Birthday Bags

 Ohhh….how I LOVE when a mother’s heart gets a hold of giving and serving and goes crazy with ways to bring it into her home.

Deanne and I go way back to high school (back in the 90s!!! wha?? gasp!) and I was SO delighted when she shared what is going on in her community. OF COURSE I wanted to share it all with you. In December, we showed our children that it is better to give than to receive with Light ‘Em Up. In February, we showed them our love in so many ways with “Love ‘Em Up.”

Now, we can use our family birthdays as a way to teach our little ones about compassion with “Birthday Bags”!


By Deanne

2012 540

When I think of my children’s birthdays, I must admit, the first thing that comes to mind is the party.  The party that is always a great celebration, but often (um…always) becomes a big deal.  Don’t get me wrong it is so fun to celebrate them and I love seeing their faces light up from the amazing time and memories this “big deal” party has created for them, but this year I had something extra I wanted to add to my party planning.  Not too long ago, we were presented with the idea of making a “birthday party in a bag” for a family in need by my oldest daughter’s school.  These birthday bags were to include such goodies as plates, napkins, cake mix, frosting, candles, aluminum cake pans, a gift card (for refrigerated items such as eggs or ice cream), and whatever birthday related items you wanted to include. The Birthday Bags were then distributed to area charities and then on to young recipients.

Wow, did that ever put my “big deal” party planning into perspective. This simple idea resonated for me and I immediately knew this was going to be a new tradition in our family.  It is so easy to take things for granted.  Something as little as birthday cake mix and frosting and all the other goodies can be luxury for some.

It never crossed my mind that childrens birthdays weren’t being celebrated

and if my family to could help change that

then we were going to do it by showing compassion to others.

I am blessed to have two girls born in April (3 years and 3 days apart to be exact) so we made this a group effort and recently started our newest family tradition by making birthday bags. Here is how we did it.  First, I talked to my girls about what it meant to be a family in need.  For our family, my youngest is too young to understand, but my five year old really showed signs of understanding and was asking questions. Once our little talk was over, we were off to Target!

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I let the girls pick everything.  They each picked the kind of cake mix and frosting in addition to the plates and napkins.

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Then we came home and began assembling our bags.

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The girls each decorated signs that we glued on the outside of the bags labeling them “Birthday Party Bags” on one side and “This bag includes:” on the other side.

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Then we filled up the bags and got ready to donate them to MUST (a local charity that serves our community).

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We recently had the girls birthday parties and I had lots of leftover party favors from both parties so I added those into each bag too. It was so much fun and since we did it together it was a meaningful and memorable experience for my girls.  Just think if all the Lil Light O’ Mine families made birthday bags for each of their family members what a difference it can make for our communities and the lessons it teaches our own kids too! Our next birthday bag will be in July.

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Will you join us with this simple, touching, heartfelt project?  

 Work your magic and make it awesome.

Spread the word to friends and let’s light up some faces with Birthday Bags!

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  1. I just happened upon this post, and let me say I think this is fantastic! I will be doing this with my family. Every child should have a birthday celebration to show them how special they are. It did not occur to me that a cake would be a luxury, I am blessed to be so fortunate. Thank you for sharing this. I am grateful to have found it even if it is a few years later.

  2. I am so glad I found this posting! My family and I are planning on blessing some families in our area with this. I like you never stopped to think that there were some kids who didn’t get birthday parties.I feel so blessed to be able to do this. Thanks for sharing!

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