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I just started a new group: MAPCJIAOCCSB – Mothers Against Putting Cheap Junk In An Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box. I'm really expecting it to take off in a hurry.


Seriously, though, I wrote about my thoughts on Operation Christmas Child here and here. I just reread the posts and I'm relieved to know that I haven't changed my mind on that in the past six years.

At the same time, I'm still saddened by gigantic group efforts to fill as many boxes as they can with cheap plastic junk that won't make it past New Year's Eve.

I love the mission behind Operation Christmas Child. I think the Samaritan's Purse ministry is a valuable one and I've thought that for years and years. I also think we need to give a thoughtful response to what we put in our boxes for these precious kids. If it isn't something you would be thrilled to give your own child…why bother giving it to someone else?

2 Corinthians 9:7 reminds us about giving from our hearts, "Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

I'm not trying to guilt anyone into giving high-dollar shoe box gifts. I just think that if we're going to do this, then let's DO THIS.

Who's with me here at MAPCJIAOCCSB? I might make some badges. (kidding)



11 thoughts on “MAPCJIAOCCSB

  1. JenniferF says:

    I completely agree with you. If we’re going to share the genuine love of Christ, shouldn’t we also show that the stuff we give isn’t cheap and junky? If it’s cheap junk maybe the kids end up thinking the same about Christ- that He is fake. Definitely not what I’m going for!


  2. Monica says:

    I am SO there with you. Last year I was on a mission to do a pretty much handmade box which is just not going to happen this year. I don’t want my house filled with junk either and so I try to help my kids do shoeboxes that we’d want to receive. Great reminder!


  3. TulipGirl says:

    Would love for you to list some of the non-cheap-junk stuff y’all have put in shoe boxes through the years!
    We’re not filling Operation Shoe Boxes this year. . . but we do have some children in our circles locally who are getting back packs filled with goodies. So thankful for Land’s End backpack sales ($5 each!) Already on the list are school supplies, toothbrushes (a Christmas tradition for our family), but I want to add a few more things and am trying to think of good, non-cheap, but affordable items.


  4. Christan says:

    Excellent post. I find the most sure way to avoid being cheap when filling an Operation Christmas shoebox is to bring my children along when making purchases. They are fine “quality control” police. 🙂


  5. Megan says:

    How about the fact that I so seldom get comments I never even thought to check this until today? Also this – Craig and I share a Typepad account, but I have to be careful which account I’m on when I post. I accidentally posted this while signed in as him, so I wasn’t even getting the email notifications!
    I check today and boom – here you all are. Hilarious.
    Glad I’m not alone here. TG – Good question. Worth a follow up post, so I’ll try to get on that soon.


  6. kristy says:

    Your thoughts are exactly how I feel about canned food drives and donations to food pantries. I honestly think that some people don’t think at all when they make food donations, or they just use it as an opportunity to clean out their own pantry. If you won’t eat it yourself, do you really think a person with little to no resources for buying any food would want it?
    That said, my mother in law worked at McDonalds, and my kids used to love playing with her collection of happy meal toys…


  7. Michelle says:

    I just read this after sending in our Operation boxes today. I would like my badge and secret passcode to be a member of your club.
    On Friday, I took the kids out for a “fill the box” extravaganza. I had some things in the house already (from my ‘get it at Staples when it’s free’ stash). Friday was our Target run. We hit the clearance racks, where each kid picked out a shirt to put in their box. While there, the boys found baseball caps, so we added them to the load. We headed over to the toy section, where each one picked out a toy for their box (matchbox car, stuffed animal…something $5 and under, but a real toy nonetheless). Then we moved to housewares, where we picked up a brightly colored washcloth (my daughter’s was pink, of course, but the boys picked out yellow and orange). We added the customary soap/toothpaste/toothbrush from the trial size bins. Barrettes for the girl box. And a while back, Home Depot had a set of 4 metal flashlights on sale. I had picked them up, added extra batteries and we threw them in the box. What is so fun about this for me is that the kids pick out what they want…their boxes are so obviously ‘them’, from the toys to their color choices on toothbrushes. Everything in their box is something that my kids would want, because they chose it. One thing that does help ease the financial aspect of this is that I have a tendency to gather things through the year (mostly office supplies and craft supplies) that we can put in our boxes without having to shop for them.


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