Operation Christmas Child is an organization I hold close to my heart. For starters, I just adore what they do to bring joy to children worldwide. It's just the most precious thing. Not only that, but they also share with them the good news of Christmas, and Samaritan's Purse is also working so hard to serve those who are suffering in this ebola crisis. I once heard a woman speak who received a box as a child, and it was touching enough to make sure we send boxes every year. The collection week is usually close to Vivi's birthday, so it has become a special tradition to pack boxes for those little ones who have next to nothing as a part of celebrating her big day.
This is such an excellent opportunity to have conversations around those in need and what it means to give to others. I threw a very tiny little shoebox packing party to hopefully inspire some of y'all to do the same! If you don't know what OCC is all about, you just pack a shoebox full of fun items for a boy or girl in an age range you select. I find it to be a fun challenge to see what all I can fit into that small box.
It's so fun to have a reason to enjoy a little of Christmas a bit early. I just put together some sandwiches and picked up some cookies from our favorite local bakery, and had fun hanging all our Christmas ornaments (Land of Nod has the most whimsical Christmas decor!) from last year over the table for a festive touch. I found these boxes on the table at Michaels' - you are supposed to use regular shoeboxes, but I didn't have quite enough!
These large banners are so fun. I used black butcher paper, and painted the words with white paint and the design with gold sharpie. I stapled them to wooden dowels and hung them with string.
The place settings have little jingle bell and wood bead necklaces as a little treat for the kids.
To stuff the boxes, I just ran to the store and bought a bunch of goodies, and the other moms pitched in, to keep it simple. We included some dolls, crayons, notepads, stickers, fun sunglasses, hair accessories, princess tissues, play doh, toothbrushes, and more goodies, and the girls sort of "shopped" the table to fill their boxes. (poster here.)
The girls decorated the boxes with crayons and stickers before stuffing them.
And if you think for a moment that maybe it's crazy asking little ones to fill up boxes with toys they won't get to keep or play with, then you would be right. But that's why it's so good, isn't it? The girls were surprisingly on board with it, and did a good job of "shopping" the little table to fill up their boxes for these special girls half a world away. Sometimes I underestimate their ability for generosity.
I thought it was fun to put out the globes and write "joy to the world" because that is precisely what this project is all about.
Ahh, my favorite cake plates from Minted.
I'll probably be leaving all this festive-ness up for awhile.
So, there you have it. I hope you will consider packing a shoebox with your little ones. It's such a sweet reminder of what this season is all about! You can also include a note, and you may get a response from the child who is on the receiving end of the goodies!