You’ve probably heard about families and church congregations packing shoe boxes for Christmas. Have you ever wondered what that meant? Ever wondered what goes inside an Operation Christmas Child shoebox? Thank you, Oriental Trading for donating so many fun items for our shoe boxes this year!
We were so touched by the stories shared of giving and receiving that we decided to pack two boxes with our boys. 2 boxes turned into 4 boxes the next year, and 4 boxes turned into 6 boxes each year after.
When you pack a box you are given the opportunity to pay for a shipping label to track where the box goes. We don’t generally find out where our boxes have gone until February or March of the following year. Ours have gone to the Philippines and Central America in years past.
There are several age groups that you can pack a box for and you can decide if it is going to be sent to a boy or a girl.
We always do 3 boxes for girls and 3 boxes for boys. There are idea lists to go by and things that you should not pack like food or toy weapons. Starting this year the have banned toothpaste and hard candy due to custom regulations, so if you’ve packed a box in the past be sure to make a note of that.
What you put in your box is up to you! Many gather supplies all year long for their boxes. We keep an eye out for sales on crayons and colored pencils during the fall when the kids go back to school. You can even add homemade items such as hats and stuffed animals.
Here are some of the items that we purchase for our boxes every year for each Operation Christmas Child shoebox:
colored pencils or crayons
Those are the standard items that we pack. Then we fill the leftover space with other items such as:
socks or gloves
When we’ve finished packing our boxes, we add a Christmas card telling the child who we are, where we live, and send a special message of love and hope.
You can purchase a plastic shoe box at the store, use a cardboard one, or order them online.
National Drop Off Week is November 13-20th so there is still plenty of time to place an order with Oriental Trading and pack a box! These little boxes of cheer aren’t just great for sending to other countries. If you know of a family in need in your local area, fill up a box and door bell ditch it!
Does you family pack shoe boxes too? What are some of your favorite things to include?
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