How to Teach Your Children the Gift of Giving with #OperationChristmasChild

The Christmas season is on its way. I can almost hear the sound of bells jingling and if I close my eyes, I can see the beautiful Christmas lights twinkling. 

My family and I love the holiday season for many reasons—the hot chocolate, the snowmen, the beautiful lights and all the wonderful time we get to spend together. There is something else about Christmas that we, as a family are always excited to participate in and that’s the spirit of giving.


Christmas is not about what we receive, for us it’s about giving to those who may not receive anything otherwise. It’s about teaching our children that there is more to life than what’s under our tree and that Christmas and the spirit of giving is about what’s in our hearts. For years, we have been educating and leading by example to show our children that there are people across the world who rely on programs like Operation Christmas Child

This year, much like the year before, we will be filling a shoebox to give to a child that needs it. In fact, each of our kids fill their own shoebox! 

Baby Girl always packs a box for a girl her age, so she packed one for a Girl in the Ages 2-4 Category. Inside she has chosen to pack many different things: tissues, bandages, soap, socks, toothbrushes and some fun stuff for the little girl.

Baby Girl Operation Christmas Child

Little Man is packed a shoebox for a boy ages 5-9. He chose everything to pack all on his own, using the guidelines provided by Samaritan’s Purse

Little Man Operation Christmas ChildWe spent the time, going over each item and its importance with the kids. Each shoebox is filled with hygiene items, school supplies, and toys, and given to children regardless of gender, race, or religion. We use filling the shoebox as an educational tool to teach our children the importance of giving to those less fortunate. 

Tips to Teach Your Children the Gift of Giving with Operation Christmas Child 

Go Shopping

Take your children to the store with you to pick out items for them to donate. Allow them, with some guidance, to choose what they think a child may benefit from receiving. 

Show and Tell 

Choose items from around the house and ask them what they think would happen if they didn’t have access to them? Things like soap and toothbrushes work well to teach kids there are people in the world who don’t have easy access to these regular household items.  

Family Trip to the Drop off Centre

Make the trip to the drop-off centre a family outing. Allow your children to hand their shoeboxes in themselves. Make sure to make them feel good as individuals, they will remember what they did that made them feel so positive.

 Have Fun

Have a packing party and invite friends and family to participate too! Involve as many people as you want and enjoy packing the shoeboxes for those in need. 

When You Are Done Packing Your Shoe Box

Once we filled our shoeboxes they need to be dropped off at our specific collection center. National Collection week for shoeboxes is November 16-21. You can find your collection center on the Operation Christmas Child Website, so you can drop your shoebox off too!  

Stay informed by following Operation Christmas Child on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and by using Hashtags #OperationChristmasChild and #OCCShoeBoxes! 

This post was brought to you by Operation Christmas Child, but the images and opinions are my own. For more information, please visit



  1. Jennifer on November 4, 2015 at 10:20 am

    I think this is a great idea. In today’s age of everyone looking out for themselves, we need to remind kids that giving is important.

  2. Robin Masshole Mommy on November 4, 2015 at 11:20 am

    We always donate to Toys for Tots and pick a family from our church who needs help at Christmas.

  3. Jeanettte on November 4, 2015 at 12:20 pm

    We have done this for the last few years and plan on doing it again this year. It is something that is important to us as we are blessed and we need to give to others that need.

  4. suelee1998 on November 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    We have done this for years. It is a great way for kids to learn to give back to those in need, keep up the good work!

  5. Jenna Wood on November 4, 2015 at 5:30 pm

    We donate to toys for toys every year- and we typically fill the donation box. I’ll specifically buy closeout and clearance toys from the Dinsey outlet and such just to donate each holiday season. It’s something we think about year round. However, I’ve never heard of this program. I love the idea of sending a box to a child in need!

  6. Stacie on November 4, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I love this. Every child deserves to have a Christmas. I live near a military base in Canada and we have the Trucker’s Toy Drive that a unit on the base has been organizing for years as well as the Salvation Army’s yearly Christmas campaign.

  7. Amber Edwards on November 4, 2015 at 7:10 pm

    This is a great idea! kids need to learn that the holidays are not about what they are getting but more about helping others and what they can give to those in need. I love this program.

  8. NPC on November 4, 2015 at 7:14 pm

    This is such an amazing initiative. I love it, I totally want to do this!

  9. Jeanine on November 4, 2015 at 7:53 pm

    This is a great idea. I want to get my kiddos to do something like this ever year. Last year we bought gifts for kids in our neighborhood and they loved it.

  10. Kathy on November 4, 2015 at 8:55 pm

    This is a wonderful idea. I need to do this with my girls this year. I think they could learn a lot from this. I’ve always told them it’s never about getting gifts, but giving them feels so much better.

  11. meagan on November 4, 2015 at 9:51 pm

    The holidays is a great time to think of others. Love the idea of involving your children and teaching them more about giving.

  12. Elizabeth Lampman on November 4, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Operation Christmas Child is a great way to help kids in need. I think it is so important to teach kids to give back.

  13. Liz Mays on November 4, 2015 at 10:21 pm

    Oh this is such a sweet idea! I think kids would have fun putting work into special boxes like these!

  14. Sunny M on November 4, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    We love Operation Christmas Child. I’ve participated since I was in high school and can’t wait to get my kids participating!

  15. mommyblogexpert on November 4, 2015 at 11:51 pm

    What wonderful ideas you have to teach children to be givers. I have raised my own kids to give back to the community by example because that’s how my own mother raised me. All of us have volunteered since we were toddlers, in fact.

  16. Sabrina @ Dinner, then Dessert on November 5, 2015 at 12:33 am

    Teaching kids to be giving and sharing is an important step in their development! They need to know how to put others’ needs ahead of their own!

  17. Aimee on November 5, 2015 at 12:58 am

    I am so excited that my kids are finally old enough t do stuff like this this year! I can’t wait!

  18. Shauna Torres on November 5, 2015 at 11:57 am

    Oh my goodness, I am totally having my kids do this, this year. What a great way to show them to give to others without thought. Thanks so much for the info. Off to check it out.

  19. Kelly (@KickingWKelly) on November 5, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    We donate every year as well as participate in the Angel Tree at Walmart. It is important to show our kids about giving.

  20. Krystal's Kitsch on November 5, 2015 at 8:08 pm

    I really like the idea of giving back during the holidays and sharing those lessons year round! I hope to show my son this!

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