A few weeks ago I told you about Operation Christmas Child and my pledge to build a box to help them achieve their goal of 100 Million boxes since 1993. I told you my reason behind it and my wish to start this tradition with my child as I teach her kindness, compassion and giving. I sat the frog princess down to talk to her about our Christmas project and the box we were going to build.Â At first, I was at a loss for what to say and wondering if she would understand. The conversation went a little something like this:
Me: Thereâ€™s a little girl in another country whose parents canâ€™t get her a present for Christmas this year.
FP: A little girl just like me? (insert awww moment and possible teary eyes here)
Me: yes baby, a little girl just like you.
FP: Mami can us help her? (insert freakishly long bear hug, kisses and teary eyes here)
Could it be that easy? My child has always had a certain compassion about her but at almost 3, I didnâ€™t think sheâ€™d get what I was telling her. But I was wrong. Deciding to put together a box for a girl her age immediately connected her with â€œthe little girlâ€. The fact that SHE was the one that suggested we help her gave her a certain ownership over the project and that was clear from the way she shopped.
We went off to the store, box in hand to make sure what we could fit everything in it. Yaâ€™ll, I was nervous. I had no idea how she would respond to being in the toy section of a store, walking on her own and not getting anything herself. It was important for me that I not pick up anything for her during this trip so that she really understood this was for someone else.
The frog princess decided that the little girl would like purple and that she likes pink (um, yes, I think we all know that by now). To that end, she proceeded to reject dolls and toys meticulously and without discrimination. I have no idea what she was looking for, no clue as to how she was selecting the toys. Surely she wanted a doll with a purple outfit on but not just any doll. She chose a little soft baby doll with a pacifier after touching and putting others back.
Because she likes cars, she wanted to send the little girl one as well. We were not able to find a little pink car, much to her chagrin. She did compromise and was satisfied when I made the suggestion we get her a purple car instead. Crayons, toothpaste, toothbrush, coloring book. At one point she exclaimed: I need to get her a little pink ball. Sadly, we did not find one at that store but days later, while at the corner CVS, we did. And she was ecstatic!
We spent a few minutes looking at socks and she selected ones with the days of the week on them. In Spanish. She also carefully chose hair accessories for this little girl that she will most likely never meet. Fearfully, I headed to the candy section were we got a box of candy canes. I heard no whine or request for candy so, I sped off before any would come my way.
I am not sure what to say after that. Not sure how to explain how my child, who fights with her cousin about (insert whatever toy he might be playing with here) suddenly wanted nothing but to give a little girl a present. I was blown away by it. And reminded that itâ€™s never too early to start. I was also reminded to not underestimate children.Â When I told her that this little girl had no toys and no games to play with, she immediately connected with that. When I mentioned that her parents couldnâ€™t get anything at the store for her, it was like she understood the concept.
This will definitely be a tradition of ours. It is my hope that next year I am in a better financial situation and able to donate more than just one box.
During the week of November 12th, these shoeboxes are being collected in communities all around the country. To find out more about where you can go in your area, please click here. Donâ€™t forget you can also build-a-box right from your internet browser and even gift a box for a friend or relative so that they can know the golden rule of giving this Christmas season.
My thoughts for the adults on this: imagine if you were the parent of that little girl. Because she has a mother thatâ€™s probably just like me and wants nothing but the best for her child. How about we help the mothers around the world that are just like us by giving their children a gift they are not able to provide on their own this year?
This holiday season build a box with your family to teach kindness, compassion, and generosity.
BlogFrog will match the first 200 boxes that are built.Â Pledge your commitment below to build a box today on Facebook or Twitter!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Operation Christmas Child. The opinions and text are all mine.