Operation Christmas Child - one of my favourite Christmas traditions to get us started in the true spirit of Christmas: celebrating the greatest gift of all, Baby Jesus born as God's gift of love to us. Operation Christmas Child gives us a chance to spread His love to those who may never have heard of God, and who may never have a received a gift of any kind.
The girls absolutely love packing the shoeboxes. We picked up the school supplies when they were on sale during a trip to the States in summer, and then Olivia and Jacob went with me to shop for the toiletries and fun stuff just the other day. One slight problem with that plan - when we bought school supplies in summer, I bought enough for all 4 kids. When I bought the stuff now, I thought we had only bought for 3 kids. So, we had enough for 3 1/2 boxes - I just brought the 1/2 box to church and let them finish it off during their packing project. (The Gr 5/6 girls and the Gr 5/6 boys packed well over 100 boxes!!).
This is the list of what we packed in our boxes....
box of pencil crayons with sharpener
box of crayons
two animal shaped erasers
first aid kit
bar of soap
two hair ties
We also got the girls to make a card for the girl who would receive the gift box.
It's not too late to pack your own shoebox!! Collection week is Nov 15 - 20th.
If you prefer the virtual world - you can pack your shoebox online too! Just click on this link and you will be taken to Samaritan's Purse's secure website where you can order a shoebox custom built as per your specifications all from the comfort of your own home! You can select the age and gender of the recipient of your box and it will let you know what's all automatically included for $37 (which includes the $7 shipping fee). Here is what's included in the Girls box for Age 5-9....
1 Pencil sharpener
1 Pack of pencil crayons
1 Pair of Socks
1 Activity Book
1 Bar of soap
1 Wash cloth
1 Painting kit
1 Pack of Stickers
Assorted hair accessories
Assorted hard candy
You will then have the option to pick two more items for an extra cost - you can pick between shirts ($5), sunglasses for $4 (great idea - have to remember that one for next year!), hairbrush ($2), calculator ($2) or stuffed animal ($3).
You can then write a note to the child and even upload a photo to include as well!
This is a bit more expensive then doing it yourself but it's a very cool option for those who prefer to shop online, or who are simply to busy to go out and buy the supplies. Simply put - you have no excuse not to do it! ;)
If you're looking for a new tradition to start with your kids this Christmas - this is it!