Day 37: Teaching Gratitude with Operation Christmas Child! | 101 Days till Christmas

Operation Christmas Child kids shopping for their shoebox
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One of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions is Operation Christmas Child! Of course I had to include it on this 101 Days till Christmas Countdown! If you’re not familiar with it, the main idea is that you pack a shoebox with toys and other items for a child in a poor part of the world. You can drop it off or ship it yourself (and you can even create a virtual box online!)

Operation Christmas Child dad shopping with kids for toys to pack a shoebox!
There are so many reasons why I love my hubby. This is just one of them, watching him help our kids reach a specific toy for their Operation Chrismtas Child shoeboxes! I’m so in love, y’all!

Teach your kids gratitude thru giving

One of the best things about Operation Christmas Child (OCC) is that it’s a fun way to help make this time of the year less selfish. We can often focus on our own Christmas wish lists and forget 1) the MANY blessings we already have and 2) that we can be a blessing to someone else!

Operation Christmas Child girl surprised at finding perfect toy for the shoebox  she is packing!
I love my daughter’s surprised reaction at finding a really cool toy to include in her Operation Christmas Child shoebox!

With OCC, I love how my kids put their hearts into picking special items for their shoebox. They know their box will go to a teen my son’s age and a girl my daughter’s age. I love how they go up and down the aisles, looking at different things, thinking about the JOY this child will experience thanks to their generosity! Ah, it fills my heart with so much love!

I’m super thankful for the opportunity to share this with my kids.

It’s more blessed to give than to receive

As a Christian, I believe it’s truly more blessed to give than to receive. Sometimes that’s easier said than done (case of the “gimmes” anyone?) I’m guilty, even as a mom! But the great thing about this fun project is that you can share these values of gratitude and generosity in a fun, kid-friendly way through packing an OCC shoebox. It’s a win-win!

Operation Christmas Child shopping fun
My kids were definitely having fun shopping for Operation Christmas Child this year! LOL!

How to get involved with OCC!

I’ve called Puerto Rico, California, Texas and now Florida home! Each of these states have many local churches that collect shoeboxes every year. You can visit the official OCC website to find out more about how to pack a shoebox, packing parties, drop off locations, etc.

National Collection Week just passed, but you can get involved year-round!

If you decide to do it, let me know in the comments! Our family has continued this as a tradition, and I hope we keep it going for many years to come!


Laughing thru life,


Read more on Operation Christmas Child!