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Train Themed Operation Christmas Child Shoebox for a Boy Ages 5-9

When I pack shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, I like to try to make them as personal as possible so even if I pick a good number, I don't lose sight of the individual child for whom I'm packing it.  One way I try to make them personal is through themes.  This was a very special theme one I did this, trains for a boy between 5 & 9 years of age.

It all started when I found a battery operated train set, new in package at a thrift store for $1.  I sent a couple sets of batteries, but I think it'll still be fun after the batteries run out.  Then I made a theme out of it!  I had quite a bit of fun with it!   I had a crocheted hat that looked like conductor colors, then found an actual toy conductor hat!  My mom made a Simple Lined Drawstring Bag out of train cloth that I used as a pencil case.  I also had a train whistle and a plastic whistle shaped like a train.  I used a normal shoebox-found one that the train fit just right in the bottom of.   It was 350 cubic inches compared to a cardboard OCC GO Box that is 306, so pretty close in size.  Plus, I was able to use wrapping paper that had trains on it along with some cars.

 This theme was special to me as over the years our family history is pretty full of trains!  I don't think we have any engineers, but have, over the generations, had brakemen, linemen, conductors, workers in the shops-including a master mechanic, and someone who owned land that had stations built on it.  I was trying to decide on a stuffed animal and I found this Irish/St Patrick's Day bear-PERFECT since the first train worker in our family was an Irish immigrant who built train lines, and I doubled down on it with Irish Spring soap-haha!

Often people find it helpful to see how I pack the box to fit everything in, so here's some photos of that...plus a cute train from the wrapping paper.

For more ideas/fun boxes, check out other shoeboxes we packed for 5-9 boys or our themed boxes!

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