Can you guess what he thought I was talking about?
If I say to you the C word, what do you think?
We had a recent conversation with JJ (who will be 8 soon) where he told me he knew the rudest swear word there was and that it began with a C. You can imagine what I am thinking; I could not believe that my 7 year old has been exposed to that. He then went on to say it ended with a P and of course at that point I breathed a sigh of relief. ‘Crap’ I said very quietly to him and his eyes widened and he said ‘Yes, that’s so rude isn’t it Mummy?’ Of course I agreed and Dh had to wonder off to cover his sniggering.
Now the very rude word or the not so rude word was not what I was referring to, the one I was talking about was Christmas of course. It is late September after all and I have seen the first of our local shops start to open up their dedicated Christmas aisles.
Is it safe to admit to you that I already have all the little presents for my girl’s stockings? JJ is not done yet but he will be pretty soon. I absolutely love being prepared for Xmas and this year I have decided to be even more frugal in my buying’s for the kids. They will have a great time and will get a good few gifts each but not the stupid amounts that they may have had in years gone by.
If I had my way I would stop Christmas presents for all adults. I hate the ‘tit for tat’ of it sometimes, especially when you get the people who want nothing, except a specific present like a bottle of booze. I give you some booze and socks, you give me some money and I put it back in the bank. Can we not just cut that out and just make it about the kids adn the true spirit of sharing good times? I have already mentioned this to my Mum and Dad and they are completely happy with this but it is the older family members and dh’s family that I am loath to upset. I am completely tempted this year to just make small gifts for all the adults and see if I offend anyone. Offending them would not be my intention; it would actually be to give them something I have laboured over and enjoyed taking time making with them in mind but I do wonder if a prettily wrapped bag of cookies would have the same effect as a £30 gift voucher?
Anyway enough about my Christmas, the real reason I have started to think about Christmas and have even had the wrapping paper out already is that I am again organizing a collection of Christmas shoe box presents for Samaritans Purse. Have your heard about their Operation Christmas Child initiative? It is fabulous, you take an ordinary shoe box, wrap it in Xmas paper and fill it with inexpensive, new toys, stationary, boiled sweets etc and then the box gets sent to a child in an under-privileged country. I think this is just the best thing, Christmas should be a time of joy and we can help our children learn how fortunate they are by involving them in making a Christmas present for a child who would normally receive nothing.
Take a quick look at this short video clip and watch the joy on the faces of those children who receive a gift filled shoe box.
Is this something you fancy getting involved with?
Anyone and everyone can get involved, you do to have to take on a big challenge like I have and organise this for a school or Church. Why not just make one box with your family; by shopping smartly you can make a box for little more than a fiver. We may put our noses up at a Morrisons two pack of toothbrushes for 29p but for many children this is a complete luxury, they often share one per family if anything.
Take a look at this post I did last year and my children show you how to make a Christmas box in simple steps. Once your box is complete you can return it to any one of the partner retailers (between 1st - 18th November 2011) who collect the completed boxes for Operation Christmas Child. if you live locally to me and would like to be involved I am organising a shoe box packing party on the evening of Tuesday 8th November, come and join us, it will be fun with wine and nibbles.
Last year JJ's school managed to send 92 completed boxes off, this year my personal aim is 150. I have tried to make it easier this year by offering families the chance to donate individual items, selltotape, gift wrap or even just a shoe box if that is all they are able to, this way all the children can feel they are involved but no family and has to be stretched beyond what they can afford to give. I received an email the other day to say that all the boxes from our area will go to Mozambique and Swaziland and this just seems perfect as Africia is really on my heart at the moment.
If you are thinking of making up a box then keep an eye on Emma's lovely blog Mummy, Mummy, Mum! as she will be hosting a fun competition in the next few weeks for all those who are donating to Operation Christmas Child.