As I started the engine, I heard from the backseat, "Can we go to Target and see what's in their dollar section?" Well of course! We found a couple more items that (I hoped) would fit in the box, and I killed two birds with one stone and also picked up some stocking stuffers for people. (Multiple people, and no, I will not tell you what I bought!)
We went home after that, and I was totally intent on letting my son pack the box, because I remembered how fun that part had been when I was little. But not everything fit when he packed it. We had a box of 48 crayons (I knew I should have gotten a smaller pack), a notebook, a package of pencils, erasers, pencil sharpeners (they came in a bag of 6--seriously? who needs 6 pencil sharpeners? I just included 4 and kept 2 out for us), toothpaste (a big, medium-sized one too, not the little travel size), a three-pack of soap (why would I buy one bar of soap for $1 when I could buy three bars of soap for $1?), some construction cars, a soccer ball washcloth (the kind that expands when you put it in water), a package of 3 glow sticks, and a gingerbread yo-yo. The box was only 6 inches wide, 4 inches deep, and 10 inches long. Small. I packed and repacked and repacked again. Only by a miracle did I manage to fit everything in without the lid popping off.
Then I remembered that I hadn't wrapped the box yet. No way was I emptying that box to wrap it! So I held the items in with one hand, wrapped the paper around with another hand, and taped with another hand. Exactly. I'm glad no one took pictures. It probably would have been easier to empty the box and repack it. I don't have any rubber bands (except for the ones that go in my hair, and I tried those; they were too small). So I tied ribbons around the box instead.
Today we took the box to our nearest drop-off location, intent on staying for an hour or so to help with the collection and packaging of all the boxes. We pull in to the church, and it's one of those big ones, with doors all over and about 4 separate parking lots. Thankfully, there was an after-school class outside on the playground, and one of the teachers showed us the way through the entire church building (enter-able only after she swiped her key card, I might add) to where the boxes for Samaritan's Purse were. Sadly, no one was there, so we had to just leave our box on the table and leave.
My goals for next year:
- take pictures of the process, even if it's just one picture at the end of the wrapped box
- yeah, that's pretty much it