There is no better time than the Christmas season to reflect on all that we have been given and to teach our children to give back in return.
Giving is also a great way to counteract any serious bouts of "I wants" which seem to plague our home come December.
Inspired by the bags I saw from Joy's Hope over Thanksgiving, I asked my friend Karen if she wanted to join me in the creation of the Share and Care Project.
The idea is simple and affordable.
You first need to gather items from your local bargain store. I found Wisps, beanies, gloves, foot warmers, and lip balm at the 99 cent store and Target dollar bins. I added bottled water, a granola bar, raisins, and a pack of nuts.
The bags are not limited to these items. Mini bags of tissues, McDonald's gift cards, protein bars, etc. are also great items to include.
To make the bags special and personal, the children first decorated homemade sugar cookies, which they of course had to sample. You know, just to make sure they were good!
After decorating cookies, they made Christmas cards to add to their bags.
Each child made a bag. We will store the bags in our car and when the opportunity arises, such as when we see someone with a sign off a freeway offramp, we will hand them the bag.
Even the younger children understood the basic concept that we were meeting together to make a bag for someone who does not have the simple things that we take for granted like a warm, safe house and a refrigerator and pantry full of food.
I encourage you to take part in the Share and Care Project this season. Gather with family, friends, co-workers, or church group and make it happen.
As an extra incentive, try this sugar cookie recipe. It gets raves every time. You will want to share these cookies, trust me!
1 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cream butter. Add sugar gradually. Add eggs, milk, and vanilla and cream well. Sift flour and baking soda together and add to mixture. Chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Roll out on floured surface to 1/8" thickness. Cut into desired shapes. Place on cookie sheet. Bake until very light brown. Cool. Frost and decorate. (Serves 2 dozen large cookies).
Enjoy the time doing something that will bless the lives of others and teach your children the gift of giving. And may you each experience the ultimate gift which we celebrate on Decemeber 25th.