Sunday was the last day to bring in your shoebox gifts for Operation Christmas Child. Samaratin's Purse is such a great organization and the shoebox initiative is an amazing idea. What I love so much about it is that it is a wonderful way to involve children in giving and also provides a good opportunity to open their eyes to the poverty that many children live in.
During breakfast one day I started talking with my kids about what I had been reading in the Word that morning and summarized that Jesus wanted us to be generous. Whatever you have done for the least of these, you have done for me... challenging.
Later in the day we watched a couple of videos on YouTube about Operation Christmas Child. There was even a Veggie Tale promo where Larry packs a shoebox and accidentally gets sent with it :) They were great for showing the kids the children that would be receiving their boxes and the type of conditions that they live in. They also saw Mom cry at every video - oi.
As a family we made a date to go shopping for our shoeboxes. Each kid bought for a boy/girl their own age and the tall one and I each shopped for a teenager. The next morning we set about packing our shoeboxes.
First we sorted it all into piles for each child.
It's always a struggle to fit as much as you possibly can into a box! I packed for a 10-14 year old girl... sometimes I feel lost on what to buy teenagers... this year I figured I'd try to add a crafty element to the box. I picked up a small sewing kit along with some fabric and also made 3 headbands to include in the gift.
We managed to squeeze everything into our boxes (including a custom Christmas card in each) and they were almost ready to go.
One of the most important things we pack into our boxes is prayer. Each of us grabbed our box and took turns praying over it and for the child that would receive it.
I know it's too late to physically pack a shoebox but you can still give one by "Building a Box Online" on the Samaratin's Purse Website. Also be on the look out for various community initiatives in your city such as Christmas Hampers and the Angel Tree. Here in Estevan you can pick an ornament off the Angel tree in the Walmart and buy a gift for a local child in need. I believe the trees go up around December 5.