Bags of Blessings

The Feast of St. Nicholas is fast approaching on December 6th. While reflecting upon this great and joyful saint, I was reminded of what a generous man he truly was.

As Christians, we are all called to give to others in need.

When my children were very young I was talking to a priest who told me he carried around bags with different food items in his car. As he drove around town, he would see someone who was hungry, and would give them a bag filled with food and water.

I tried to think about how we, as a family with small children, could incorporate this same idea. I wanted the children to have an active role in the process, so here’s what we came up with …

Patrick with two of the bags we made for those in need

Patrick with two of the bags we made for those in need

Claire and Patrick decided to use brown lunch bags and decorate them with assorted stickers and drawings. They wrote encouraging messages like, “God bless you” and “We are praying for you.” Next, they filled the bags with food items (that didn’t require refrigeration) like apples, granola bars, Vienna sausages, cheese crackers or peanut butter crackers, and water. Then the bags were kept in our family minivan, so that whenever we are driving around town and see someone in need, we can roll down the window and give them a bag of food.

It is a simple idea, but one that has made our children much more aware of those who are truly in need. This activity has also sparked some great conversations about how we are called to treat others. The greatest blessing has been to see smiles on the faces of those who are hungry.

Like St. Nicholas, we all can be gift givers to those in need.

Have a blessed Advent!

“For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink.” — Matthew 25:37


  1. Shannon Looby says:

    Margaret, I love all your ideas but this is particularly poignant. I love how it involves the kids in a very concrete way, it’s practical and problem-solving and helps the community, and shows them how to be do-ers for those in need. We are definitely going to be doing this very soon. Thank you! Shannon

  2. Anne Morin says:

    Great idea. Thanks for sharing. Father was mentioned in church a good idea would also be to have gift cards for five dollars or so and give those in loo of money.

  3. Great post, Margaret! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  4. Kathleen Wilson says:

    What a sweet idea, Margaret. I can just see your kids at the table putting all their talents into those bags – they are such joyous kids. We still have the place mats at Mary’s She
    lter that your children and others made for our moms. We have them hanging on walls. Cozy, sweet messages.

  5. Tanya Guthrie says:

    Wonderful, Margaret! This is a great idea for St. Nicholas Day. 🙂 Hoping to incorporate this into our own domestic church very soon. God bless you and your beautiful family!

  6. Cari Sewell says:


    I just love all your wonderful ideas! I’m sitting here on Good Friday contemplating ways that we can continue the traditions we started as a family during Lent throughout the whole year. This got me to thinking about incorporation more of the saints feast days into our daily lives. So, I was wondering, would you mind doing a post on your favorite feast days, the ones that maybe aren’t as well know. I would really like to try to pick 1 a month to plan an activity, book, meal around, but just don’t know where to get started as there are so many!

    God bless you and your family!

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