As you know, I have a 4 year old, 2 year old, and soon to be 5 month old. I am constantly trying to model the behavior I want to see in my children. I also try to lead by example because they are always watching my every move. My 4 year old has been mimicking me for ages & my 2 year old mimics the 4 year old. Even the baby is getting in on it now by trying to screech like her brothers.
I was asked recently if I would like to blog about Operation Christmas Child and I knew as soon as I learned about it that it would be a great way to teach my children who are always looking up to me, about generosity and kindness among other things, and that it would be a great tradition for us to start here in our home to remind us every year of what the holidays are truly about.
Operation Christmas Child is a non-profit organization that has inspired millions to pack Christmas shoe-box gifts for children in developing countries around the world. This year, Operation Christmas Child expects to reach a milestone with more than 100 million children receiving shoe box gifts since 1993.
Letting the Children Lead The Way
My boys and I went to the store and gathered up a variety of stuff. Nothing over the top or too expensive. Crayons, coloring book, pencils, erasers, sharpeners, markers, notebooks and a few toiletries like a small package of kleenex, moist wipes, deodorant, as well as a makeup bag, pocket calendar, candy, small stuffed animals, a couple books, tons of Hello Kitty stuff, and more. You can learn how to pack a box on their site.
We couldn’t decide on whether we wanted to do a box for a boy or a girl so we decided to do 1 for each! We were all really excited to put the boxes together. My boys loved picking out stuff, especially my 4 year old. At one point he picked up a Spiderman coloring book and it was very evident that he wanted it for himself. I told him this trip was all about other children, and not about "us". He was a little upset but today when we wrapped the boxes I think he understood a bit more about what we were doing.
Both of my boys helped pack the boxes. My 4 yr old couldn’t wait to get started this morning. He separated everything and packed it all up nicely. I was really proud of him. He told me it had to be "perfect" Of course my 2 year old was a big help as well. He wanted to do everything big brother was doing. Silje even sat in the room with us and watched.
Tomorrow, before we drop our boxes off at our local collection center I’m letting my 4 year old help me write a small note to the children that will receive our boxes in hopes that maybe we will get a return letter.
My children and I had a lot of fun doing this & after watching videos online of children receiving boxes I can tell you that the children who receive the boxes are incredibly excited and grateful. Just the smiles on their faces brought me to tears. I love children and helping with this cause just brought a lot of joy to my heart. I especially loved that my boys were learning how to not just think about themselves. I was really impressed with the fact they put these boxes together without once asking if they could open anything or keep something for themselves.
How Operation Christmas Child Works
- Find a shoebox (My local Payless were gracious enough to provide mine)
- Decide who you will make a box for. A boy or a girl
- Decide what age range you’d like 2-4, 5-9, 10-14
- Gather up some items like toiletries, school supplies, small toys, etc. (they have a great list on the site)
- Go online & choose to follow your box by donating $7 for shipping. You’ll then be able to print out a label for your box that can be tracked.
- Take your box to a local drop off center (mine is at a local church)
Join Me In Making This A Tradition With Your Family
It would really touch my heart if my readers would pledge below to make this a tradition with their families as well. Please check out the site and consider it.
More About Operation Christmas Child
You can learn more directly on the Operation Christmas Child website.
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built. Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.