The kids and I did something fun this year that I think will become a family tradition for us. I came across the Samaritan's Purse website and I thought my kids would really enjoy preparing shoe boxes for their Operation Christmas Child project.
I was a little nervous that they might have a hard time picking out a bunch of stuff they liked and then giving it all away, but I didn't need to be. Other than one isolated incident involving Noah trying to take a Jolly Rancher from one of the boxes after they were all packed, they were really excited about sending presents to little kids who wouldn't otherwise be getting very much, if anything, for Christmas.
Emma, Noah, and Allie each got to send a box to a kid in their own age group, although we helped Allie with hers, of course. We went to Target and the dollar store and picked out a bunch of fun goodies to fill the boxes. After we bought the stuff, Emma and Noah drew pictures to put in the boxes, along with photos of themselves.Yesterday we brought our boxes to the drop-off place and watched as hundreds and hundreds of shoe boxes were loaded onto a truck. I'll be getting an email that will tell us where our boxes went and possibly some info about the kids who received them, so we're all looking forward to that. I already marked this on my 2010 calendar and am excited about continuing this tradition every year!