March 2, 2015

To Wrap or Not to Wrap! ~ Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes That Is

We have always wrapped our shoe boxes for our Operation Christmas Child shoe box gifts.  I always evaluate everything I spend time and money on.  Especially when it comes to my shoeboxes: am I spending my time & money on the best things for my shoeboxes.  Wrapping them is no different.

Wrapping shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child.




It does take time and money to do it, tho not much in the scheme of the complete shoe box.  Yet what could I do for the shoe box child if I didn't wrap them?  Include one more small item with the money I save?  Craft another item with the time I save?  But the bright paper and fun designs surely will brighten the child's day -- even if only for a moment, before they possibly rip it off when opening.

As you can see from this image I have compromised.  I wrap the lid only.  This way I reduce my expense of time and money by half and the child still receives a brightly colored box wrapped with love.

Ever wonder what type of box is best to pack in?  You can read Sarah's post What Type of Shoebox to Use to Pack for Operation Christmas Child for some pros and cons.

Do you wrap your boxes?  Do you find yourself evaluating everything you do?  I think I need tips on how to kick back and enjoy the process!

24 comments:

Hailey said...

I love the look of your half-wrapped shoe boxes! I always wrap my boxes, top and bottom, because I love to imagine the joy in the children's eyes when they open it. To me, it just seems more like a gift if it is wrapped. Although, I may borrow your idea in the instance of boxes that are already brightly colored, such as the green and blue boxes in your photo! Thanks for sharing!

Kathy Schriefer said...

I think that's a really good compromise. Also, some boxes (like ones designed for children's shoes with cartoon characters on them ) don't need to be wrapped at all. Sometimes you can just glue a greeting card picture on the front. Good for you for thinking this through!

Mary A Collegem said...

Mt mother who is 91 wraps all the boxes for our church. She already has over 300 wrapped since November 1, 2014. People bring boxes to church, we bring them home and she wraps. She enjoys it, gives her something to do and the sanctuary looks beautiful with the 1000 shoe boxes displayed. I hate to see a box with no paper, your lid is a good second choice. Church people have also given her wrapping paper. In Aug - Sep we will take wrapped boxes to the church for people to take home and fill if they have no box or hate to wrap. She does use a lot of tape.

Cheryl said...

Hailey, that is how my half wrapped boxes started -- if the bottom was delightfully bright I'd just match a fun paper to it for the top. Thanks for your comment-- I love hearing what others are doing.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Kathy, I have been trying to collect old calendars (to no avail) to use to decorate the tops -- didn't think of greeting cards on top, only on the inside of the box lid. Thanks for the idea.

Cheryl said...

Mary, what a wonderful idea! And such a great project for your Mother! I imagine your Sanctuary does look lovely! I use lots of tape, too, hoping it holds up better.

Anonymous said...

We buy the boxes provided by OCC. But we also use recycled shoe boxes and wrap them. I once heard a speaker tell about a distribution of the boxes in Kosovo. She said every part of the box is used. The wrapping paper covers holes in windows and walls and the cardboard is used on floors. Resourcefulness at its best!
Each box is a God gift!!

Cheryl said...

Wow, nothing wasted -- we can't even imagine.

Nancy said...

I like to use plastic shoeboxes (.94 cents each at 'big-box stores'). This year I discovered an easy way to make them look festive without spending much time or money. I put one sheet of decorated Christmas tissue paper in the box before I fill it. Since the boxes are clear, you can see it from the outside. Then I put a few Christmas stickers on the lid. Pretty, fast, simple, and they can use the plastic box for carrying water or storing food to keep bugs/insects out.

Lori Viars said...

I used to wrap boxes, but seeing how far they travel, I'm concerned the paper gets torn off in transit. What if the label gets torn off with the paper? So now I put colorful stickers over any part of the box I want to hide. I may try using colorful print duct tape if I find enough of it on clearance. We all probably overthink this---the important thing is a bright, colorful box.

Joyce Ackley said...

I am the least crafty person on the planet. Last year I tried wrapping boxes, and I gave up in frustration. It was a disaster. I cut the paper too short. The paper tore. The corners wrinkled. The tape twisted. The boxes looked like a four year old had done them. I tried Modge Podge. Some of the boxes turned out cute, but it was a lot of work. And I thought of the boxes getting sticky in hot, humid climes and creating a mess for the boxes on top and bottom of it. I cut out Christmas card fronts and designs and covered the words and print on the boxes. That worked pretty good. But when the processing center tapes the box closed, wouldn't that mess up that lovely card in the card in the center of the box? I can't come up with a solution for a non-crafter like myself.

Cheryl said...

Great idea, Nancy! Love the ease of this way.

Cheryl said...

Lori, great thought on the label being torn off. We use packing tape to attach it well, but if the paper comes loose that will do no good. More to think about. lol

Cheryl said...

Joyce, I think your card idea is good -- just put it at one side, the label at the other and when the tape is added in the center it will look perfect!

Anonymous said...

I have over the years gone back and forth about wrapping. My compromise has been this: All 10-14 get plastic boxes with a colored lid, I then use bandanas for sides in different colors (I let me kids choose). I figure it's the most useful items for the older kids who are starting their adult living. Then the 2-4 group gets colored shoe boxes with more lovie items. I usually only do 2 in the 5-9 group so depending on my items goes to either of the above mention box types. I like to do the most boxes for the teen groups especially since my kids are in that group.

sunnymum said...

When packing boxes with younger kids, we struggled with the paper to make it look neat. Maybe heavier paper than what we used wouldn't rip as much. Anyway, we abandoned the paper idea and used decorative duct tape to decorate and reinforce the boxes at the same time. Worked out much better for us. We still taped cute pictures from calendars on the inside of the lid.

Cheryl said...

Anonymous, I love your compromise! Thanks for sharing -- the plastic box and bandanna would be very useful for the older kids, so much more than the box and wrapping.

Cheryl said...

Sounds like a wonderful compromise, Sunny Mum. This is the first year I am trying to include a picture on the inside of my box -- not sure why the idea escaped me for so many years.

mamabearbouch said...

I love to hear what you all are doing! I, too, think children love the brightly colored wrapping, and doing just the lids is a great compromise. Bandanas in the clear plastic boxes are 'festive' and useful, too. I will say, though, that working at the Charlotte Processing Center 5 times has given me a different perspective. Believe it or not, the boxes that most often end up in the 'box hospital' for repairs are those $1 plastic boxes! They don't hold up well under the pressure of being packed tightly in the cartons, and the cold weather tends to make them brittle. It's definitely worth investing a little more on 'sturdier' plastic boxes if you go that route. The other thing to know is that to be good stewards of the shipping funds, they really do need to fit no less than 14 boxes in a carton, and the more you can fit the better. Plastic boxes, especially the ones with lids that extend way past the body of the box, make cartonizing very difficult. The best thing from a 'ministry stewardship' perspective is to use the OCC boxes as 20 of those fit perfectly in a carton. They are very colorful and provide a measure of uniformity when distributed. For those concerned about wrapping paper being compromised during the 'journey', it might encourage you to know that when that happens, the 'inspectors'at the processing centers simply put it inside the box so the child will still get to enjoy / use it :) Happy wrapping!

Betty Sue said...

I wrapped my boxes until Samaritan's Purse allowed individuals to purchase the GO boxes which are brightly colored. They arrive flat but take less than a minute each to put together. 100 boxes cost $21.00 plus shipping. I have used these for at least the last five years & love them.

Cheryl said...

Thanks, Mama Bear for the insightful details of your experiences at the processing center. So much to consider.

Cheryl said...

Betty Sue, the GO boxes do sound convenient. We talked about them after last year's packing and some of our "packing team" felt the cost could better be used to add another item to the box so they were vetoed for this year if we can find enough empty boxes.

gram cheryl said...

Some boxes are beautiful and I just add a large sticker (some homemade of contact paper) to cover the branding. Others I cover with contact paper to make stronger, something they can use for storage for years. This is especially good for the lids which tend to break down fast.

Painter said...

I wrap boxes, but I also paint them. This works especially well if the box is mostly one color with a few bits that are lighter. I then tape a ribbon around the lid and it's ready to go.


             
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