Weekend Walk: Thanksgiving Tradition II: What’s in the Box?

Hiding the Word:

For this week, a thanksgiving verse for you to meditate on and hopefully memorize:

“Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.”
Psalm 107:1

Thanksgiving Tradition II: What’s in the Box?

A week ago, I told you that I’m going to be posting some of my favorite Thanksgiving traditions throughout November—some for families with kids, some that could fit anybody’s life.  You can check out my first Thanksgiving Tradition: The Thanksgiving Journal here.

Today, I’m excited to share about my very favorite Thanksgiving tradition of all—Operation Christmas Child (OCC).

Those of you who are familiar with OCC may be thinking I’m off my rocker officially because surely this counts as a Christmas tradition.

I beg to differ!

Every year, the organization Samaritan’s Purse collects shoe boxes stuffed full of goodies that they then deliver to needy children all over the globe for Christmas.

National Collection Week, though, is in November, before Thanksgiving—this year, November 14-21!

My kids are adding everything they see on TV and in Wal-Mart to their Christmas lists.  So, it’s the perfect moment to take them shopping for gifts to give to another child, a child they’ll never meet on this planet and a child who isn’t likely to be opening any other packages on Christmas morning.

It’s a reminder to be grateful.  It’s a way to shift our focus off of getting and onto giving.

I hope that you’ve packed a shoebox before and are making one again this year!  If not, here’s everything you need to know to get involved in Operation Christmas Child.

You can begin by learning more about the organization here, like:

Check out this video of Scotty McCreery on How to Pack a Shoebox:

If you make a $7 donation online to cover the shipping for your box, you can even print off a label that lets you track it here!!  A few weeks after delivery, they’ll send you an email telling you what country your box was delivered to and some general information about the needs in that area.  Our boxes last year ended up in Tanzania.

I usually let each of my girls pick items to fill a box for a child their gender and age.  This year, we’ll be sending off a box for a 2-4-year-old girl, and two 5-9 -year-old girls.  We picked out jump ropes, toothbrushes and toothpaste, combs, socks, t-shirts, small games like jacks and dominoes, stuffed animals, some candy, some shiny pencils and a pencil sharpener and more.  We practically have to sit on the boxes to make it all fit!

Most important of all, pray for the child who will receive your shoebox!  Prayer is so powerful.  Don’t just send stuff, send gifts along with time spent on your knees.

Here are some of my favorite OCC videos.

Matthew West shows the Great Lengths OCC goes to bring shoeboxes to kids around the world.

Check out how excited this boy from Angola is to receive his shoebox!  This is my most favorite OCC video!

There are so many opportunities to give every holiday season, but this is my very favorite.  I hope you’ll make Operation Christmas Child a part of your Thanksgiving traditions, as well!

Have you packed a shoe box before?  Where did it end up?  Are you packing shoeboxes this year?

Do you have any favorite Thanksgiving traditions you can share with us? 

Heather King is a wife, mom, Bible Study teacher, writer for www.myfrienddebbie.com and worship leader.  Most importantly, she is a Christ follower with a desire to help others apply the Bible to everyday life with all its mess, noise, and busyness.  To read more devotionals by Heather King, click here.

Copyright © 2011 Heather King

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