Tuesday, November 24, 2009

#29 Volunteer with the kids

I completed the first item on my list! I originally set out to volunteer with the two older boys, but it turned out that even my three year really got into this.
Operation Christmas Child is a program where you collect, package and send out filled shoe boxes for less fortunate boys and girls across the world.
We started by getting on-line and showing the kids the Samaritans Purse Website. I think seeing some children helped them visualize what we were doing. We talked about how some children don't have any toys, very little food, almost no hygiene products. We also talked about how some children don't even have mothers or fathers, and that we would be spending time making them a present to open on Christmas morning.

It really filled my heart with joy to see my children worry about these kids. They were full of questions and I did my best to answer them. We also prayed for all of them.
My mom really got into this too. She had a lot of hotel sized shampoos and soaps. She also brought over combs, bandaids, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and Christmas baggies. Her and Ava spent all afternoon dividing them up, wrapping them in the baggies and tying pretty ribbons.
We gave the kids $6 each and took them to the dollar store. They each picked out very thoughtful gifts: balls, jump-ropes, a doll or stuffie, coloring books and crayons. I picked up some school supplies and some hard candy.
When we got home we filled up the shoeboxes. They were crammed full and the kids were so excited! What fun it is to give! I know it is not even Thanksgiving yet but the whole experience really put me in the Christmas mood. I would like to continue to find situations where the kids could volunteer their time with me to help others. Ava taught me that three is definitely not too early to give!
Speaking of Christmas, I've been wondering how some of you celebrate with your kids. We have decided, for the first year ever, to do three gifts for each child. As a tradition I always give them new pajamas and a book or movie on Christmas Eve, and they will still receive a stocking as well. When I say it out loud like that, it still seems like a lot to me. But I have friends who say NOOOOOO WAyY!!! Christmas is a time to go big! Three gifts is like a deprivation!
We've always gone big, but it's always felt like too much. Overwhelming and greedy is not what I want to feel on Christmas day. So we are focusing on simplicity, and being grateful for what we have.
What about you? Do you love to buy a lot of gifts for your kids, or do you set a limit?
(ps I don't think you are greedy if you like to buy lots for Christmas!!:) It just hasn't been working for our family:)

12 comments:

MomBE said...

I have a two and three year old and we have adopted the three gift rule as well. We talk to the kids about how baby Jesus got three gifts. We also do new pjs the night before and a new copy of "the night before christmas" each year (in the cover we record the memories of that Christmas). We do stockings too, for truth be told, it is what I remember most of xmas when I was a child. I LOVE this idea and am proud to tell anyone who will listen that it is how we do things in our house. I think this practice along with giving to others and focusing on the traditions in our home is what it is all about. I applaud you!

luci said...

Hi Chrissie
thanks for your note and great news :-)
The shoe boxes look fabulous!
How great you are all getting on board with this fab charity.
It is such a great feeling to get something off the list too, isn't it!
I really really like your quilt too.

Diane said...

My family did Samaritan's purse shoe boxes this year for the first time. The kids really enjoyed collecting small, meaningful toys for our boxes. We brought them to our church service and our priest invited everyone to bring theirs up to the altar where he blessed them. It was wonderful for our three kids to start the holiday season by thinking of others. Kudos to you for highlighting this important charity!

P.S. Your Christmas quilts are wonderful, your kids will cherish them!

Hopeful Housewife said...

I love the three gift rule! I wonder if it will work on Hubs, he is the biggest kid I have :)

Diva Kreszl said...

how wonderful that you are teaching your children compassion at such a young age! check out my blog...I've given you an award!

sarah said...

we do one 'big' gift the child can get excited about, then another small gift or two. our christmas tree looks pretty sad compared to some of others, but they also are getting gifts at grandparent's houses and other inlaws, it's really too much. I don't have room to store everything!

carissa... brown eyed fox said...

smiling form ear to ear... your blog... your art... is simply WONDERFUL!
so happy i came by AND can't wait to come back again!

we do three gifts as well... small stocking stuffers... and their eve jammies.
i ADMIT i do have to remind myself to KEEP the limit... and stay true to that. they get sooooo many gifts from family... friends... it is all too much!
presents are fun for the kiddos... i just want them to grow up understanding the REAL reason for Christmas.

carlisle clan conversation... said...

LOVE Operation Christmas Child, we get great joy out of doing this as well. We also are doing three gifts this yr...deja vu as we give pjs on Christmas Eve, too. I read a blog that noted the three gift per child rule in her family to symbolize the three gifts the Wiseman gave to Jesus and I decided that was just what our family needed to do also.

Anonymous said...

Dear Chrissie Logan Ashton Ava and Jackson Thank you for asking me to help with the boxes! Ava had fun during the day helping me make bags of soap shampoo combs etc.Using her tiny finger to hold the ribbon in place while I tied bows. Our shopping trip was wonderful! Filling the boxes was so much fun for each child (even baby Jackson helped).Talking about what their own boxes ment to them and each saying their own prayer after mommy prayed first. This is a wonderful project for families! Have a safe meaningful Thanksgiving!

Anonymous said...

Dear Chrissie Logan Ashton Ava and Jackson Thank you for asking me to help with the boxes! Ava had fun during the day helping me make bags of soap shampoo combs etc.Using her tiny finger to hold the ribbon in place while I tied bows. Our shopping trip was wonderful! Filling the boxes was so much fun for each child (even baby Jackson helped).Talking about what their own boxes ment to them and each saying their own prayer after mommy prayed first. This is a wonderful project for families! Have a safe meaningful Thanksgiving!

Ruth said...

I love the three gift rule. It works out so much nicer. Operation Christmas Child is one of my favorite charities. We love packing the shoe boxes. We also love the Christmas catalog they send.

Ruth

sara's art house said...

What a great idea! A super way to get kids to think about others. Thanks for the inspiration...