As Christmas decorations start going up in the malls and lobbies, I get all fuzzy at the consumerism. I love the lights. I love Christmas carols. Of course I love the shopping. But what with Rockstar's birthday ie I Get Gifts And Cake And People Sing To Me Day very near Christmas day, I was delighted to find Rockstar's school participating in Box of Hope - Children Helping Children.
In the weekly email to help our children's learning at home (and in a later follow-up), we are instructed to send in some gift, educational and hygiene items in a box about the size of a medium shoe-box which the kids can decorate in school. (Though Rockstar states a preference for decorating it at home when we're ready because he apparently "ha(s) other painting to do in school". Have no idea what that is but he has been coming home saying he enjoys doing art - which is interesting because he didn't used to like it that much before. Hmm. Anyway I read the instructions about wrapping lid and box separately, balk, and grab a few more strips of stickers.) Well it's a great opportunity for conversations, what to pack, why to pack it, regardless I suck at the packaging...
It's one of those times when perspective is really humbling. There we are worrying about impending primary school interviews and such - I recently heard at one class birthday party a parent apparently recognized feeder primary school interviewers being brought in by Kindy school staff and suddenly everyone's talking about it. The incongruity is startling.
So here we go. First - rummage for a box. Isn't it just a little sick irony I'm looking for a Box Of Hope box for my son's school's collection drive and my choices are.... Stella McCartney. Prada. Nebuloni Flavio Zanasca. (Sure I rarely buy full-priced branded items but heavily discounted Prada is still Prada. And I have no unbranded boxes not because I don't buy unbranded shoes but because Kings throws out as many boxes as he can get away with to make room for crap like his big clunky basketball boots. And - hell, I feel a little like Marie Antoinette.)
Next - explain to Rockstar we are going shopping to fill the box.
Then - go shopping!
We bought almost everything at International Park n Shop and Wellcome. In our box (for those of you who like that kind of thing):
1 miniature box set of 6 Little Miss books (because Rockstar's concept of a starter book collection begins with the Mr Men/ Little Miss series)
2 scrunchies with little gold dots (thought some little girl would like the little gold dots. Rockstar doesn't care.)
2 red Siku matchbox cars (made sure one had doors that could open. Because when I was a little kid it was really important to me. But the other was pretty. Am amazed Rockstar doesn't ask give them a second look, just says cars are always a good idea.)
1 bright yellow Deuter lightweight waist pouch, convertible into small backpack (yes really! I was so impressed I bought it at HK Wetlands Park and then had no idea when I would ever use it :P)
1 beanie turtle dressed as a pirate (loves! But I made a point of getting a turtle beanie toy in particular because Rockstar is sentimental about a turtle he was given recently so his reaction was kind of, "Yes, I was given a turtle too! It's a great gift!")
1 Spiderman toothbrush (to drive home how important brushing teeth is)
4 strips of stickers (which kid ever has enough of stickers?)
Actually dem fun.
Rockstar’s verdict: Again!
Yeah we want to do another one.
Off the Box Of Hope website:
Box of Hope was started by Nicole Woolhouse and Harriet Cleverly in 2008 from a desire to teach their own 6 children the gift of giving.
One of the aims of the project is to encourage children ranging from 3 to 18 years to be aware of their environment/community and show them how they can help make a difference. In addition to providing educational and fun gifts for children in need throughout Asia.
Ps: At some point I realized you're supposed to use a shoe-box sized box, not a shoe-box. D-uh. Except Rockstar had stuck a whole bunch of stickers on my nice black box. Which I don't really keep shoes in anyways. And then I thought I should say that last in case someone got offended I used an actual shoebox, albeit I don't actually use it to hold shoes and.... Ok this whole post is just turning out to be all perspectives.