Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Santas in shoeboxes

Santa isn’t just a chubby old man with cold feet and a warm heart. In our home, we stress that we are Santas for other people, regardless of time of year.

I never want my children to forget that they have an opportunity, in fact, a duty, to be there for other people and share the resources they’ve been given. And I’ve been humbled time and again how they have held up to their part.

My children offer outgrown shoes to “Haiti” (actually a fundraising sale for a mission there). They offer well-loved toys, even ones they still play with often, to share with others. They proudly share the few coins they have to Faith Filled Fridays at school or other drives. And they are an example to me. One I should pay attention to more.

Each winter, for as long as I can recall, the preschool class at my daughter’s school does a shoebox drive for the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry at our church. I suppose it is much like Operation Christmas Child, only on a much smaller scale.

The children wrap a shoebox (top only or the full box) and include a gently loved toy, book, a few candies, apple and orange, and a note of hope for the holidays. These are distributed to young children in families helped with food baskets and other Christmastime support at the church.

It’s such a simple thing, but I love that it’s grown beyond the preschool, stretching to the Moms group, the Girl Scouts and other volunteers who’ve learned about it. A Santa in a shoebox. That’s what Christmas is about.

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