When our kids were wee little we wanted to establish Holiday traditions for just our family. We had both grown up as part of families that love the holidays and we have great memories of Christmas and the traditions we’ve shared.
We wanted our kids to have the same thing. Things they would remember and look forward to every year as Christmas comes around. And we wanted to make sure some of those traditions involved doing things for others.
One of our favorite yearly activities is filling Operation Christmas Child boxes!
Operation Christmas Child is a non-profit organization that delivers filled Christmas boxes to children in developing countries all over the world. You can choose to fill a box for a boy or girl (or both!) and you can choose the age of the child also – 2-4 years, 5-9 years or 10-14 years.
Since we have a boy and a girl, we’ve always filled two boxes, and when the kids were younger we chose to fill them for the ages that matched our kids. That way they could help pick out items that they would love. Now that they’re older, we let them choose the age for the child each year.
We love going shopping as a family and picking out toys, candy, hygienic supplies – and stuffing the boxes as full as we can. :)
This year we decided to stick with the 5-9 year range for both a boy and a girl.
The Operation Christmas Child website has ideas and instructions for how to pack the boxes. You don’t have to have these specific boxes, our church provides them for us. You can use any boxes that are “shoe box” size, even plastic boxes.
Once your box is all packed, you print out labels and mark the boxes so they’ll know who it’s for.
Then your boxes are all ready to go!
I love that my kids ask every year when we’re going to go fill the boxes – and I love that they start the holiday season thinking of others.
National Collection week for the boxes is November 12 – 19 and you can find a list of drop off locations here.
You can also donate $7 or more for each shoe box to cover shipping and project costs. You can giveonline or you can write a check and slip it inside your box (with OCC in the subject line).
I really encourage you to check out Operation Christmas Child and consider making it one of your family traditions. It’s such a fun family activity and a great way to do something for children who are so much less fortunate – and a fun way to teach your children or grandchildren about being generous and thinking of others.
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.