For these kids who have so little, any Christmas gift you send would be a treasured item for them. Right now is the time to consider what you would like to send to your child, get anything ordered online that needs to be ordered, make any little craft projects, and shop for special items. Christmas preparations come extra early for sponsors, as we need to plan ahead to get little gifts bought and in the mail 2-3 months before Christmas. Here are some ideas that may help you in planning your gift.
What child doesn't love opening the little doors on an advent calendar? Vermont Christmas Company offers many choices of beautiful advent calendars in various sizes... from card size to jumbo. Some come with their own envelope, which is very handy if you would like to send this by itself.
Other paper gifts would include coloring books, stickers, origami paper and patterns, a small book of sudoku puzzles... I found this at the Dollar Tree for $1, and the directions are in Spanish, French and English! There are lots of options for free printables, such as paper dolls, play sets, and paper toys. Watch for posts later this week, as I will be searching through my files for my favorite printables to share with you. :o)
If you sponsor through an organization like World Vision or His Hands Support Ministries where you can send gifts other than paper items only, you might enjoy starting the tradition of sending a small, non breakable ornament each year. You have lots of wonderful gift options for you as well... an new article of clothing is an extremely significant gift for a child living in poverty. I keep my eyes open all year for ridiculously great sales on children's clothing, and often buy really nice items for 70% off or more.
Li'l Ones are another great choice, and are about $5 - 7 at Amazon.
Folkmanis finger puppets.
So apparently soccer is the #1 favorite sport of boys around the world outside of the USA... and is called football to the rest of the world... I didn't know this until sponsoring a boy! You can send a soccer ball by deflating it first, and including a small hand pump in the package. Other gift ideas for a boy would include small cars, pocket LED flashlight with spare batteries, pocket calculator, a yo-yo, or what the first child I mentioned was dreaming of, a ball. I saw a video clip of a boy who had received a shoebox of gifts from the Operation Christmas Child project, and he said his favorite gift was the harmonica. I was delighted to find that a local store carries real ones in my town for only about $6.
Know that whatever you send, your gift will warm the heart of your sponsored child... and guess what? Don't be surprised if it warms your heart more than any other gift you give this Christmas... that is just what happens when you give to someone who has so little in material possessions, but who is so big in gratitude.