Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time to Think Christmas!

Because of the many stops our packages make along the way, Compassion International asks us to allow 2-3 months for items to travel from our hands to those of our children. That means we need to get our Christmas packages out to our sponsored children soon, if we want them to arrive before December 25th.

While the average child in America receives several hundred dollars worth of presents every year, this is not so in other countries. We can bring some joy to our beloved Compassion children this year in the following ways:

~Give to Compassion’s Christmas Gift Fund, where all funds collected are pooled together and every child in the program will receive something this year. On top of this, you could also give a Family Gift. 100% of the Family Gift funds will go directly to your child’s family, with project staff helping the family choose the best gift.

~You may also send a package with a flat gift or two. Compassion’s mailing requirements state that shipments are mailed through customs as documents, so they need to be flat and flexible. While you can’t send teddy bears and soccer balls, you can get creative and still send fun gifts to your child. (Even though Compassion’s official statement says that you cannot send books, I have found that very thin and flexible books with few pages ARE still getting through.) We send out items in large manilla envelopes, so you don't have to be limited to small letter envelopes. (To see mailing size requirements and ideas of what to send, click the link in my right hand sidebar titled "Sending Goodies...")

~Check out Dover Publications, they have a ton of great little activity books that are just $1.50 each. While Compassion staff will not translate an entire book like this, there are many that don’t require translation. They have sticker books, paper dolls, stencil books, tattoos and many more! Here is a link to 60 different Christmas activity books, including advent calendars and nativity scenes.

(My own personal opinion is to keep Christmas items focused on a Christian view and to avoid things with Santa Claus. I worry about a child who learns of Santa and is sorely disappointed when he doesn’t come on Christmas Day. I also worry that some may come to believe in Santa only to find out he is a myth, and then possibly question the reality of our God in the same way. Ultimately it is your decision, but I felt it was worth mentioning.)

~I was contacted by a local sponsor on the Our Compassion site and we went in on an order from Oriental Trading. They have a variety of neat Christmas items such as color scratch ornaments and Christian crafts.

If you don’t want to order anything for your Compassion International children, you can just send a Christmas card, which will bring them joy. You could send along some paper snowflakes, strips of paper with adhesive dots and instructions on how to make paper chains and photos are ALWAYS a hit! Also, check out the Sending Goodies to our Compassion children link over on the right hand sidebar for more ideas!

As usual, Christmas items would be mailed to:

Attention: Child Correspondence Dept.

Compassion International

Colorado Springs, CO 80997

You can also check out this post on Our Compassion to read what other sponsors are sending to their kids for Christmas.

What are you sending your Compassion children for Christmas? Share your ideas in the comment section!


Sarah said...

Thank you for the ideas!

Oh - and thank you for the flip flop tip. My local Dollar General had 4 pair left, also for $0.25, and I wiped them out! I'm planning to put them in my Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes.

oh amanda {impress your kids} said...

Awesome! I love these ideas! And honestly, I had no thought about sending an actual CHRISTMAS-y gift b/c I always send them $$ for Christmas. But to get a "real" Christmas gift from us is an excellent idea!

Love this! Thanks so much for linking up w/ my Impress Your SPONSORED Kids challenge!

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