November is my favorite month of the year and not for the usual ‘turkey’ reason you might think! November is when I start planning and buying for my Samaritan’s Purse Christmas shoe box for children in far away places. This will be my third year and I’ve gone from doing one box the first year all the way up to four this year. What can I say? I’m addicted and love thinking about some child in strapped circumstances finding a shoe box loaded with all kinds of unexpected items including one special thing like a tee shirt or baseball for a boy and a pretty dress for a girl. It is amazing how much you can cram into one of the plastic shoe boxes you can find at Walmart for under a dollar. My younger daughter started doing shoe boxes for the first time last year. She is hooked now and planning to do two of her own. Besides, we like the challenge of my husband saying, “You are never going to get that stuff packed in that shoe box and proving him wrong!
I usually buy my proposed shoe boxes in the summer. Every time I find something cute, fun, or useful for my chosen age group, I buy it and toss it in one of the four boxes I already have on hand.
Truth be told, depending on what you buy, it can cost around $30 including the $9 donation to go towards the shipping. It is a challenge trying to keep within a budget but when I look at what has been purchased for my own children compared to this simple shoe box, I buy what I need for some child’s first real Christmas and worry about the cost later.
My husband’s part in this is taking our boxes over to the collection center. There are collection centers all over the country so most everyone finds a convenient one. Last year, he was one of a small group at the center at the same time. The person in charge asked each person to state something in their lives that needed prayer and the people all gathered in a circle, holding hands, and praying for each other and for the safe and happy delivery of each Christmas box to a happy child.
Interested? https://www.samaritanspurse.org/what-we-do/operation-christmas-child/ Some people have told me that it just doesn’t fit into their Christmas budget. The only way we can manage is to consider the overseas recipient children as part of our Christmas costs treating them like one of our children. And, if you start in the summer to start stockpiling items, you usually only have to get a few more items and the box is quickly packed and on its way.
I started out January 2017 working on my sewing projects, one of which is making clothing for Little Dresses for Africa. I know I’ve mentioned this charity before but you never know who is checking in and might be interested in spending some of their sewing time helping a child in Africa receive the first new dress in her life. If you check their site, you will find everything you need to know to get started. http://www.littledressesforafrica.org/blog/about/
The basic patterns for the dresses (instructions on their site) and very simple and work up into a beautiful dress but imagination is not restricted so you can add pockets, trim, and such to your creations. It’s a great New Year’s resolution because it is working towards a goal and is fun, too.
Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat.
Solemnity of Christ the King.
Ray Stevens is a great favorite of mine and to find out he has a new Christmas album coming out this year is happy news! Many of you might have already heard some of his wickedly funny takes on politics and human nature. Definitely, someone to look up on Utube.