We love our children, as is expected. We want to give them the best that we can and never want them to experience lack or limitation. But often we are faced with the "but it's not all about you!" challenge and we need to regroup and remind them that the world certainly does not revolve around them and their latest game or fad.
With that said, I've always encouraged the boys to Santa Shoebox. It is a great initiative where you sign up, choose a child (or children) in your area, who live in poverty stricken homes or at institutions where they may not have as much as we do. You then put together a Christmas box of sorts, that will contain a variety of essentials. The box is prettily decorated for reuse (which is a big deal for these kids already) and you are always welcome to add more than what the list stipulates - special items that you feel would mean alot to your sponsored child.
We Santa Shoebox every single year. I have made it a habit for us to choose 1 boy who is close in age to our boys and for the past few years, we have been quite fortunate to be able to choose the same boy every single year. The boys know his name already and they've written him letters before, so I am sure he might feel as if he knows them too. Last year, with the loom bands craze going on, the boys added tons of loom bands and loom makers for him to use. The year before that we added some books that they loved. Every year we try to make the box special, because he is special and he should feel loved and not as if we threw things in a box because we feel sorry for him.
This year, he is 13 years old! So we are adding deodorant and other "big boy" stuff, as recommended by our new teen.
I have found that since the boys are able to relate to our pledge (because he is a boy too and close in age), it has made the packing and deciding of what goes in the box so much more special and important to them.
I've also decided to sponser a little girl, who is close in age to our Curly. I would love to apply the same concept to this little girls box and hopefully would have the honor of being her sponsor until Curly is able to understand it all.
I love Christmas. It is my favoritestest season in the whole entire year!
Why? Well, because baby Jesus was born and I love me some Jesus!
But I also love that it's a season of family and love... I find it so beautiful and I love that I get to share that beauty with children who may not know what it feels like, waking up to a Christmas tree looming over tons of presents. Or who may not know what it feels like to be excited about wearing your new "Christmas clothes" or who may not be looking forward to a huge Christmas lunch the way we do.
Not only is it our responsibility to look after orphans and those who are unable to fend and provide for themselves (that's what the Bible says yo), but it is a huge privilege to be able to speak into the lives of children - even if it's through a simple Christmas gift box.
I appeal to you: Please check out the Santa Shoebox website and consider pledging a child.
The closing date is looming and there are hundreds of children who are still not sponsered and your box would mean the world to them.
If you are unable to physically pack a box and get it to the drop off centres in time, PnP has made it possible for you to sponser a "virtual box", which they will pack on your behalf.
I want to pledge a child at Santa Shoebox! What now?
1. Log on to their website www.santashoebox.co.za and follow the prompts to register.
2. Select your region and then select the child (children) you would like to pledge.
3. You will receive an email with all the details in it, including a label that will need to be stuck on top of your shoe box.
4. Find a large shoe box and decorate it beautifully. Keep durability in mind, since your pledge will probably reuse your box. The lid must not be attached to the bottom. If you choose to wrap the lid, keep in mind that it must remain seperate from the rest of the box. 5. Insert the following mandatory items to the box: Toothpaste Tooth brush Bar of soap Wash cloth An outfit of clothing Educational supplies Sweets A toy
You can add any other items that you feel would bless your pledge. There are a list of things you may not add - check out the website for deets. All items must be new.
6. Close the lid of your box, remembering to add the label that they have provided on the top. Keep the box sealed by using rubber bands.
7. Drop off your Santa Shoebox at the designated drop off points in your area. (Details will be found in the email they will send you.)
8. Sit back and say a prayer for your pledge, knowing that you have helped bring joy to a child during what could be the most loneliest season of the year, for some people!