Here are some of the photos I promised when I was making up the Christmas Child boxes.
Firstly, I realised that I hadn't taken photos of the clothes when I bought them, so here they are...
Clothes for the girls!
I find that 'something to wear' is the single most expensive item that goes into my shoeboxes. In the past, I've tried to get the clothes first, as that way I have a better idea of the agegroup I'm buying for. This year, I ended up getting them near the end...but that's okay because I'd decided to buy the generic things for 5-15yr olds (soaps and flannels can be for any age, after all) first, and just buy the toys last. I managed to pick all these items up at the Warehouse, averaging $5 each (they were on sale). Another issue I find is that it can be hard working out what would be considered appropriate clothing in the recipient's community. To avoid any discomfort, I avoid anything sleeveless for girls, and anything with advertising and/or words on it. This time round the boys ones ended up with some words, which are quite cute really, as they were the only things I could find. I do know not to buy socks or undies. Apparently, they do not get worn in the Pacific areas that our New Zealand shoe boxes go to (this information was from an Operation Christmas Child regional coordinator so worth going by). Hats and jandals (flip-flops, thongs) have been a favourite of mine in past years. Kids get a lot of use out of a pair of jandals.
Some for the boys!
And here we have the toys under 'something to play with'...all purchased at a local Dollar Value store, costing $2 each. I'd like to point out the woven plastic balls. These were advertised as cat toys. They have a little bell inside a ball, inside another ball. I thought they were a fabulous idea for younger kids - imagine throwing around a ball that jingles, rolling it down a hill, using it to hit other balls, and so on. I generally try to get toys that are going to be active, imaginative ones. No batteries allowed due to customs issues anyway. So skipping ropes, marbles, and this year some chess and connect four (instructions are on the back of the little box). I like to get craft things too, such as puppets to make, but find that they often require sizzors and glue. While the recipient might have these items, they equally might not, and I'd hate for them to be unable to play with their gift because of that. So my motto is that it has to be able to be used with just the items in the shoebox. If I can get sizzors in there too, great. Glue is usually a bit problematic as we can't have anything that might leak.
Toys - yay!
Anyway, those are the final items for my shoeboxes this year. What interesting things have you managed to find for your shoeboxes?
Sunday, 31st October, 2010