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What are your favorite family traditions? Is it reading the same holiday story on Christmas Eve? Having a massive snowball fight complete with forts? We have many I love, but this year I’m starting a new one with my family. This year I want to spread the love with this Give Extra Gift Idea with Free Printables!
We’ve received so many blessings from others, especially around the holidays. I won’t go into details about our years as two young students with a child, then three, then four…plus a long-term bed rest time and bankruptcy thrown in the mix, but I want to tell you all the amazing good that we were able to experience. Every single year while we were in college as a young family, we received help. Anonymous gifts left on our door, even supplies for an entire turkey dinner. We received toys for the kids, food, clothing, even gift cards to get us by longer. One winter I couldn’t afford good shoes for my kids, and someone not only supplied us with those, but also nice new coats! Envelopes with money labeled ‘to help with your schooling’ were the cause of many joyous tears. Honestly, I think I cried more during the holidays than any other time of year….and it was almost always due to overwhelming gratitude!
Not only did this make an amazing holiday for our family, but it also proved to be a major life lesson for my oldest, Wonder Woman. To this day, she still remembers some of those years, some of the gifts are still played with. She knows how happy that made all of us! Now that we’re more secure, we want to be able to pay it forward to others in very similar situations to what we were in.
As a family, we decided to make this adorable Give Extra Gift so we could pass it out (secretly) to others. A neighbor family with some health struggles, a lonely widow down the street….we even made more simple ones we can give to people that help us everyday: police officers, firefighters, and teachers. It was so quick and easy, and you can adjust it according to YOUR preference and needs! Wonder Woman and the boys are so excited to join us in giving gifts to others, and think it’s so fun to pass on the blessings we’ve received! Plus, it was a FABULOUS family activity!
- Basket, plastic bowl, or even simple vase
- Extra Gum Packs (flavor of choice…have fun with the colors!)
- Free Printable ‘Give Extra’ tags
- Tape, scissors
- Foam chunks
- Filler (like mini pebbles, colorful stones, etc.)
- Colorful straws
- Accent pieces, such as sparkly decor items
- Cash bills of choice (you can do $1 bills, $10 bills, whatever you choose!)
- To make the money flowers, twist along the bottom of the bills as such:
- In your bowl/basket, place the foam. If you want, wrap some ribbon around to hide the edges. The filler (later) will also help to hide it. Stick your straws/sticks with the money flowers into the foam. Adjust the height of the straws for a prettier look.
- Add your filler to make the basket look fuller and hide the green foam. Place your Extra Gum packs around, and stick in your accent pieces behind the money flowers. Print off the Free Labels, cut out the color/saying you want, and attach it with a pretty ribbon. You’re done!
To do the vase:
- Add filler into the base. Take your rolled money flowers and tape them behind a large pack of Extra Gum, then tape to a straw/stick.
- Place the Extra money flower into the vase (it should stand up on the filler), stick a pretty accent behind it, add a ribbon and tag….you’re done!
This year has been a whole new experience for us, being able to Give Extra to others as a way of saying a huge ‘THANK YOU’ to all those that blessed us over the years! I love getting my kiddos involved, and showing them the fun and joy that comes from helping and giving to others. This may be a new favorite family tradition of mine: making a plan on how/what we’ll do for others who may be in need, work together on it as a family, then experience the happiness (and giggles of the kiddos) as you give it away. Seriously, pure joy!