Christmas Gifting to Those Without
Our children in America are so incredibly blessed. Many of our children have a home to live in, their own room, plenty of toys to play with and a closet full of clothes.
Unless we teach our children to be generous in giving to others this is not something that comes naturally to them. Children live in this "ME" bubble. Their little minds are constantly saying to them: What makes me happy? How can I please me? What can I get for me?
John and I are constantly trying to help the big kids become more aware of others. John shares many times how when he goes to work in NYC he sees people on the street with no food and no home to live in. Julia and Mark are always dumbfounded. John will tell them how he tries to share a meal with them, or buy them coffee, or give them a few dollars for lunch all the while mentioning that God loves them.
I was so thankful when my MOPS group shared the idea of Operation Christmas Child 5 years ago! I was able to start a tradition with Julia even before she turned 1 about sharing God's love with others and buying toys for children who may not have anything new at Christmas time. Over the years Julia and Mark have learned more about gifting for others in need, and have gotten more excited about shopping for our shoe boxes full of prizes for these kids.
Samaritan's Purse does an amazing job with collecting these shoe boxes filled with toiletries, toys, and sometimes even flip flops and clothes (most things go over to countries where the weather is warm year round). Then the boxes are dropped off and given to villages of children of all ages from babies to pre-teens!
What we like to do is a shoe box per kid and we fill it out with the same gender (you get to choose the gender of the child you want to get the gifts and the age group) So, Julia packs a box for a little girl her age, and Mark packs a box for a little boy his age! This is our first year doing 3 boxes!
Our MOPS group collects all the boxes early November and they are sent to a shipping site that goes through them and further processes them! You can even track your shoebox and find out what country it is sent to! It can become a geography lesson! You also are able to explain to your child that their generosity is going to make another boy or girl smile on Christmas day! What a thought that is to be a blessing to someone you have never even met! The children are also encouraged to include a letter and photo if they want.
What a great Christmas gift. Teaching your child how to be generous to others less fortunate is such a blessing!