Sunday, November 4, 2012

Operation Christmas Child Party

Well, we finally did it. After years of putting it off and making excuses. The house is too small, husband deployed, don't really know anyone here... We had our Operation Christmas Child shoebox packing party. It was so fun! We ended up with 8 boxes as a family, and three other families also packed boxes! Hopefully at next year's party there will be even more! I did mention HERE, that this would be an annual party right? Don't let me think up an excuse next year!
First off I must say, I'm so blessed that my husband and girls helped me get ready. Cleaning and making sure the playroom was ready. The food table, I didn't get a picture of. Sigh. I wanted to. It just had crackers, cheese, apples, Salted Caramel sauce- which didn't set fully and cool fully until after the party. We also had Wassail that a friend bought over, so good. We also had a hot chocolate bar with sprinkles, cinnamon sticks, peppermint marshmallows, sprinkles, whipped cream, toffee bits, Hiwa Kai black salt, caramels and more. We had a mock/what was in this again?  Love Abounds Sipping Chocolat. Oh goodness. Honestly I haven't made a huge batch of Sipping Chocolat. Not to serve anyway. That and I haven't seen my recipes for a while now so I poured in a little bit of this, and a little bit of that. It was definitely like drinking a chocolate bar. So thick. I had to leave milk out for people to thin theirs out. EEK. Sorry for the sugar rush! It's a good thing people didn't come for the cocoa. Here's one cup for you to see though

So, when everyone got here we had the children fill out an "All About Me" form. I had my girls do more after the party for boxes. But these forms can be printed off of the Operation Christmas Child site, or ordered on there also. See? Small space!

After that we helped the children pack some boxes. I had my laptop out in case anyone wanted to print a follow your box donation. I love those! Pay online and then follow your box to see where it ends up!
Between what I stock piled all year and what the other families brought to pack, our boxes were awesome and filled to the brim. Here are pictures of items I had out before our guests arrived with their gift items!
 Socks and Saline Soothers.
 Candy and bags to bag them!
 Oral care items!
 Toys, we took them out of boxes, bagged the sets and included any instructions/pictures we could!
School supplies, coloring books, hair bows, necklaces.
Notebooks, stickers, crayons, colored pencils, and pens.
After we packed boxes the children got to play for a bit. Then we watched the DVD I ordered from Operation Christmas Child. It was short, but they always make me tear up.
Then the kids decorated some Sugga Cookies.
 I also had a little "swag" table out for out guests with items like lip balms,  from The Treasure Boutique on Etsy and toys.
 Most importantly there were book marks to remind everyone how to pray for their box and the child that would receive their box. The only thing I forgot that I really kick myself about is that we didn't all pray together before everyone left! Because after all, the shoebox gift shows our love to a child we don't know, but the gospel message that follows is the greatest gift of all.
I can't tell you what a huge blessing this party was for me. My family had so much fun, my girls had a blast. The girls have already said they can't wait till next years party! I have big plans for next year too!
We pack boxes every year. But to share this with other friends. What a blessing. It's a wonderful way they can show their love for Christ, that they can show God's love in a tangible way.
Have you had a party of thought about having one? Let me know in the comments box below. I love hearing from you all.
Read more Operation Christmas Child posts HERE.

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