Family Fun Friday: Operation Christmas Child Shoebox

I wrote it on the calendar a week ahead of time. And I’m glad I did because it kept me focused and committed.

Then, taking Sally Clarkson’s advice, I talked it up all week, “This Friday, we’re going to prepare our shoebox and make cards for a little girl who lives far away, and who might not get many presents this Christmas!”

The girls caught my excitement.

We talked about how something as small as a shoebox could open one little girl’s heart to God’s love.

When Friday rolled around, we met Ryan after work at The Dollar Store.

As a family, we strolled through the aisles and found the perfect goodies for one little girl. Pink bubbles, princess pencils, hair bows, colorful notebooks, and a can of Vienna Sausages.

(A can of Vienna Sausages? Yup! A missionary friend told us that a little can of processed meat is like gold in a shoebox. “Spam is like a feast!” she had said. We added an extra can to our basket so that we could know what one little girl’s Christmas feast might be like.)

After dinner, we dusted off a Christmas Album in our iTunes library (not to be played again until after Thanksgiving, mind you, but this was a special occasion).

With carols playing in the background, the girls packed the shoebox. Rather, they just plopped things in the shoebox.

Over which, I confess, I got a little controlling. I hope I didn’t say it out-loud, but I was definitely thinking “You can’t just TOSS things into an OPERATION CHRISTMAS CHILD SHOEBOX! Does this experience mean NOTHING to you?! THIS IS MY FAMILY FUN NIGHT AND I WANT THESE THINGS TO GO IN THE BOX A CERTAIN WAY AND YOU’RE MESSING IT ALL UP! You’re supposed to be angelic and slow and make a good photo shoot! You’re supposed to cry and meditate on how GREAT IT IS TO BE GIVING THESE THINGS TO SOMEONE ELSE!!!” Whew. Yes, that was alarming. I made myself cool down after that.

And I’m glad I did, because the best part was to come.

We created cards together out of construction paper, glue, beads, and cotton balls. Daddy and Vivi, Mommy and Lia, working together to bless one little girl with the best artwork we could muster.

It’s rare that all four of us sit down and work on a project like that together, sketching out shapes, and dropping glue blobs onto paper. It was very sweet.

And simple.

And holy.

As we tucked the girls into bed that night, I said to each precious person in my family, “You are so much fun to be with! Thank you. That was a fun night.” And I meant it.

(Interested in planning an Operation Christmas Child Night for your family? Carissa at Totally Tots provides all the “how to’s” you need to know. Check it out!)

Of course, I’m just itchin’ to know what you did for your Family Fun Night!

Extravagant or humble, we all want to know.. how’d it go??

Link up below or leave a comment. (Of course, you can link to something you’ve enjoyed in the past. I promise, I won’t get controlling on you…)







8 responses to “Family Fun Friday: Operation Christmas Child Shoebox”

  1. Stephanie Avatar

    SO sweet! I think we’re kindred spirits in the control dept. ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hollie Avatar

    I love this! Great pictures too. We are doing our shoebox tonight ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Heathahlee Avatar

    I am crying my eyes out now. I just can’t WAIT to fill our box. I will ask my 10-year old Kiddo for which age boy he’d like to fill it, then we’ll head out to Dollar Tree and Walmart and have a blast. At least that’s what I hope! : )

    That video at Relevant absolutely did me in! I want to do this every year now! : )

  4. Emily Avatar

    Room 103 had “operation Christmas orphan family fun friday” tonight! We had dinner as a little threesome, went to target and picked up some great things for a little 6-8 year old boy, enjoyed the brisk weather inside the ice hockey rink as we watched our team lose a disappointing game, came back to the room and made our cards while watching legally blonde 2 (okay, not so Christmas-y…but we haven’t seen it yet ๐Ÿ™‚ )

  5. Corrie Avatar

    We have a newborn, 1 year old and a 3 year old, so we split the night into two nights. We went shopping one night, splitting up the boy with daddy and the girls with me. We talked a lot about where the toys are going, etc. The next night we watched the operation Christmas Child videos. Ok, the two younger children didn’t watch and didn’t get it (my son kept asking for the toys, “That’s for Andrew”), but the 3 year old did. It was really neat!

  6. Laura Avatar

    Corrie, What a wonderful way to introduce your children to generosity, needs, and the gospel. May God bless you as you enjoy time as a family.

  7. Laura Avatar

    Em – SO much fun in Room 103! Sorry about Liberty’s loss; they’ll recover though and have a great game next time. I just know it! Are you playing your Christmas tunes yet??

  8. Jen Avatar

    We typically do our family afternoon/night on Sunday, so I will plan to link up this coming Friday with our thank you note writing from this past weekend. Looking forward to seeing how you all are spending your family time!! Great post Laura and great pictures.

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