Never in my life did Christmas shopping come easily to me. Not for my friends. Not for my family who not-so-subtly hinted at their desired gifts. And definitely not for a stranger. Anxiety would set in as I walked around store after store: staring at countless trinkets and over-priced sweaters. I would shuffle my feet out of the store with my head hanging low in desperation knowing that Christmas Day lurked around the corner. I would bitterly walk into Walgreens, pick out the cheesiest Christmas card, toss in some cash, and call it a win.
I hate shopping. Yes, you read that correctly. I. Hate. Shopping. I never enjoyed it. I probably never will. So when I say that I willingly decided to shop at the Dollar Store on a busy Saturday afternoon for a Christmas present for someone I did not know, you must know how that this never happens. Ever.
However, this year was different. This year I learned of Operation Christmas Child. You could navigate to this website, but here is the jist:
“Since 1993, more than 100 million boys and girls in over 130 countries have experienced God’s love through the power of simple shoebox gifts from Operation Christmas Child. Samaritan’s Purse works with local churches and ministry partners to deliver the gifts and share the life-changing Good News of Jesus Christ.”
“Now wait a minute!” You might be thinking, “Megan, you are not religious!” That would be correct. I am not a religious person. However, I do not believe that I need to be a religious person in order to be a good person.
So here begins my journey to the Dollar Store. On a busy Saturday afternoon. I walked in the store, and chaos skipped up and down the aisles. Stuffed plush snowmen thrown together with puppy dogs and left over pumpkins awkwardly sat next to the shampoo. Unemptied boxes of merchandise appeared in every aisle. I did not know where to start. I needed to find items for a girl ages 5 – 9. “Five to nine?” I thought, “there is a huge difference between a five year old and a nine year old.”
I walked up and down every aisle, wondering how so many items accumulated in this tiny Dollar Store. I needed to find something. And fast. I knew that if I spent another five minutes in that store, that I would put my empty basket down, and leave the store. I couldn’t do that this time. I mean, really? How hard could this be?
I decided on:
-Activity Book and drawing pad with markers
-Tinker Bell Puzzle
-Stuffed Plush Bear
-Headbands and a hair brush and a mirror
I MADE IT. Alive. Biggest accomplishment of the day was not having a panic attack in the middle of the Dollar Store. The thought of a little girl being able to open a Christmas gift from a complete stranger gave me the courage to complete my shopping and continue onto the next steps.
I needed to fill this out:
I had a lot of fun filling this out. Although I felt like I needed to tell a little white lie and put ” orange juice” as my favorite drink when everyone knows it is wine. As a semi-responsible adult, I felt like telling a child my favorite drink was something alcoholic would be wrong. But hey, Jesus supposedly drank wine, so I shouldn’t be punished, right?
Anyway, I had the option to put down my address in the chance that the child may respond. So I did! (Hence the random awkward bow in the photo.) Also, I paid for the extra shipping on it so I would be able to track where it goes. I’m extremely excited to track this package, and I’m hoping you will follow me in my Christmas in a Box journey!