I just realized that this is always the first of our annual Christmas traditions…simply because it is so early in November, that it easily beats out the music and decorations that are not begun until the day after Thanksgiving. I think it is a perfectly apt that our first Christmas celebrating is in giving to needy children in impoverished countries! Even though this was a happy accident, I love that it works out this way…
Since Caleb was born, we’ve sent “a box per boy” so that is at least 33 boxes we’ve sent!? I think we did some even before that, for baby Sam and toddler Josiah, but since I don’t recall for certain, I won’t add those numbers in. I remember the first few years, before Caleb was old enough to really participate, I always made “his” box a girl box, just so I had an excuse to buy pink barrettes and baby dolls!!
After these sons of ours grow up, I will still be sending three small children, somewhere, three large boxes in remembrance of the little boys who used to help me choose the treats. Won’t it be fun, after a lifetime, to see how many boxes that ends up at?! Won’t it be fun, in eternity, to meet the beautiful souls that such a simple gift had blessed? Just some candy, some toys, soap and a new toothbrush, stuffed animals and crayons and the gospel message, all saying one, vital thing to a disadvantaged child:
“you matter. you are loved.”
If you have children, it is a great way to talk about what Christmas really means, and let them do something tangible (your child, going to the Dollar Tree and choosing for “their” child’s box is so powerful!) and you also teach them (even if it was an accident!) to start the season off helping others and not with the “gimme, gimme Santa” list.
Every year the boys were shocked again, to realize that THIS box might be all the gifts/toys/candy that some other little boy might get for the whole YEAR!? Even a 7 year old quickly adds up in his mind his many birthday gifts, the Halloween candy, the full Easter basket, the pile of Christmas presents under the tree with his name, and come to the conclusion that wow. I am blessed.
If you haven’t done this before, it’s a great year to start! Or if you’ve done it before but forgot? It’s not too late!…the last collection day is November 22. Here is the site:
if you go there, it will tell you exactly what to pack, then you can download a label, and it will even tell you the location nearest you to drop it off. Children in 130 different countries are waiting…
let’s start this Christmas of 2010 off right!