A little over a week ago, I hosted the Operation Christmas Child packing party. In additional to my three amigos, we had another mother-son duo join us for the fun! The way Operation Christmas Child works is that you pack boxes full of toys, small clothing items, school supplies and toiletries tailored to a specific age and gender of child. My family packed 2 boxes for Girls (ages 2 - 4) and one box for a Boy (ages 5 - 9) since those are the ages and genders of my children.
I had been gathering small items for shoe boxes all year. We had coloring books, crayons, stickers, toothbrushes and toothpaste, band-aids, silly bands, hair accessories for the girls' boxes, markers, pens, notebooks, and magic washcloths. Just a bunch of items you can easily find in a dollar store, grocer checkout, etc.
On the day of the Operation Christmas Child packing party, I took the kids shopping that morning to buy a "WOW" item that each of my children picked out specifically to include in the box they were preparing. I had read this post earlier in the week and followed this bloggers lead in talking to my kids about this shopping trip not being for us, but for someone else. I tried to explain that we are not buying ourselves toys and not adding things to our wish list, but we are trying to bless other children with these gifts. One of my children still had a meltdown (and not the one I would have expected oddly enough) so I caved and took everyone out to lunch in exchange for their "generosity" to others. Even though we had to fight against selfishness, I still loved the shopping trip. We found perfect toys that represent each of our children to share with the recipients of our packed boxes. My youngest daughter has a doll with yarn hair that she loves and we found a yarn haired doll small enough to fit in the box! My middle daughter is not into dolls, but loves ponies and animals and we found a large (but not too large) "My Little Pony" to fit in the box. My son had a harder time finding a toy since he is really into ninjas right now and we didn't want to send any fighting toys since many of these boxes will end u in war and strife torn areas of the world. He ended up with a multi piece Hot Wheels set and that foam airplane.
Here are my three kids with their boxes full of love!
Once our friends arrived and we revisited the reasons for the party, we colored and completed this page to include in our boxes so the recipients would get to know a little bit about who the box was from. Then we prayed for the children who would receive our boxes, added our worksheets and closed up each box. Now they are ready to be mailed as a Christmas blessing to three other children somewhere in the world.
After we were finished, we ate homemade pizza, popcorn, and pumpkin chocolate chip cookies! To close out our party we watched Veggies Tales St. Nicholas movie while the kids wrestled and played. It was a fun night for us to learn about serving others with some of our friends!