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Santa for Soldiers

Spread Love to our Armed Forces

Socks.

Odd word to begin with, I know, but that's the word that comes to mind when I think about this project.

You see, my husband is a soldier. And on one of his many deployments, he received a care package from someone he didn't know, someone he'd never meant. And in that care package were a pair of socks.

These were not just any socks. These were the most hideous, most glaring, most ridiculous pair of socks that I've ever seen. They were bright, electric blue, minion-yellow, and stoplight red - all rolled into one. And they were KNIT, like really, really loosely knit, so they offer ZERO warmth to anyone wearing them.

They still live with us.

Yes. I know these socks so well because, despite their extreme non-utility, their extreme ugliness, and their extreme bulkiness in our drawers, my husband will not let me get rid of them. And I think I know why.

I sent my husband hundreds of care packages. I had poured my soul into sending him love while he was away. But the one care package that he still holds on to is those socks. I hold him no grudge for this, because they are the physical reminder of why he fights. My husband knows I love him (although, sometimes.... :). He knows that our family will always be here for him. But he didn't sign up to just defend us - after all, he could do that just fine on a ranch in Alaska. Nope.

He goes to war to defend all of the random strangers in his country. And sometimes, sometimes, it's good to know that those random strangers love him right back.

Hence the socks.

So, if you are looking around for a fun craft to do, look no farther. This one is fun, is great the whole year round (Santa works to spread Christmas cheer even in July), and is for some people who will really, really appreciate it. Let's just hope their spouses do, too, when it's on the family Christmas tree ten years hence.

Santa Cork Ornament

No-Sew Project: Time 20 Min

Supplies:

Tutorial:

Step 1. Decorate the front of your flag with red, white, and blue. Write a personal message to the soldier on the back. String the ribbon through the hole.

Step 2. Cut your fabric (whatever color you choose) into a wide triangle. This works best by first cutting into a circle:

And then cutting into three pie pieces:

Step 3. Tie the ribbon (with card attached) into a loop and glue into the point.

Step 4. Glue, tape, or staple into a cone (elmers works, with patience!)

Step 5. Cut out a strip of fabric to be santa’s clothes.

Step 6. Glue the clothes and the hat onto the cork.

Step 7. Tear that cotton ball apart. Make a snake-like roll (for the bottom of the hat), a smaller, fluffier roll (for the ball on the top), and a triangular-shaped fluff (for the beard). Glue onto Santa.

Step 8. Draw on eyes - and a nose, if you want. Then snuggle up with the little guy.

Shipping

Pop them all into a box (with a Giving Card!) and Ship to:

The Hugs Project

720 W. Wilshire, Suite 105

Oklahoma City, OK 73116

Organization

The Hugs Project

The Hugs Project was started in June 2004 by Ray and Karen Stark in Edmond, OK as a labor of love. They wanted to make sure every American service member knows they are loved and appreciated by those who remain at home enjoying the freedom they provide.

According to their site, “Our troops work hard every day and when they finally get a break and can receive mail from home, we want them to find care packages overflowing with snacks, hygiene items, DVD’s and CD’s, Oreos, socks and other much needed items. Most of all, we want them to experience the love we’ll be tucking inside, along with cooling ties and other items that remind them someone cares.”

Send them your sweet little guys and they'll send them to the soldiers that need it the most. It'll cost you about $3 in shipping and last a lifetime for the soldier. Bonus?? If you include that Giving Card, you can make a new friend by connecting with the soldier that gets YOUR Santa on our Wall of Hope. Win. Win.

Get Your Hope Chest!

Love this but don't have the time to gather all of those supplies? Sign up for Aina's Hope Chests and get a project for good - supplies, tutorial, and giving card included - mailed to your door every month.

Now that's a $10 bargain you'll never regret.

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