Last night, Jayne invited me to go on our first Christmas shopping adventure of the year - to fill two shoeboxes from Operation Christmas Child. We made quite a pair - she is a world-traveller who knows cultures and climates from all over, and I am a box stuffing veteran who knows the packaging dos and don'ts; she is practical and thoughtful, and I am sentimental. My biggest concern was: Would a little boy prefer squishy fish toys or jelly lizard toys? Her biggest concern was: Which will my girl need more - a towel or a blanket? After three hours of comparing, analyzing, and deciding, we managed to get a great pile of loot home and strewn out all over the table.
Now to make it fit... hmmm... Well, the blankets did not fit. Actually, they could fit, but it would have been the only thing that fit. And neither of us felt really good about just saying, "Merry Christmas, have a blanket, and never you mind about all the other cool stuff that wouldn't fit." So we decided to give the blankets to the families at my house, who bundle up in their winter coats if I put the thermostat on 72F.
Jayne's most frustrating aspect of this shopping trip was that she didn't know what country her package was going to, so she couldn't make the perfect decision about anything - gloves or sandals? or rain coat? I tried to explain that the good people at Samaritan's Purse do go through the boxes and sort them out to their proper destinations - in other words, they would not send scarf-and-hat boxes to Ecuador. Still, this not-knowing was a damper on our experience. Imagine our excitement when we learned that we could print out barcodes to tape on our boxes so we can keep track of where our boxes go! So we did that, and now anxiously await the delivery date.
So I say our first Christmas shopping trip was a true success! It was tons of fun and put me in a spirit of giving. My church at home is really big into OCC, and it was exciting to continue to be involved even while I'm here in Fort Wayne. Thanks to OCC for all they do!