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Shoeboxes for Christmas
Filling a shoebox with goodies and sending to a child who
would otherwise have nothing for Christmas. It’s a simple
concept but one that works well for Samaritan’s Purse. Every
year, through the Operation Christmas Child program, people
from all over America, Canada, and parts of Europe have the
opportunity to help children all over the world by simply
filling shoeboxes with small gifts and treats.
Christmas 2004 was my family’s first time to participate
in Operation Christmas Child. At the age of almost-four, we
felt it was time for our daughter Lydia to begin learning
about Christmas giving rather than just Christmas receiving.
With some degree of apprehension, I explained what we were
going to do and then took her to the local dollar store to
select items for our shoebox. I was a little worried she
would get a case of the "gimmes" and want to buy everything
for herself. On the contrary, she had great fun picking out
things for "the little child who is poor." We enjoyed the
experience so much that we have participated every year
As we collected items for our shoebox last year, a novel
thought occurred to me. The concept of giving shoeboxes for
Christmas has other practical applications. Here are a few I
* Scaling back Christmas gift giving – Whether you
need to scale back for financial reasons, or simply want to
scale back because you think it’s gotten out of hand,
limiting gift giving to one shoebox per person is a great
way to go. Obviously if all gifts must fit in one shoebox,
that limits not only how many items but what kinds of items
can be given. You can still give more expensive items if you
want (gift cards, jewelry, cash, etc.), but knowing that
each person will only receive one shoebox controls
* Clutter-free gift giving – As Lydia and I put
together our shoebox, I noticed that we included many
consumable items—items that would either get eaten up or
used up. Most grandparents and older people have more than
enough of everything they need. They have little room for
trinkets and gadgets, but appreciate practical items that
won’t create clutter in their homes. A shoebox filled with
consumable items—food items, toiletries, stationery, health
and beauty products—would be a thoughtful gift idea for
practically any senior adult on your list for practically
any gift-giving occasion.
* Long distance gift giving – Don’t you hate the
expense of mailing large boxes of gifts to long-distance
friends and relatives? Limiting the size of packages to a
shoebox would definitely help control shipping costs. This
rule would also make shipping easier, as almost everyone has
plenty of empty shoeboxes and brown paper bags around the
house for wrapping up the boxes. What if you have several
shoeboxes to send to one family? No problem. Just put your
shoeboxes in one larger box for mailing.
* Good for other needy people, too – Children in
foreign countries aren’t the only ones who could benefit
from receiving a shoebox of goodies. We have many people
right here in America who need a loving touch. Why couldn’t
a church or charitable organization start a Christmas
shoebox program for inner city families, the homeless,
people in nursing homes, or shut-ins? And why limit it to
Christmas? These people need ministry all year long.
Shoeboxes filled with practical items and special treats
could be just the way to do good deeds for people who are
* An educational experience for kids – One last idea.
This year I plan to give my daughter a Christmas shoebox,
too. I believe it will be educational for her to experience
a little of how it must feel for the children who receive
shoeboxes from Samaritan’s Purse. Of course, the effect is
not exactly the same. Unlike most of the Operation Christmas
Child children, she knows she will receive other presents.
However, I hope the excitement she feels as she opens her
box will make an indelible impression and help her to be
more empathetic toward those who have so little.
So you see, giving shoeboxes for Christmas is a smart
idea. It works for Operation Christmas Child and it can work
in a variety of situations for your family, too. By the way,
if you’d like more information on how your family can
participate in Operation Christmas Child, visit
similar program exists which sends shoeboxes of goodies to
military personnel deployed overseas. Learn more about
Operation Shoebox at
Nancy Twigg is the author of the newly revised and
Celebrate Simply: Your Guide to Simpler, More Meaningful
Holidays and Special Occasions (Kregel Publications,
October 2006). Learn more about it at
By Willard F. Harley Jr.
CBD Price: $13.99
How spouses affect each other has a tremendous bearing on
the success and failure of marriage. In Love Busters,
Willard F. Harley, Jr., helps couples identify and overcome
the most common habits that destroy the feeling of love.
With his guidance, they will be able to avoid behavior that
tears a marriage apart and focus instead on building their
love for each other.
This new edition expands on six love busters (versus five
in the previous edition), including: selfish demands,
disrespectful judgments, angry outbursts, dishonesty,
annoying habits, and thoughtless behavior. Harley also
explains how to resolve various marital conflicts, such as
career choices and financial planning. Insightful material
from Harley's book, Give and Take, is now included in
Love Busters, as well as discussion questions that
help couples apply the principles in the book to their
This is a good book for married couples to read
together. Lots of great tips on how to keep romantic love
alive by overcoming habits that actually destroy the spark.
I found it to be a helpful guide and, while I didn't read it
with my husband, he plans on reading it in the near future.
Even if you don't feel your marriage is in trouble, this
book will help you make it better.
*Book Bargains & Preview Rating is based on
Five Stars. We give this book 4 out of 5 stars.
You can purchase each book for
clicking here. Shipping is F*REE.
to read articles that will touch your soul.
Click here to read articles on managing your
Click here for parenting lessons from real life
here for some family-friendly recipes.
Click here for articles on keeping your family
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The content of this newsletter is copyrighted by
Patricia Chadwick (c)2006 unless indicated otherwise. All
rights reserved worldwide. Reprint only with
permission from copyright holder(s).
Patricia R. Chadwick
Founder & Publisher
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