Have you heard of Operation Christmas Child? It's an organization that I can't help but love, as they spread hope, joy, and the gospel to children around the world who have little hope or joy. It's such a simple and easy way to send cheer and also a fun project to do with kids. We had a little shoebox party last year, and I wanted to continue the tradition, because it's a great kickoff for the holiday season and a good reminder of what this is all about. (And thank you so much to my talented friend Alea for these gorgeous photos!)
Basically, what you do is pack a shoebox full of goodies for a child to unpack. It's a fun little challenge to figure out what all you can fit! We invited over a handful of Vivi and Brigette's friends, asked them each to bring $10 to cover the contents, and I had a selection of items on hand for them to "shop" for their shoebox. We also told the girls to dress up if they wanted; it's a great excuse to wear those costumes again!
After a bit of research, I found the following items for the boxes: small notepads, ball point pens, crayons, band-aids, hair elastics, post-it notes, flashlights with batteries, plastic bowls, jump ropes, brown skinned dolls, stickers, toothbrushes, toothbrush cases, bars of soap, and toothpaste. I had the most luck shopping on Amazon for these items because I could get them in bulk at reasonable prices.
The girls also drew pictures and wrote notes to include in the boxes, and then filled their boxes in between treats and snacks.
It was really adorable watching them take part in something much bigger than themselves. And I was really impressed with their understanding of not taking the goodies for themselves!
For treats, I kept it pretty simple. We just had some oranges, juice, animal cookies, popcorn, and cupcakes.
I really love these giant rolls of paper; I have used several rolls over the past year and they come in so handy for quick and easy party decor! It's great for table coverings, picture backdrops, or quick and easy banners, and they come in a lot of different colors!
And how awesome are those paper lanterns from IKEA? I'm pretty crazy about them. Urban Outfitters also has a selection - they make the most gorgeous light patterns everywhere, and they are fairly inexpensive!
I think the girls were really proud of their handiwork, and it was precious to see them thinking about others during this season that is often so full of just receiving! Check out Operation Christmas Child for drop off locations near you and to see how you can participate!
I mean, goodness, are they sweet or what? Thanks again to Alea for capturing these precious photos!