Friday, October 05, 2007

Operation Christmas Child

It's only just October but already the shops are full of Christmas things. I was at the supermarket and turned into an aisle brimming with Christmas puddings, Christmas cakes, mince pies, and assorted other Christmas goodies. At a department store, I recently walked through the door to be visually assaulted by a fully decorated tree as well as Christmas cards, decorations and other Christmas paraphenalia. Thank goodness they're not bombarding my ears with Christmas carols or pop songs just yet. I used to work in a shop as a teenager and I have never quite gotten over the endless renditions of Wham's 'Last Christmas' or Elton John's 'Step into Christmas' being played over and over... to this day, simply hearing the introduction can start me twitching.

It doesn't stop there though. Oh no. At home I am bombarded with Christmas catalogues, helpfully reminding me of the last date to order and presenting me with all manner of goodies, including some dreadfully tacky and awful items, some of which I wonder who would buy them?! Christmas it would appear, is a time for shopping and for spending hard earned cash on things no-one really wants. Is this what it has become?


Not for me. I love Christmas, I always have done. I love my brightly lit and decorated tree. I love receiving gifts. I love the anticipation that a brightly wrapped box can bring and from knowing that someone has thought of me. I love giving presents just as much though, in fact perhaps more so. Nothing quite beats the warm feeling you get from watching someone unwrap a gift they love.

I came across some presents I had bought and put away for my niece the other day. I wasn't expecting it. I was innocently going through some things and there they were waiting for a birthday that would never come. It made me incredibly sad. I had bought her a little pink handbag and a necklace together with some hair accessories. I didn't know what to do with them. Giving them to a charity shop didn't seem quite right. They had been meant for Jessica. It might sound silly but I wanted them to be appreciated. That was when I thought of 'Operation Christmas Child'.

Operation Christmas Child is an initiative run by the Charity 'Samaritan's Purse'. This is what the web site says: "This annual project enables caring individuals, families, schools, churches, businesses, and other organisations to fill ordinary shoe boxes with small toys, school supplies, sweets, and other gifts for needy children around the world. Operation Christmas Child sends a message of hope to children in need around the world through gift-filled shoe boxes."


It was perfect. I immediately knew that the presents I had bought for Jessica, would make a needy child very happy and that the gift would be truly appreciated. I have filled my shoebox with 'treasure' and wrapped it in bright paper. I have made mine for a girl aged between 10-14 which is the same age group as Jess. I have included: small doll, pencil case and stationary, notebooks, sweets, bouncy balls, necklace, small handbag, hair accessories, hair brush, gloves, scarf, flannel, soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. The fact that I can do this for someone has made me very happy and seems a very fitting way to honour my niece.


If you would like to help by doing your own shoebox then you can read more *here*. The charity operates internationally so you should be able to find a collection point near you. Christmas is indeed a time for giving.

I will be posting more photographs of Vienna soon...

16 comments:

craziequeen said...

Jess would be very proud of you.
I am :-)

What a lovely thought.

[hugs]

cq

Shari said...

What a lovely idea and thought.

WalMart has a Christmas tree with names on it and if you pick one, it has a Christmas wlsh list of some needy child/family and you purchase the things on the list and WalMart takes care of the rest. That's a good feeling, too. :)

BTW, Michele sent me. :)

Ps said...

What a good thing you are doing--and great that you thought of it.Niall and I were wondering if you would call.A pity we didnt get to meet--maybe next time.

gautami tripathy said...

THat is a very good gesture. I am sure Jessica would love it if she is looking from up above.

The gifts you bought are really so good.

Michele sent me here to give you a e-hug!

kenju said...

You found the silver lining to that cloud, Bob-kat. What a wonderful way to make a child happy, and honor your niece.

R. Sherman said...

This is a worthy charity. Our Lutheran elementary school has been putting these together for a number of years.

The best part?

The "Thank You" notes that sometimes appear from the rear end of nowhere.

Cheers.

Nikki-ann said...

What a brilliant idea! I usually do a box of gifts for close friends, I think I'll do this this year too :D

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

What a lovely lovely idea, B-K...As I was reading this, it reminded me of something many of us dd a long time ago---and for probably 20 or more years...BUT don't do anymore..And I thought, I'd love to do somrthing like this...
I will go to the website and see if it possible for me, (as a shut in, pretty much) to particpate in this truly "giving" of gifts!
I understand why this had to be a very comforting and positive thing to do, dear B-K....And I bet your dear Jessie would have LOVED this idea!

MissMeliss said...

Michele sent me here today, and I'm glad she did because this is a fantastic charity, and the planning of packages is so much fun...

It is never too early to think of others, but what always concerns me about the push for Christmas presents is what happens the REST of the year.

I agree with CQ, though: Jess would have been very proud of you.

Sara said...

Hello Michele sent me to say that is a wonderful thing to do. I know that Jess knows what a wonderful thing you are doing...

I know this has been a hard time but what you are doing is part of the healing....

Melody said...

How wonderful! And what wonderful gifts you had bought for Jess. SO very thoughtful to donate those gifts to the charity - it is truly a wonderul idea.
(hug)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

I came back to say Thank You for your lovely Anniversary Wishes...Very Very Sweet words, dear BobKat, and very much appreciated coming from you and your tender heart! I dearly dearly appreciate it, and you, more than I can say. Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!

.:mar said...

It is indeed a perfect way to honor your niece, Bob-kat, what a beautiful project!!!
I will check if they have it over here too.
Thanks so much for your bday wishes, they were truly appreciated!
:)

Shephard said...

Bob-kat, I love this. I am SO doing this! I can't wait! I may do a couple! What a great way to initiate the Christmas Spirit! Thank you for sharing this!

~S

Niall said...

We support OCC too..quite a few schools in our area arrange for collections. It's a great idea.

moon said...

Thats a wonderful idea! Right on. I would bet that your neice would be very pleased also.