For the past several years around Thanksgiving, our church has participated in Operation Christmas Child.  The idea is to pack a shoebox (or several!) with little gifts for kids. The boxes get shipped all over the world to kids who would never have otherwise had Christmas gifts.  Along with that, it opens doors for missionaries to teach the kids and their families the meaning of Christmas and in many circumstances see those kids come to a saving relationship with Jesus.  It is an awesome ministry that we love to take part in each year.  Most of the time I usually just waited until October or November and headed out to the $1 store to fill a few boxes from our family.  I felt like I was getting a good deal, but last year right after I had filled my boxes  I saw a video of a woman who claimed that she filled all of her shoe boxes for a $1 per box!    I didn’t believe her at first, but after watching her video, I was way inspired to shop year round for my shoe boxes and hopefully be able to fill 2 or 3 times the amount of boxes I normally would with the amount of money we set aside each year.  My new goal is either to get things for free in my shoebox (watch her video to get ideas) or to pay up to $.25 for items.  I didn’t think it was possible to purchase new items (not at garage sales!) for $.25 but they are out there!  Right after Easter we were passing by the Target $1 spot and saw a 75% clearance sign.  I stopped by and all of their items were marked down to $.25!  There was a not a huge selection, but that day I walked out of that store with about 9 items for a quarter each!  Then last week at Walmart- they had a grocery cart full of pencil boxes marked down to a quarter tool.  I bought 6 of them.  I am excited that school supply sales will start in a month or so and I’m planning to stock up on all of those as well. While my boxes might look random and scarce at the moment… we are slowly gathering our loot and hope to fill many boxes this year.  And I think it is pretty cute that the kids are really getting into this as well. Now, when we head to Target or Walmart Belle will ask me, “Are we going to look for deals for the kid’s Christmas boxes?” 🙂 And they get so excited to show daddy our purchases when he comes home from work.  I’m thrilled that this can be an all year project for our family and allow us to help to teach the kids the importance of thinking about and loving others.  Here is a picture of our stash so far. With a few free items in there, I think we have spent around $4.50 for about 20 items!