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101 Days of Christmas: Operation Christmas Child

operation christmas child

In the midst of busy Christmas preparations, it can be easy to lose sight of how truly blessed we are. And let’s face it — if you’re reading this on a home computer or smart phone, you are blessed.

The reality is that billions of people worldwide can barely put food on the table while many of our country’s own “poor” have flat screen televisions.

I honestly don’t know how we balance our blessings with the need around the world. I don’t think it means that we shouldn’t buy gifts for our children or spend money on things we love (although at times, I’ll admit I struggle with feeling selfish for still wanting to do those things when children are literally starving to death around the world).

But I digress!

Today’s 101 Days of Christmas project is one you’ve probably come across on blogs or at church before: packing shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child.

Operation Christmas Child is an annual campaign from Samaritan’s Purse that coordinates the distribution of more than 8 million “shoe boxes” to children around the world. Inside each shoe box, sponsors include practical gifts, toys and more to demonstrate God’s love in tangible ways.

As a mother, this is a ministry I appreciate because it’s not only focused on meeting basic needs but also on making children feel special and loved.

National collection week is November 14th through 21st, and you can find a local drop-off point here. In the meantime, I’d encourage you to get your children involved and start planning your box or boxes so that you don’t miss out on the opportunity to touch a child’s life in a very real way.

Here are some ideas for your boxes:


  • shoe box
  • plastic storage box
  • pre-printed Go Boxes (for churches and larger groups)

Practical Gifts

  • toothbrush & toothpaste
  • brush/comb
  • hair ties & bows
  • washcloth
  • bar soap
  • flashlight & batteries

School Supplies/Crafts

  • pencils & pencil sharpener
  • paper
  • crayons
  • coloring book
  • solar calculator
  • picture books
  • bookmarks
  • stickers
  • glue sticks & foam shapes
  • play-doh with molds


  • balls
  • cars
  • harmonica/kazoo
  • yo-yo/slinky
  • yarn doll
  • small pack of Legos
  • paper dolls
  • play jewelry
  • bendy figures
  • finger puppets


  • candy/gum/mints
  • sunglasses/hats
  • socks
  • t-shirts

Personal Note

For an extra special touch, include a personal note and photo of your family as well!


Although certainly not required, if you’re able to, consider making a $7 donation to cover the cost of coordinating and shipping the boxes. You can make your donation online or include it in your box.

Get more ideas, packing tips and printable labels here.

Join us as we celebrate 101 Days of Christmas with new DIY projects, gift ideas, traditions and more every day from now through Christmas!