Holiday Prep Day 4- Let’s Give Thanks This Year

I’ve gradually been getting sick for a couple of days and am staying in bed today trying to get better before the big turkey day, but today I just had to post a special entry.

Thanksgiving is not about the food or the clean home, although all of those things make us feel warm inside and add to wonderful memories with our loved ones. Thanksgiving is truly about giving thanks to God for the blessings in our lives and giving thanks to those around us who make our lives so special.

This year though, I want to start a new tradition with my family. This Thanksgiving after the turkey has been eaten and we’re sitting around visiting and enjoying the company of one another, I will be passing out paper and pens and markers and cards to create and sign for our service members. What a better time of year than Thanksgiving to say a special thank you to our troops?

The American Red Cross has partnered with mail company Pitney Bowes for the past few years to create Holiday Mail for Heroes. It really could not be an easier gift from us to those who need a lift this holiday season. The cards will be sent to soldiers all over the world, those recovering in hospitals and those serving currently in active duty.

I’ve been looking for some way to reach out and say a big thank you to others out there on Thanksgiving, and for a special tradition to start in my own home that adds joy and the spirit of gratitude to the lives others, so I was thrilled when I heard about this program.

If you visit the link provided above, it’ll send you to the website where you can learn all about the program. Watch the video, it’ll make you cry. A simple card with a heartfelt message can really touch the lives of those who have sacrificed so much in order to protect our freedoms so we have the opportunity to celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas.

Some Guidelines:

  • All cards must be postmarked no later than December 9, 2011. That’s why I think Thanksgiving is the perfect opportunity to create these special gifts.
  • They can be homemade {great project for the kids} or store bought, but remember that a special heartfelt message is what’s most important.
  • Salutations should begin with generic greetings such as “Dear Service Member” and not specific people, as these cards will be sorted and redistributed to service members all over the world.
  • No glitter please. No confetti or other things that could fall out or sprinkle everywhere.
  • Inserts such as pictures of your family are not allowed either. You can decorate the cards with holiday pictures (trees, baby Jesus, menorahs, etc.) or any fun pictures you want, but don’t slip in extra inserts.
  • Make sure to sign all cards.
  • Send as many cards as you want. All cards will be removed from envelopes in the screening process before they’re distributed to troops, so you can bundle large amounts of cards in one package and mail them all together without envelopes.

Send all of your Holiday for Heroes cards to the following address:

Holiday Mail for Heroes
P.O. Box 5456
Capitol Heights, MD 20791-5456

For any teachers or Sunday School teachers out there, this would be a great project for your entire class as well. I’d just like to encourage all families out there to participate in this wonderful program this Thanksgiving. What a wonderful way to teach our kids the true meaning of the holiday and a great way to express our heartfelt thanks to those who need to hear it the most. It beats screaming at the tv during a football game, right?




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