Operation Christmas Child...

The premise is simple.  A child (or adult ;) fills a box with necessities and fun wrapped up with a sweet note and shipped around the world or down the street to provide a little hope for another child this Christmas.  

It's one of our favorite traditions to do with our kids.  At a time of year where we are writing our own wish lists and thinking of all the items we want, it's good to focus on someone who may be looked over, to remember that the gift of Jesus is most important and showing others His love is what we are called to do.

We set aside time to go shopping as a family.  Each of our older kiddos "adopts" a child their age so we had a girl (ages 5-9) box and a boy (ages 5-9) box.  You can choose boy or girl ages 2-4, 5-9 or 10-14.  It seems to resonate for our kids to pick the age and gender they are and think of gifts they may like if this box were for them.

We talk about how these children may or may not have families, homes or even a special toy to call their own but that no matter what Jesus loves them and this little gift will bring them joy for now and Jesus will bring them joy forever.  It's so cool to think, God knows who the box is going to already.

We spent time picking out hygiene items (flip flops, socks, soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, brushes, etc.), school supplies (crayons, bible coloring book, sharpened pencils, pads of paper) and goodies (stuffed animals, doll, play doh, mini wind up train, ball, mini tea set, plastic jewelry, princess wand, flashlight with extra batteries, gum and starburst).  If you aren't sure what to include the website has a long list of ideas.

We came home and Vera laid it all out.  We took some of the toys out of the wrapping and placed in plastic baggies to take up less room.  Then started placing items like a puzzle into the boxes so we could squeeze everything in :).

The kids then took some sharpie markers and drew all over the box.  I added some verses and Jesus Loves you and so do we notes as well.  They worked so hard with messages of I (Heart) you.

Boxes filled with treasures and love!

We then went online and paid $7 and printed off our box label so we can track our box.  We love this new feature.  We will get an email letting us know where our boxes go and then we can look up the location on the map with our kids!  

Before we took them to the local collection site (you can find yours here), we prayed over the boxes for the Lord to show Himself to the child that receives this box, that they know we are praying for them and that they have hope this Christmas.

What a wonderful way to kick off the Christmas season and remind us that above all else we have hope because a beautiful baby came from Heaven, was born into the world to grow up and go to the cross for us.

You still have time to get involved, it's collection week.  Check out the website for all the details.  You can do one as a family or 100 but each child the receives it will have a smile on their face for sure!

Have you packed a shoe box?  What did you include in yours?  Where did your box go?  

Ours went to Zambia last year :).

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