Tag Archives: Christmas spirit

Holiday Giving: Welcome Baskets for Refugee Children

In the spirit of the holiday, I wanted to share an idea with you all in case you’re looking for a way to give back this Christmas. Imagine arriving in a new country with a few suitcases and a whole family looking for a new start. Organizations that assist with refugee resettlement are always looking for donations of household items for the families they help. Reach out to one in your area. Many accept “baskets” that you can create with a number of items to help a refugee family get settled in their new home; such as a Kitchen Basket (with cutlery, coffee pot, etc), Cleaning Basket (with cleaning supplies), Hygiene Basket (with personal care items), or Linens Basket (with towels and blankets).

However, if you know of a specific family, either through the resettlement organization or your church, why not create Welcome Baskets for all the kids? This is an awesome alternative to Operation Christmas Child (a popular way to give back during the holidays that’s also, in my opinion, a little sketch and misguided). Shopping for children is a lot of fun, and shopping for children who recently arrived in our country with little can make a BIG difference.

Here’s an example of a Welcome Basket I recently put together —

First, consider the ages of the kids you’re shopping for. Next, make a list of a few items to hunt for. You’ll want a mix of practical items and fun stuff you think would make them feel more welcome in their new home/country. Finally, hit up stores like the Dollar Tree, CVS, and Target for affordable finds.

This basket is for a little girl who is 3. I found this perfect purple basket at Dollar Tree and filled it with…

  • a bar of soap
  • a pack of colorful band-aids
  • play-doh
  • cotton swabs
  • sippy cup
  • pencils
  • crayons
  • a pack of construction paper
  • barrettes
  • stickers
  • tooth brushes
  • a pack of socks
  • a plate
  • tissues
  • a night light
  • and a magic towel

If you’re making several baskets you can stop here (all of these items were under 20 bucks), but since I’m only putting together a couple, I’ll probably also include a doll/stuffed animal, a coloring book, and a pillow with a set of pillow cases. For older children you could fill a backpack and include more school supplies!

Anyways, I hope you’ll consider gifting some items to a local refugee resettlement organization this holiday season! These baskets are a lot of fun to make and if they can help welcome a child, then I believe, they are certainly in the spirit of Christmas. 🙂

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DIY: Peppermint Christmas Wreath (Under $25!)

My friend Katie is a wreath making MVP! She once gifted me a gorgeous burlap and floral wreath she whipped up as a house-warming present and I’ve been a huge fan of her creations ever since! When she was in Miami visiting us recently, she mentioned she was planning to craft up a new Christmas door dec once she returned home. I asked if she’d be willing to show us all how she does it and she graciously agreed! Let’s have a look…


 

If you are like me and enjoy cheap (but maybe a little time/labor intensive) DIYs this wreath is the perfect way to spend a few hours on your next lazy weekend afternoon!

Materials Needed:
Hot glue gun and glue sticks – $5
Foam wreath in whatever size your heart desires -$10.00
As many peppermints as you want (you will need a lot) -$6.00
Red ribbon- $4.00
** I definitely recommend hitting up your local Dollar Tree for the peppermints and ribbon!
wreath tutorial 1
Step 1: Wrap red ribbon around the foam wreath. This isn’t mandatory but I think it looks better if the ribbon is what shows through the openings after the peppermints are glued on.
wreath tutorial 2
**I just used regular tape to secure the ribbon but hot glue works as well!

Step 2: Start gluing the peppermints in an outline around the wreath. I stuck to doing the front of the wreath but if you are feeling ambitious you can do a border on the top too!

wreath tutorial 3
Step 3: Keep on gluin’! You can continue gluing in a straight line pattern or you can do more of a bricked layout. Since not all of the peppermints are the exact same size it can get a little tricky but sometimes you just have to fake it till you make it.
wreath tutorial 4
Step 4: Wrap the ribbon around the wreath and peppermints however much/little you want. This part definitely isn’t a MUST but I think it makes the wreath look a little more polished.
wreath tutorial 5
Step 5: Tie a big-ass bow (or little-ass bow). You can find some great tutorials on tying different types of bows HERE.
Step 6: Hang the finished wreath on your door and bask in the envy of your neighbors.
wreath tutorial 6
Isn’t it adorable, you guys?! Thank you so much for showing us how it’s done, Katie! Everyone go grab a glue gun and let’s make our doors a little bling! What do ya say?