Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My Very Own Shoebox Packing Tips! (Operation Christmas Child)

We still have our pumpkins out and the neighbors just put up their beautiful Christmas Tree.   I know. I watched the antecedent event through my window. This metamorphosis of the seasons means one thing. It's Shoebox Time! National Collection week is November 18 - 25!

Samaritan's Purse has been delivering shoeboxes filled with gifts to children in Third World countries for twenty years. Our family has joined in the fun for nearly 15 years! Our kids love the process of giving and Operation Christmas Child is a perfect, hands on way for them to show love to others. You can even track your box to it's final destination! How cool is that?

The first thing you need is a shoebox. You can use a shoebox that you've found in the bottom of your closet, or, what I recommend, BUY A PLASTIC SHOEBOX WITH A LID! The box is part of the present, after all.

Now, here's my next tip: YOU DON'T HAVE TO WRAP THEM! I don't mean to go all Scrooge-y on you, but in the early days, I found that trying to wrap a shoebox (with lids and boxes wrapped separately) was a total stressor. It's not my skill set. With four kids and four boxes, I often stayed up into the wee hours of the morning trying to get the paper to fit. With my new-found freedom of plastic, unwrapped boxes, we set our family goal this year to TEN boxes!  And momma, by the way, was much, much happier!

Whatever you use, BRING YOUR BOX TO THE STORE!  This is the only way you will know if your items will fit!

Talk to your kids before you shop, and SET SOME PARAMETERS.  For us, ten $1-ish items is a good start. PUT IN SOME NECESSITIES like socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste....

Pencils..... (don't forget the sharpeners!)

Notebooks (these composition notebooks fit just right at the top of our boxes.  
Some notebooks are too big!)........

Just make sure it's nothing that will melt!

PUT IN SOME TOYS! We found little stuffed bears and puzzles!

It's fun to pack the boxes and full as you can!

OK, so these are a little bulging.  A big rubber band around the boxes is a good idea!

Lastly, don't forget your gender and age label! 

You can print them off from their website HERE!  You can also visit the Samaritan's Purse website for additional packing tips and donation information.




  1. A plastic shoebox. That's a great idea! The no wrapping part? #awesome -- I need to get on it. Deadline is soon! Thank you, thank you for these tips. You're obviously a pro!

  2. I had so much fun doing 4 boxes for the oldest girl category this yr! I love getting stuff all yr on clearance or special deals towards my target group for the yr.

  3. They are asking that toothpaste and candy or gum no longer be included in the boxes. To many are getting turned away at customs. Please do not include them.