December 18, 2014

Blessing Baskets for those in Need

Dec17

Often, these last few weeks before Christmas, signal a shift into consumer mode.

Especially for the children, counting of the presents ramp into full gear. The comparison of who deserves the most becomes a daily occurrence, and generally an all around attitude of “buy, buy, buy” creeps its way to life (even if you have committed to the opposite.)

One way to counter that tendency is to give, give, give. Cultivate a heart of gratitude.

A unique way is use stockpiling and your grocery guru status to serve others is by giving from your pantry to bless others, thus opening your childrens’ eyes to those who have real needs with no hope of presents.

Many of you have have questioned, “Are Coupon Worth it?” and mentioned that you just don’t use the items that are in the coupon insert (although I beg to differ, and I think I’ve changed many of your minds). Next time you throw away the coupon that can snag you free toothpaste, shampoo or snack-y type food, consider “purchasing” it anyhow, and save it for those in need. It doesn’t have to stop at just pantry staples or drug store finds, when I see some wonderful deals on toys or gifts, I will buy ahead as well.

Canned food drives are very prevalent during the holidays, but might you consider taking it to the next level by putting together some “Goodie Baskets” for those less fortunate?  I’ve found that by putting actual people, faces and stories with what we give makes a dramatic impression on our kids. They can begin to comprehend more of the true needs of the community.

I’ve shared about our care packages for the homeless, which are wonderful to keep on hand throughout the winter months, but these gift baskets have a slightly different twist. One of our main goals is to specifically use them this time of year as teaching tool for our children to offset the materialism that tends to erodes the soul. Involve your children in putting these together. Talk through some of the scenarios.

For our family, it has been sharing with refugee families and the homeless. Involve them in discussing how close many families are to homelessness. We share about the horrors that these refugee families have had to endure – situations that we can’t even wrap around our privileged minds. (Age appropriate, of course.)

If you have no idea where to find those to help, begin by asking your local school’s social worker. You’d be shocked to find how many families are in dire straights this year. Our local high school, located in a fairly affluent section of town, has numerous children living on the streets. They come to school just like any other child, yet they shuffle from house to house during the winter months just to find a bed and shower.  Other families are on the verge of foreclosure and wondering where any Christmas joy will come from this year.

Wouldn’t it be a blessing to be part of sharing that joy? Consider putting together some Blessing Baskets to share over the next few weeks. Leave them in your car. Be alert and sensitive to those around you. Keep your eyes and ears open for those in need. It may be someone in line at the grocery store, or your children may even know of just the person with which they want to share.

If you’re lead to give to a family that you know personally, I highly encourage blessing them anonymously. Not only does it teach your children the gift of giving without expecting anything in return, but it also relieves the recipient of feeling the need to reciprocate in any way.


Comments

  1. This is a wonderful idea! What a great way to start the new year as well. Starting as soon as possible is a good way to build up our stock piles. Thank you for this great message. Do you mind if I share with my readers as well?
    Merry Christmas.

    Cheryl

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  2. Oh, Jen, I love, love, love this idea! It’s a definite doer for us. I think I’ll start keeping bags/baskets in my car year round. Thanks for the wonderful idea.

    As for the coupons, I don’t have time to do as much with them as I once did, but one year all of those freebies and great deals enabled us to give an entire meal for a family from appetizers all the way to dessert and drinks for two different holidays. We went through our local crisis pregnancy center to find the families.

    Giving is so much fun!

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  3. Yes! Yes! Yes! We are oblivious to how rich we are and how much we can share with others. Thank you for speaking up, we as Christians should be at the forefront of sharing with the downtrodden. I want my children to have giving hearts and what better time to model this, than Christmas. Thank you. Merry Christmas!

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  4. Hi! I’m a NEW follower!

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    http://www.pursuitoftitus2.com/

    [Reply]

  5. Amen! We have had a challenging year, and because of it I am so aware of how very lucky we are. This year our Christmas day is planned around volunteering to work for the community dinner. We are so excited about it; I’m looking forward to it more than opening our presents. Thank you for the kind and generous idea.

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  6. What a lovely post! And so true. You have some wonderful ideas.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Glad you liked my vintage holiday decor. I can see by your blog that we share many of the same home philosophies! Looking forward to more visits in the future. Happy Holidays!
    Kelly

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  7. This is such a wonderful idea!!! What a great experience for the children. I have a four year old daughter, we just recently helped deliver food and gifts to 10o+ families in our town through our church. My daughter carried the fruit baskets into the homes for delivery. I am so proud of her , she was such a trooper getting in and out of the car, and braving the cold and snow that day!!! We are blessed to have been able to help!!

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  8. Great post! I’ve been couponing for a couple of years now. I was able to give 5 boxes of items to a local girls home this year for Christmas. I’m not able to make financial donations, but I’ve been blessed with the gift of couponing which helps me to help others. Merry Christmas (and lets see a holiday edition of the frugal fashionista!)

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  9. Wonderful, wonderful idea! What a great and timely post! Thanks for the reminder!

    [Reply]

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