Here are our endevours from Christmas Day.
Boyo is becoming as expert a wrapper as I am. Grin. Just don't tell him I said so though, okay? It is a feat brought on by necessity (aka WIFE) and one he is not proud of or even very willing in. And don't ever ask my mum about wrapping shoe boxes (she battled head-to-head with a recalictrant box on my behalf last October! Mum won, but vowed off shoe-box wrapping forever afterwards!).
We found some cool little matchbox cars in our family shoebox gift expedition. And came home with an extra one for Munchkin, seeing as he is more than a little car mad at present (mad enough that we are thinking we might manage to get him one each month for the next few so he has a little set).
Add to them the toothbrushes we also got, plus the flannels (face cloths) we had left from last year's boxes and things were looking good.
Then I found some tshirts this week (photos yet to come)! Wahoo!!! Size 4. Boys. Very nice.
We are only trying to do three boxes this year. I am finding it quite hard coming to terms with this. I just want to do more. Some because I know there are so many children in the world who don't ever get gifts, get to go to school, or have any real hope for their lives so I wonder who are we that we should have so much while they have so little?! Then some of it is just that I love giving gifts. I have already, just this week, found three small things for my arriving-in-April nephew. I had planned on waiting till he came to see how long he is, but I just can't hold out that long!!! He's getting all Munchkin's outgrown gear to borrow, but there's something in me that just has to find him something special. I made his sister bootees. Yeah, don't have time for that so I've been on the look out for a few little things instead. Yay!
Anyway, I digress. I want to fill as many shoeboxes as I can. If I wasn't a working, studying, mummying lady (does that make any sense?!?), I'd probably be volunteering to coordinate shoebox drops or something. But I am all the above and don't have the time or energy to do more than what I'm already doing (and sometimes I wonder if I really have the time or energy for this!). I've been happy plodding along doing my twelve boxes a year, hoping to get a few other people doing them too, but no one else has really picked it up. But we have had to rework our budget. And it came down to a choice between a Cover Up Blanket and some shoeboxes. Don't get me wrong, we are making ends meet fine. But we need to pay our rent and insurance and be responsible for our son's welfare. And our local church has been getting so little of our support, despite rallying around and supporting us amazingly. So we've had to look at our priorities and work out what can and can't be shifted. I can fill a shoebox for around $20-30, then the postage donation is about $9. It all adds up. I can't get anything with the grocery money anymore like I used to years back. It all (and more) goes on groceries (and just the basics these days too). I nearly went with shoe boxes, honest. They fill such a vital need, opening communities up to God's love and some amazing help as well as touching a young child's life. But the thing is that knitting is my soul solace. I knit when I need to think. And I knit when I need NOT to think. And I just can't see myself managing to remain sane for a whole entire year without knitting! So I ended up putting myself first on this one, and deciding to expend the hours and hours of work involved in just one blanket for just one child in the hopes that it might radically change their life, and in the knowledge that even if it does not, it is helping me keep mine in balance!
So there you go. Shoe boxes are under way. And I am holding out hope that somewhere, out there, someone else will take up the mantle and fill a shoebox this year on my behalf.