Monday, November 12, 2007

Family Night: Shoeboxes!

This week for our Family Night - we packed our shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child! This is a ministry that David and I love and even this "small" way of helping makes a big impact!

Incidentally, this is Collection Week - so if you still want to participate the deadline is Sunday in most places.

We started out our evening by watching a two minute video of a family in NC packing their boxes. This is nice and short and shows other children participating which is why I wanted Emily to see it!

Then, we had tacos for dinner. I wanted to do something ethnic since we were talking about children from other countries. I searched and scoured for other recipes - but honestly wasn't sure any of us would eat any of those things. I had a book I was planning to read about a little boy who received a shoebox and they talked about tortillas in it - so that is why I went with tacos. (We ran out of time to read the book - but that is ok!)

Then we headed to the store. I had already stockpiled a good amount for our boxes - but I really wanted Emily to be more hands-on this year and get to help pick out some of the goodies for her box.

This went well - I think she enjoyed getting to pick the items out! When we got home, we packed our boxes!

Rachel even got in on it! (After she put all these things in - she took them all out and dropped each thing on the floor - oh well!)

Here is Emily with her finished box!

We had to finish up on Saturday night because I had over planned as usual! After dinner on Saturday, I let the girls "color" these pages to include in their boxes.

Then, we had Christmas cookies to finish off our night! I made these because they are one we already love and are called Russian Tea Cakes and Mexican Wedding Cookies - I know it is a stretch, but it was my attempt at an ethnic cookie to go with our theme!

Starting Friday night, we will be praying for Operation Christmas Child every night at dinner for a week. I picked up a prayer card at church (I couldn't find a copy on-line) which includes praying for all the volunteers who make this venture possible and the families of the children who will receive these boxes!


Amy said...

This is a great idea, Monica. I'm always putting things off until my girls giet bigger, but this is proof that it's never too early to start!

Christi said...

We are doing the Shoeboxes, too. I've read about a lot of people doing it this year.

What a great idea for family night!

Anonymous said...

I love these photos of the little ladies participating in this service project! I agree that this was a great idea for a family night!

Love you, Mom

Munkamama said...

Great idea! Whenever we've done the shoe boxes I've made sure the kids were involved in picking things out and packing them.

Unfortunately our church did not make mention of Operation Christmas Child this year - so I had forgotten all about it.

It's a good way, especially this time of year when our kids are EXPECTING gifts soon - for them to be involved in the giving and realizing not everyone is so blessed as they are.

Angela said...

We filled our boxes this past weekend too, I'm going to blog about ours tomorrow.. We had a great time. check me out at


Anonymous said...

We are attending a new church that is involved in this, and I honestly meant to participate but forgot about it because it's new to us. Wish we had though, especially after reading this.

Anonymous said...

That is a wonderful thing to get your girls involved in being giving. I am amazed at your commitment to a theme also. My family thinks I am crazy and dare I say, neurotic when I do things like that. Its fun, isn't it?!?!

Amy said...

This is another great family night idea and I love your pictures that went along with it.

Thank you for always sharing your nights with everyone. This is a great way to encourage others to do more family activities.

Michele said...

We filled our shoeboxes on Sat night. I just posted about it on my blog yesterday. We have been particpating for the last five years. It is a wonderful ministry!
Thank you for posting that video. We are going to watch it together later tonight. It is so neat to see exactly where the boxes are sent!

carrie said...

Yay, Monica! Glad Emily enjoyed getting more involved this time.

I'm turning ours in tomorrow.

Michelle said...

We've done this now for the last four years and honestly, it has to be one of the highlights of the season for us. We do one box for each child we have (we have 5). I also try to make it in that child's age bracket as well. We will be turning ours in on Wednesday night at church and we are trying to hurry and finish them!

Lisa said...

What a great family tradition! A few years ago I was in Romania for Christmas and I was able to help pass out was one of my alltime favorite moments in life!!! You would not believe how happy the kids are getting these gifts that are usually the only gifts they receive all year...amazing!!! I have the afternoon on video and find myself watching it all the time as it is complete joy and the kids laughter sounds like angels :)

MyHeartIsAlwaysHome said...

Looks like the whole family had fun! Great way to teach your little ladies about giving.

Carmen said...

Looks like you all had a great time! At our old church we coordinated the boxes and took them to the drop off...hard work but worth it! One year we collected over 50! We're at a different church now and since we've all been sick lately we just plum missed out on it. But...we did hop online yesterday at and click on "giving". Then when you're on the donate page then put the cursor on the "giving" button again and you can then scroll down to the 2007 Christmas Gift Catalog. Then you can click on different categories. The "Six Gifts that Kids Can Give" was very popular with our kiddos. Each of our children ordered one or two things...the most popular was sports gear and blankets. Then as a family we donated money to buy a village a brood of chicks. It's really neat! So...if any of you forgot you can still give to a great organization and feel the personalization of the giving.


MommySecrets said...

We put together our box this weekend - it's such a great family activity!! I haven't seen the prayer cards, so I'll have to look for them.

2boysmama said...

I took your advice and stocked up and back to school sales. Thanks for that tip!

I'm glad your participation from your daughter turned out so well. Last year it was a disaster with my son. Me me me me me was all I heard at the store (he was 3). This year I've started earlier talking about it, maybe it will help.

Sheila said...

We are actually doing this tonight as a part of our family night. I already had planned to have chicken enchilada's, didn't plan that on purpose, but it will work and i think i will make some christmas cookies for when we get back home. Great Idea!

Anonymous said...

Did you put a picture of Emily in the box??? When I went on a distribution trip to Mexico the pictures/notes from those who made the boxes were by far the highlight of the box!! Who would think?? But that is their connection to someone around the world who loves them. Didn't do it? That's ok...remember for next year and spread the word! Bonnie
By the way...if anyone is involved in kids programs/Sunday Schools ....OCC has an AWESOME program for you to use called "Passport to Adventures" for it this spring! Our girls club used it this fall ...a huge hit!

thehomespunheart said...

Bonnie - We DID include a family photo - thanks so much for sharing that idea!