The Spirit of Christmas

christmas tree explosion (day 9 of 365) EXPLORED!!!
Image Details: ‘christmas tree explosion (day 9 of 365) EXPLORED!!!’ by stephenvance, via Flickr

I know, I know, I can’t believe I am writing a blog post about the ‘C’ word either. In September. It hasn’t even been Hallowe’en yet, not that it makes much difference to the retail industry, who are already trying to push gaudy decorations on us like some kind of shady drug dealer. Not that I have a particular problem with Christmas decorations, in fact there was a stray piece of red tinsel up in our old house until we moved. In July.

I love Christmas! I love fairy lights, tinsel, decorations and our gothicky black plastic tree. I daren’t get a real one in case the dogs (well, one particular dog: yes, you, Bowser) decides to water it for me. I put the tree up in November last year because I couldn’t wait any longer. I got married in December, so I could have a Christmas wedding. And don’t get me started on the mulled wine….

But this isn’t the meaning of Christmas. The decorations and wine are fun, but Christmas should be a time for thinking of others less fortunate than ourselves, as well as all the biblical stuff, if you are that way inclined. It’s not about shameless consumerism or making a huge list of must-have items, despite what the shops and advertising tell you.

So, I have decided to start the Babybee early when it comes to the spirit of Christmas. There is a charity project running in South Africa called ‘Kidz2Kidz Santa Shoebox Project.’ Kidz2Kidz’s Santa Shoebox Project is a community initiative that co-ordinates the donation, collection and distribution of personalized Christmas gifts to underprivileged children, while at the same time helping parents teach their own children about the joys of giving. I know the name, age and gender of the children that we are donating to, as well as the name of the organisations that are caring for the children. Having initially decided to donate one box to each of the 5 organisations in my local area, I saw that in one of the homes, there were children under a year old who were already resident. This prompted me to add another 2 boxes, one for a baby girl and one for a baby boy. I’m planning on taking pictures so I can tell Babybee all about it when she is older.

Santa Shoebox label
Image Details: ‘Santa Shoebox label’ by Native Look, via Flickr

So, I have 7 shoeboxes to decorate, which the children keep afterwards. I’m looking for ideas of what to include in the boxes. There is a list of ‘must-haves’ such as toothbrush and toothpaste and educational supplies as well as a toy. I am not sure what kinds of toys 8 – 12 year olds play with as I don’t actually know any, so any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! I am also thinking of including something a bit crafty and therefore am also looking for ideas for suitable projects.

The shoeboxes are to be delivered in person in the last week of October, which will mean a little road trip for me, as the drop-off is a 130 mile round journey. You can’t send a parcel directly from the UK to the organisation, unfortunately, however if anyone does want to get involved, please email me at It may involve sending the parcel to me by post to be dropped off!

Look out for more updates to this post over the coming weeks…

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