Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas Shoe Boxes

My handsome boy with his shoebox.

Leah and her shoebox.

Emily was a little giddy. Perhaps it was the Christmas
music but we can't be sure...

Mission complete!

Getting silly!

Too much fun!

It's that time of year again. With Thanksgiving fast approaching and Christmas nipping at its heels, we've got to prepare our Samaritan's Purse shoeboxes!

This has been a family tradition for a long time, probably about 15 years or so. How it works is that you fill a shoebox with essential items and a check to cover the shipping costs and bring it to church to be donated to a needy child somewhere in the world.

Each of our children fills a box with soap, toothpaste and toothbrushes, flashlight and batteries, comb, brush, hair binders, socks, markers, crayons, writing and drawing paper, small toy(s), stickers, hard candies, gum, soap, washcloths, pens and pencils, erasers, glue sticks, scissors, pencil sharpener and more. We always use a reusable plastic box with a lid so that they will have a place to store their special things.

I usually pick a lot of the items up during the back-to-school sales in late summer because it is so much cheaper then. The rest we procure during the fall until the beginning of November when it is time to package it all up. It can be tricky trying to fit everything into the box but that's all part of the fun. It's a big event around here with certain rules we must follow:

The packaging must take place after dinner.

Everyone is allowed to pick out their favorite Christmas CD to listen to which must be played obnoxiously loud. This year's picks: Christmas With The Chipmunks, Sarah McLachlan: Wintersong, Jo Stafford: Happy Holidays, The Carpenters: Christmas Portrait.

We must sit on the floor in the living room.

It must be done all together.

We must laugh and have a really fun time.

Okay, I just added that last one in for good measure, but we always DO have a lot of fun with our shoebox packing event.

My children usually include a photo of our family or themselves and a letter. Emily has been pen pals for 6-7 years with a girl from Macedonia who received her shoebox one year! What a special friendship that has grown to be. :)

The boxes have now been transported to our church and will soon be on their way to a child far away to bring love, hope and joy from our hearts to theirs!


♥ Kimmi's Corner ♥ said...

I just found your blog! I love your daughters blog! And I found your blog on hers! I think my familys doing the shoe box's too this year! Have a blessed day!


PS: I love the name of your blog!:)

Shelley said...

We love doing the shoeboxes too. It's such a great way for the kids to get involved and feel like they're making a difference.
thanks so much for stopping by my blog today. I'm excited to follow yours! :)

WendyBee said...

That is so cool! You reminded me that we did that one year, probably about 5 years ago. I don't know why we didn't do it again. My 3 boys each sent a boy-themed box and so I could have fun with girlie things, I made 3 girl-themed ones. I did get a thank-you letter and a pic of a little girl - so cute! Now I'm going to have to check the SP website, and see if we have time to do it again. Thanks for the reminder!


Shelley said...

I'm so new at blogging that I wasn't sure if I responded to you on my page that you would see it.
You asked about our blender. Yep, it's a Vitamix. We've had it for at least six years and use it at least once a day. I REALLY love it. It is a lot of money (and we bought ours back in the day of just one kid) but I think it's completely worth every cent. If anything ever happened to mine, I would order a new one right away. I sound like I work for them. :) No... but it is pretty great.

Shelley said...

Your comment last night made my day. :)

Krishana said...

I was first introduced to this worthy cause during my years as a college undergrad. I love this annual Christmas tradition! A very fun and creative way to give back!