted or tossed or sold in a garage sale.

But, everyone will receive a Gift to Give.

If you’re interested in starting the tradition, know this isn’t an inexpensive endeavor. Just these items alone totaled over $60.00 mostly from Walmart’s “trial size” aisle. 

Oh, and I put the bar of soap and bottle of shampoo inside a freezer strength ziplock bag.

But, to each Blessing Bag I still need to add:

bottle of water
bottle of Special K

Some things I will NOT include:

Hard Granola or Energy bars (many homeless have teeth/gum issues)Trail Mix (same reason)Beef Jerky sticks (same reason)Gum/Hard Candy (same reason) On-the Go coffee or tea – (really? I guess it depends where they “live” because if it’s underneath a bridge ~ which I’ve seen numerous in the Dallas area ~ how will they heat up some coffee or tea? So, know your demographic!)

I’ve decided, the day after Christmas, I will spread out the gathering of these items over the year. So, each time I go shopping, I’m adding a little bit of the needed items to my regular list. I’ll mark a clear plastic tub “Gift to Give” for storage of said items, so it won’t be so costly at Christmas time!

Several sites across the internet offer suggestions of what to include in Blessing Bags. Pinterest (of course my favorite go-to place) has a nice collection.

Will you create one (or 3 or 6) “Gift to Give” this year?


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