Thanks to a wonderful group of friends, bloggers and Etsy buyers our family was able to make up 7 Operation Christmas Child Boxes. I am hoping this post will be a kind of instructional / inspirational post on how to contribute to this great organization!
EXPLAINING: One of the most important and worth while parts of this whole process is to be sure your children are feeling all of the necessary emotions involved when they are asked to open their hearts and minds and give. They should feel curious about why someone would give something of theirs to another, They should feel excitement while shopping , the hunt of the items for that person, They should know they might feel a certain selfishness initially when they have to give up these material items, They should feel love when thinking and praying for the person they are giving to and at last they should feel satisfied knowing that having the heart of a servant has made God happy.
To do this I sat the kids down in a quiet room with no toys early in the day when I knew they would be ablet o pay attention and comprehend what I was saying.
I explained all of these emotions is simplest terms. By keeping the conversation to only 7 minutes they were able to understand without loosing interest. I made sure to tell them if at anytime during the process they had any questions to ask me.
Box #1~ Girl age 5-9
We had so much fun shopping for each child.
We didn't choose what age ranges or gender we would be buying for. I left it up to chance what shoes would be available.
I began by going to all of my favorite Consignment shops . I found 3 brand new pair of shoes that way at only $3 to $5 for each pair. Then I moved onto Payless and Walmarts clearance sections to find the rest of the shoes with the cheapest shoes costing $3 and the most exspensive pair were $6.
While my Son Jaedin was at Kindergarten for 4 hours , my daughters and I devoted 2 days to shopping at Grace's Merry Go Round, Mom's Resale, The Dollar Tree, Michaels & Walmart.
Tip: To keep track of what I had bought I made an index card for each box and labeled the top by Box # _ , Each time I bought something I wrote it on the card. Then stapled the 7 index cards together to carry with me while shopping. This way I could tell if the gift was age appropriate, if it would all fit in the box and if I was getting too many items. Once I filled 7 slots of items I stopped buying for that box.
Box #2~ Girl age 5-9
Box #3~ Girl age 2-4
Box #4~ Girl age 5-9
Box #5~ Boy age 2-4
Box #6~ Boy age 2-4
Box #7~ Boy age 2-4
Praying / Packing: This is a step that is largly up to your personal beliefs. If you want to send well wishes you can send a note. If you are faith based you can choose to say prayers for each child that will recieve the gift. Here are some scriptures on giving,
"He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker,but whoever is kind to the needy honors God."
Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God which He has given you.
Simplifying these scriptures is a great way to convey the message.
Package the boxes by carefully placing each gift in a neat manner to relay the message of time and care taken to pack the boxes. Finally, it has been a reoccuring message in my Stampington articles that the Art of Presentation shows the love and care you put into the gift. By wrapping each box top lid with lucious looking purple satin ribbon (from FiniRibbon)I think it finished of the "present" look.