This year, we did something a little different. Instead of exchanging gifts amongst ourselves, we filled 3 Opperation Christmas Child boxes. We made special cards and eagerly wait to track our packages to see who the recipients are. It was a great training tool for the children.  Now, before you think that these poor children will wake up Christmas morning with nothing- earlier this year we had purchased a swing set on a second hand facebook page. We told them up front that this will be their christmas gift.  So on Christmas morning, I will place a big red bow and hand candy canes on it… or something.  I also did the tracking on the gift boxes and will wrap up a box with a picture of the child that received said box.  Oh yeah, there is also loving and spoiling Aunt, Grandparents and friends. 😉

It wasn’t a perfect shopping trip with my children so enthusiastically bubbly and joyful about finding stuff for someone other than themselves.  But- it was a great time to learn that we can’t always get what we want.  By the end of the store trip I had to keep telling them, “No, your box is too full already, we cant give that kid a baseball glove, or a 18″ doll, or a huge lego set, or or or.”  SO I think the trip was a success.

Do you wonder if God had a hand in it at all? Well, I pulled out our Christmas money we have so far. $65.  This is money we would have spent on ourselves for Christmas.  Instead of going to the dollar store and spending say $30 for everything, we used the whole $65 and went to Kmart.  I figured, these could be the only toys these children get, lets use the same quality for them as we would for us.  (No, No condemnation for those that go to the dollar store. I have done this in the past and will probably even do so next year.)  This was a lesson for all of us, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

God is in the details;  I actually went $5 over budget.  I had grocery money on me so I used some of that.  When I came home, there was a coupon waiting for me from Kmart- $5 off your $20 or more toy purchase.  I took my reciept and that coupon back to KMart to see if they would post coupon it for me… and they did.
Do we not serve an awesome Lord?

Will you do Operation Christmas Child? This is THE week to do it!