Monday, September 19, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

It's that time of year again - time to pack our Operation Christmas Child boxes.

We have done it for three years in a row now, so it's officially a tradition.   We always do three, one to match each of our children.  They get to collect and shop for things that they would like, but have to learn to give it away.

Here are some tips I have gathered over the years:
  • Wrap the boxes in Christmas paper and then contact them.  The contact makes it look great, the box is sturdier and paper does not rip.  You can even contact the label on top, making sure it is very secure.   
  • Pay your donation to the box shipping cost online, before contacting your box (if possible) - then you print out individual bar-coded labels for each box to stick on the lid.  In a few months, you'll find out where your box went.
  • Take a list with you when you go shopping.  This list was prepared by a member of our church who works in the box processing centre, so she really knows what to do.
  • Remove all packaging from every item.  Including a pencil case makes this much easier - put all the pens, pencils, erasers, etc in the pencil case.  There is no rubbish collection in rural villages - imagine how much plastic rubbish you would add if you kept all the packaging on.
  • Put in a photo of yourself or your family, so the child has an idea of who gave them the gift - this makes it personal.
  • Put an elastic band around the whole box to keep it secure.
  • Drop it off to a collection centre by the end of October.  
 Here is all our stuff before it went in the boxes, with all the unnecessary packaging:


The finished products.

I have so much fun shopping for these boxes that I suspect as time goes on, we'll do more...


    Anonymous said...


    Thanks for the great ideas on packing Christmas boxes. Just one question, what is 'contact'? I live in the UK and this is not a term I am familiar with.

    I really enjoy your posts.


    Wendy said...

    Hi Linda,

    It's so funny you asked - as I re-read the post yesterday, I thought to myself "I bet 'contact' isn't a universal term"!

    Contact is the term (because of the brand name) for the clear plastic adhesive wrap you cover library and school books in.

    This is the product -

    Diagrams of how to cover books:

    Even a a youtube video on how to contact a book!

    What do you call it there?