I am always trying to find ways to bring more Christ into Christmas. Don’t get me wrong, I love the lights, presents, and food. But when all that is said and done, I want my children to know it really is about Jesus. In a culture of Santa and the focus being on trying to get stuff it can be hard to find a way to teach this to children. Especially little children, since you can’t volunteer at soup kitchens and other things like that. Which is why I love Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes! It’s easy and you can involve younger children! We budget all year for Christmas which includes money for shoe boxes, but we had a difficult summer (both vehicles breaking down in the same week among other things) and ended up using Christmas money for other things. I was terribly disappointed that we weren’t going to do shoe boxes this year. How ever a miracle happened! Just before Thanksgiving we were given an envelop with $200 from someone in our church. We don’t know why or who it was. I know that they probably won’t read this message, but thank you from the bottom of our hearts! I instantly hopped on Operation Christmas child’s website to see if we were too late. We weren’t, we had a few days before pick up day! A few days later during donut time at church a lady walked up to me and said, “I love watching you and your children. I am sure there are things you need. I hope you will let me give this to you.” At home when I opened the card, there was $100! That night I sat my boys down (4 years and 2 1/2 years) and told them we were going to go to the store and buy things for other children. I had them watch a little video on Operation Christmas Child’s website that explains where the shoe boxes go. I think James understood. He told me, “I’m a little bit sad.” 😉 I told him that giving isn’t sad, but happy. We will be making a little boy’s Christmas so happy. And off to Kmart we went.
We got three plastic boxes and told James and Gideon to pick out things to put inside. James picking out some stickers for his box:
and toothbrushes/tooth paste
They got a little bit distracted by the Christmas tree décor. I can’t imagine why.
James adding something to his box.
Believe me I was tempted not to take a 4 year old, 2 1/2 year old and a 11 month old Christmas shopping for someone else. I could have done it faster. Much faster. But that isn’t the point. The point was to teach my boys about giving. Giving a really fun box away to a little boy that wouldn’t have a Christmas otherwise. I pray all the time that my children will grow up to have a giving heart. Hopefully through things like this they will learn to give, and to do it happily. 🙂
I have to say I am very proud of my boys! They happily filled most of the box for their child then Titus and I finished it for them while they played in the toy aisle. Because of the generosity of our church people we were able to make 3 boxes this year. The most we have ever done!
I told Titus when we got married that I would like to do one for each child we have that year at Christmas. So as we have more children we would do more boxes. Sadly this has not happened every year. But this year we were able to give 3 boxes, 2 for boys and one for a girl representing our three children.
Shoe boxes are about $50 to fill. I told Titus if we end up with 10 children we will have to budget $500 just for shoe boxes every year! ha ha ha WOW!!!