Operation Christmas Child

With 16 weekends until Christmas I’ve heard several people have started to receive charity Christmas catalogues this week and the mince pies have suddenly appeared in Marks & Spencer and other supermarkets.  Those arranging charity collections are busy putting their plans into action and its time we all start to plan how we’ll try and make Christmas special for people who have not been as lucky or fourtenate as us.

Operation Christmas Child is something you can get involved with to a greater or lesser extent.   Just in case you do not know what Operation Christmas Child is, every year volunteers cover old shoe boxes in Christmas Wrapping paper and fill them with gifts that are gender and age appropriate. Many local churches and organisations arrange a day whereby they create and pack the shoe boxes. You can either get involved in this or just buy a few things to take along that can be packed as part of a present. In popular demand are gifts for older boys such as a hat and scarf, or toiletries for boys such as toothpaste, a toothbrush and a comb. For younger children colouring books and crayons are great.  For just a few pounds you could really let someone know that people care about them and make their Christmas a little more enjoyable.   There are guidelines for what to buy, how to pack the boxes and general information regarding Operation Christmas Child at http://www.operationchristmaschild.org.uk/

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Blue Peter Christmas Appeal Launched

This year the Blue Peter Christmas Appeal is called Go Cardz (is spelling Cards that way really a good example to set our children?).   Go Cardz is Blue Peter’s 49th annual appeal to raise money for Whizz-Kidz, a charity for young people’s mobility who provide powered wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs and recreational tricyles to children that really need them. For this appeal they are asking children to design handmade Christmas cards which will be sold through participating Tesco stores to raise money for Whizz-Kidz.

The money raised will go towards providing more wheelchair assessment clinics across the UK. In these temporary clinics children can be assessed and fitted with wheelchairs and recreational tricycles, which are perfectly suited for their specific needs. Without these clinics children will have to wait a lot longer for their wheelchairs.

All you need to do to help is request a pack from the Blue Peter website and they will send you enough materials, free of charge to make 4 cards.  They include a free return envelope so that you can send the finished cards back.  When they receive the cards they are checked and packed ready to go on sale.   This should be a nice activity for children as the nights get darker and the weekend weather outlook is poor.  You need to get your finished cards back to them by October 18th to be sure of them reaching Tesco in time for Christmas.

Click here for the full details of the Blue Peter Christmas Appeal

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Unique Christmas Greetings to you.

I know that there have been many attempts to dissuade us from sending Christmas cards such as donating to a charity the amount you would usually spend on the cards.  I think this is an excellent idea for the workplace where you may end up sending a card to someone you hardly speak to just because they sent a card to you.  After all, if we are all honest with the spiralling cost of Christmas not many of us would choose December to make a donation.  This way the charities are not forgotten at Christmas.  I am a little more cynical about businesses doing this at Christmas as I think that some (not necessarily all) will do this to cut their Christmas Card budget and work time it takes get all the correct people to sign the correct card.

However, in the spirit of Christmas past, I think it is a nice touch to hand make Christmas cards for your nearest and dearest.  If you are worried about your artistic credentials, don’t be, as you do not have to be an artist to create a pretty Christmas card for your Mum or Dad.  Make a start by looking up card making tips in google or go to the All About Women website which frequently features new craft ideas such as card making.  I like to think of it as a Blue Peter for grownups.

If you have children, why not turn it into some family time as children will love to make a card for Grandma or Grandad.  Afterall, if you think back to your Blue Peter days the ‘How to make something’ part of the show was avidly watched by all children.

If you think it is far too soon to be thinking about Christmas cards, well you are probably right, but with the weather turning cooler for the start of October, don’t leave it until November before you think about it, there will be too many other things to do by then.

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Chistmas is about giving.

We all spend hours (days, weeks or even months) preparing for Christmas, making it special for our families and friends.  Amongst all of this try and spare some time to do something good for those who are disadvantaged and who won’t be as comfortable as you this Christmas.
A good way to help others is to take part in a shoebox appeal.  Last year, through Operation Christmas Child, over 1.2 million shoeboxes packed full of gifts and goodies were wrapped, packed and sent to children in disadvantaged situations by children and adults in the UK.  Operation Christmas Child is the UK’s largest children’s Christmas appeal and has been running for over 19 years.
All you need to do is find a standard sized shoebox and fill it with things like felt pens,pencils, pencil sharpener, rubber, colouring book,notepad, picture/puzzle book, chalk, pencil case, stickers, Toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, comb, hair clips, bar of wrapped soap etc and then take the box to one of the drop of points.
Companies, churches and other organisations can help by collecting boxes and encouraging their staff and members to help.
You can find more information by clicking on the banner below.
Gift Ideas
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