A Sign Unto You

I was walking out of ChikFilA today when I saw my first sure sign of the impending holidays - a poster announcing their Operation Christmas Child - you know, that thing where you fill shoeboxes with small gifts and useful items for underprivileged children overseas and bring them in to a local ChikFilA?  In exchange, you receive a coupon for a free chicken sandwich.

Free, as in pretty darn expensive, actually, what with shipping costs and all, but hey - CHARITY.

Anyway, this has always been a good way to show my kids that not everyone in the world has the lifestyle we take for granted here. The girls and I head over to Michaels clutching our 30%-off-entire-purchase coupon and a list of suggested gifts, where we have a grand old time choosing items and figuring out if they will fit in the box. We talk about why some gifts are better than others and what the recipient's lives are like. Educational! Then we go home, pack the boxes, bring them to the restaurant on the appointed day, and return home feeling virtuous.  After eating our expensive free chicken sandwiches, of course...

Or...not.  Some years the boxes don't happen because our good intentions get buried in that maelstrom that is the Christmas holidays. Instead, we kick the red-and-green empty boxes around the house, pretending they are going to be filled, until someone (usually Larry, who does not share my charitable delusions) moves them to the recycling bin.

It's the thought that counts, right?

The Miracle of the Shoe Boxes
So today I stopped at ChikFilA after Costco.  I do crave me some waffle fries sometimes, and I had 45 minutes until the girls needed to be picked up from art class.  As I exited the restaurant, a sign advertising Operation Christmas Child caught my eye, and I smiled. A feeling of satisfaction flooded me, a feeling akin to waking up on the morning after hosting Bunko and realizing that I have a freshly cleaned house replete with yummy leftovers. Why?  Because this year, I am prepared.  Those boxes are already filled and taped shut, waiting to wing their way to some lucky third-world child.

Organized? Heck, no.  We packed them last November, stuck them somewhere in our house, and forgot about them until they resurfaced sometime in January.What is amazing is that I still know where they are. A Christmas miracle! In October! Praise the Lord and pass the chicken sandwiches!

Now if I only had this year's Halloween costumes ready...


Comments

  1. Here's to the shoeboxes. Last year we didn't do that for the first time in years, so I cut Samaritan's Purse a bigger check to cover other people's efforts. Such a great thing to do with our kids. Makes them realize how MUCH we have and how LITTLE others get.

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  2. I have fun filling one of those shoeboxes, but yes, they can end up being more expensive than one would think. But then, not very expensive in the grand scheme of things.

    That is indeed a miracle that you found last year's boxes at the right time this year!

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  3. No condemnation from me... I'm impressed that you knew where you'd stashed the filled boxes! Thanks for the reminder that I need to get going on filling a shoebox or two. The box for a boy is pretty easy for me, but I like the idea of challenging myself to fill a box for a girl. I think I might be the one who makes the drive over to the drop-off site this year (no Chicken coupons -- it's at another church).

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  4. You crack me up! Way to be ahead. Or so behind you're ahead! Whatever works.

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    1. Right - it's like procrastination, only backwards.

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  5. I can't believe you found them. That's the whole reason I can't shop ahead when there are sales - I stash things everywhere and can never remember where I put them only to find them years later when the recipient is too old for the gift! I suppose I could make a list of where I've stuffed everything, but where's the fun in that?!

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  6. That is too funny! And sounds exactly like something I would do!

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  7. I didn't even know Chickfila had a shoebox for free sandwich deal!

    Don't you love being organized (no matter how you got there)?

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  8. Ah, but aren't kids supposed to imagine and make their own costumes? It expresses their creativity. What I'm wondering is, have you started picking up Halloween candy yet?

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    Replies
    1. 2 big Costco bags of it, and they have not yet been breached. 3 days to go...

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