It’s the most wonderful time of the year. And I’m not just talking about hot cocoa, winter weather, boot cuffs and Christmas gifts. Obviously.
I’m talking about the opportunity to talk with our kids about giving and generosity.
It’s so easy to focus on ourselves this time of year. It just comes naturally. Family and friends ask our kids what they want, they make lists, and before we know it, we’ve taken a holy time and turned into something about us. But teaching our kids to think of others who have less gives them something we can’t wrap and put under the tree: it offers them perspective.
I think that’s why we love packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child so much.
It’s an easy, practical, tangible way for kids to do something for someone their age in another country. Someone who has a great need. And while we may not be able to meet this need, we can bring a smile to their face on Christmas morning.
When my kids got home from school and saw the shoeboxes on the counter, they were so excited to fill them up. I’ve always believed children are a lot more generous than adults, they just need a chance to put it in action.
How to Pack a Shoebox in 3 easy steps:
- Find a shoebox.
- Gather items that will fit into a shoebox (this is always our biggest challenge). We like to do one main item like a shirt or ball and then fill up the box with a lot of small things, like toys and hygiene items. Include a family picture or a note to make it more personal.
Here’s what ended up going in one of our boxes:
3. Pray for the child (you can choose a boy or girl and specific age groups) and drop off your box (here are nationwide drop off locations). Operation Christmas Child asks that you donate $7 to help with shipping. And then, our favorite part?
Follow your box. And see where it ends up.
Not only does an impoverished child get a box full of goodies for Christmas, they also get a chance to receive The Greatest Gift of All. It just doesn’t get better than that!
I just can’t think of a better way to give my kids the world than by providing a way for them to impact a child their age in another country. Plus, it’s a lot of fun!
What are you waiting for? (Drop off locations close Nov. 23)
Special thanks to Operation Christmas Child in their partnership for today’s post.