Monday, December 1, 2008

Operation Christmas Child

A week ago, Peter and Breanna had the opportunity to participate in Operation Christmas Child through our church. The way this works, is that a shoebox is filled with goodies for a child in need, and then sent to that child for Christmas. Peter and Breanna both wanted to do a box, so we opted to have a "boy" and a "girl" box for children 4-6 years of age.
Before we headed off to Wal-mart (where I NEVER take all three kids unless I absolutely HAVE to), we had a deep discussion about our "Christmas Child" endeavor.

Mommy: "Peter, do you have a toothbrush to brush your teeth?"

Peter: "Yes, Mommy."

Mommy: "Well, your Christmas Child may not have a toothbrush, so we have to make sure to get him one".

Breanna: "Yeah, because we don't want our Christmas Child to have stinky breath. Nooooo! That would be tewwibul!"It was really a wonderful learning experience for them to pick out toys for someone other then themselves. A couple of times I could see the temptation to ask for a toy for themselves begin to surface, but with a little reminder of who they were shopping for, they were back on track!

On a side note, I got pretty annoyed with our Super Wal-mart's selection of toys. Everything was battery operated and seemed to be geared toward an ADD generation of kids. Whatever happened to the iconic jump rope and yo-yo? I finally had to ask an associate, who had to ask a manger, who eventually found them tucked into a tiny corner of the back wall; right above the pathetic selection of coloring books.This was also a good learning experience for me, because I have a tendency to be stingy. At first, I had rejected doing boxes, because I reasoned that we'd end up spending more money on the toys than I'd spend for my own kids' Christmas presents. Thankfully, God was able to get through my stingy spirit and thick head, and convict me that giving only when it costs nothing is not a worthy gift at all. In the end, although I still flinched when we checked out, I am so glad that we had this great opportunity!

6 comments:

Ellen said...

This IS a great experience for the children! We have the children do something for other children every Christmas. It is so nice to do for others. --- I couldn't agree with you more re: the toy selection these days... very disappointing.

Sereknitty said...

We've got this endeavor locally, as well, and while I didn't participate this year, have done so previously. It really puts things into perspective when you know how valuable and appreciated a toothbrush will be.

Renee said...

We did the OCC this year for the first time through the school and church. Haylee got to go up on the stage and put her box down during chapel which was exciting for her. :)

It is something I would like to somehow make a tradition out of... focusing on those less fortunate. I too, am often in need of a reminder...

Renee said...

We did the OCC this year for the first time through the school and church. Haylee got to go up on the stage and put her box down during chapel which was exciting for her. :)

It is something I would like to somehow make a tradition out of... focusing on those less fortunate. I too, am often in need of a reminder...

Mizzle said...

We did this too at my church, when I was a kid (which is not too long ago), but we were encouraged to give away some of our own toys - not the old ones we no longer cared about, but ones that were still 'good' that we were willing to share.

I'm pretty sure we always did add some new stuff (like pencils, and of course the toothbrush), but I do think giving away some of your own toys can be a good learning experience. It costs nothing from your (= the parent's) wallet, but if it's something you're (= the kid) attached to, it does cost you something!

Too Little Time said...

What a great lesson for your children - one of the best Christmas' I had was when we delivered a Christmas box to a local family who didn't have - very eye opening to all I have to be thankful for. :) Merry Christmas my friend - K