On one of my favorite blogs, Catholic Icing, I came across Operation Christmas Child, run by Samaritan's Purse. The directions are on the website but basically, you fill a shoebox with toys/hygiene items/gifts for a small (2-4), medium (5-9) or large (10-14) size boy or girl and drop it off at a donation site (our local Methodist Church is the closest so we can walk too - bonus!).
I decided only #1 and #2 were ready to undertake this task and, considering his current state of the "gimmies", #2 is only marginally so.
After cello lessons we headed to the Dollar Store to pick out our treasures. In a bit of a twist, son picked a small girl and daughter picked a medium sized boy. Toys and toothbrushes, crayons and cars were carefully selected and taken home.
Next, the note from us wishing a Merry Christmas.
I liked this exercise. The personal involvement of picking and packing makes it more meaningful than just sending a check somewhere. The added bonus of being able to check off art, handwriting, grammar, math, phys ed and geography for the week is my gift. ;0)
There are still a few days left so check out the website and send your own box. It's not much money and the experience is one we hope to make into a yearly tradition.