Every year, we all rally together to create special shoeboxes filled with gifts for those who are less fortunate, so children can have not only the bare essentials but one or two treats too – as Christmas should be.
In a nation of wealth, it can be hard to imagine that some of us, including children, don’t have access to even the basics such as a toothbrush. And for those who are even less fortunate, might not even have access to food.
This is why the Christmas shoeboxes are so important. That being said, it can be tricky to know what to put in them, especially if we are lucky enough to not be in such a position ourselves.
This piece will help give you some ideas of combined essentials and treats that could make a child’s year.
A Stuffed Toy
Going straight in with a treat, because if we are perfectly honest, it is too sad not to. A stuffed animal, bear or plushy of some kind is something everyone needs to cuddle sometimes, which is why this is a great option for the shoebox.
Choose a new toy that will be able to fit in the box – they don’t have to be expensive; they just have to be clean. The stuffed toy is often the ‘wow’ factor of the shoebox, so make it count!
You can choose other toys too, such as a soccer ball (and pump) or dolls/action figures/plastic animals.
Personal Care Items
Personal care items are usually the real basics that we might not even think of! This can include a toothbrush, a small hairbrush or comb, a soft washcloth and a bar of soap (that is packaged). A blanket will also go a long way. A water bottle can be useful and consider some of the more outside-the-box essentials such as adhesive bandages. There are now cartoon and colorful bandages out there for children, which will make them much more willing to use them!
There are not many children that don’t like to get their hands dirty and get stuck into a craft box, so some craft items are the perfect fit to go in next. Think colored pens, pencils, crayons, coloring books, stamps and colorful ink, notebooks, playdoh, stickers… you get the idea! Let your inner child run wild.
If you are not able to make a shoebox this year, then don’t worry! Consider a holiday donation which will go straight to helping those in need this Christmas.
This is a special part of the shoebox which might just be the best part for them.
Make a friendship bracelet and let them know you have the other half! Or give them a half of something small you have the other half of. Draw them a picture or write them a poem – whatever you like. And whatever you do, make sure to include a personal note or a Christmas card in the box too, which can include a photo of you and your family, and an address so the child may write to you. This could be the beginning of a beautiful pen-pal friendship.