Monday, November 5, 2007

Operation Christmas Child ...

It's that time of year again.  If you are looking for a fun hands-on charity for your little ones to get into, I highly recommend this one.  My kids have enjoyed making shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child for several years now.  They each decorate a shoebox with wrapping paper (with help from Mom), pick an age/boy/girl and then we go shopping for lots of fun goodies for their "child".  I try really hard to think about what it is like to live in an impoverished Third World country and avoid anything that needs batteries or is trendy.  We try to stick to the fun basics, such as art supplies, balls, dolls, stickers, puzzles, as well as soap and toothpaste.  It's been a great experience for my kids for several reasons.  I take this opportunity to talk with them about how many, many children live without the basics and how we as Americans (generally speaking) are way too wrapped up in our stuff.  We have the Material World book and go through it and look at the poorer countries.  We don't do Santa Claus and we discuss again that he is not a real person, but he symbolizes doing good to others.  Then my kids get to "play" Santa Claus and give these shoeboxes to a child in need. This year went peacefully, but in years past it has been hard for my little ones to part with the treasure boxes.  They had to dig down into themselves and show a little sacrifice.  Anyway, if you are interested in knowing more, Operation Christmas Child is the week of November 12 this year and you can find out more HERE.

writing their letters to their "child"

Choosing for their "child" from the loot

Finishing up their boxes

Little Red Ridinghood wanted to do a baby girl so we made her box for a 2-4 year old.  The doll took up a lot of space in the box, but it will probably be well loved.  I was pleased that Little Red Ridinghood gave up the pretty new doll without trying to claim it for her own.

Goldilocks squeezed everything in for her 5 to 8 year old girl.  (The camera is a toy not real, as the child would have no way to get film or processing.)  I had to laugh because she liked how the box came out so much that she said, "I wish I had nothing so someone would give me a shoebox like this."  LOL!



  1. We do this every year too. Love it! Your dd's comment is so cute!

  2. This is such a great thing!! I am going to do this with Jonathan. I told him about kids without toys and asked if he wanted to send them some and he said yes. I think it is a great lesson!! Thank you so much for sharing.

    I also enjoyed your laundry day photos. LOL.

  3. Every year I say that we are going to do this but this was actually our first year to make our boxes up before the deadline. It has been great fun for everyone.

  4. Where did you find your neat-o presents?

    We are doing two boxes this year, one for a girl and one for a boy. I am waiting for payday to get out and do the shopping! Our boxes are due by AWANA time on Sunday.

    I think Samaritan's Purse is just the greatest. :)

  5. homeschoolingmommaof4November 6, 2007 at 3:23 PM

    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing this with us. I'm going to have to do this with the kids.

    Have a blessed day!


  6. ... that you are doing with your children. We have shared a bit of time with underprivileged children here in the Third World. Many of these children only get to receive and enjoy new stuff for themselves during this season. Your childen's shoeboxes will surely be loved and appreciated.

  7. That's great that you do this. We have done it for many years, and it's always a hit. This will be the 2nd year that my 2 older girls have gone to Charlotte to work at the Christmas Child collection center. Last year the looked through individual boxes checking for things on the "no-no" list, and removing them. They loved it. They'll be going again in Dec.

    I loved the laundry pictures. You're a patient mom! One year I came home from a weekend trip, and Marissa who was probably five-ish, had done laundry for me. Without umm...."watchful" Dad seeing it, she had taken all of the clothes out of the hampers, put them outside on the slide, and hosed them down to clean them. : )


  8. We love doing this too! We just took 14 to our church today, so we didn't have to lug them all in tomorrow. Ten of them we helped make with our 4H group and we made the other four.

    This is something we look forward to doing each year. There is a free unit study for Boxes for Katje at and we've done it all week long, then we make our boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

    Great tradition, great memories!