I’ll admit it. I love getting presents! I especially love getting gifts where it’s clear the giver put a lot of thought and care into their gift. A special gift like that can make me feel so loved. Maybe that’s why I’ve always been so excited by Childcare Worldwide’s Christmas Love Paks. Listening to kids like Timothy talk about their Love Pak gifts, it’s immediately clear that for them, these gifts mean so much more than just the items inside.
When 10-year-old Timothy first learned that he would receive a Love Pak gift, he could hardly contain his excitement! Timothy lives with his aunt and cousins in a small village in Uganda. The family struggles to make ends meet, and Timothy is used to hardships like sleeping under a single threadbare blanket that he shares with his cousin. Looking forward to the Love Pak party created some much-needed joy in his life.
When the day finally arrived, Timothy and his cousin ran all the way to their Life Center, impatient for the fun to begin.
The Love Pak celebration started out with a special treat: cake! Timothy told us this was the only cake he’d had all year, so you can imagine how much joy it brought him. But that was only a taste of everything to come.
Next up, was the nativity skit! Timothy was enthralled. His favorite part was when the angel appeared to deliver the Good News to Mary. He’d heard the story of Jesus’s birth before, but watching it in a play helped him relate to it much better.
Finally, it was time for the presents! Timothy couldn’t decide if his favorite gift was the soccer ball or the new blanket.
He could hardly wait to cozy up under the brand new, thick blanket he found in his Love Pak. He would sleep well tonight for sure!
He was equally excited about his new soccer ball. He and his friends had been playing with a homemade ball made from rolled up banana leaves. It was constantly falling apart, and never rolled straight. Timothy’s new soccer ball would completely transform their games.
During the party, we also took time to share with each child about what Jesus’ birth means for each of them personally. We explained that we give Christmas gifts in memory of the greatest gift of all: Jesus. We told them about the unconditional love that led Jesus to his sacrificial life here on earth, and encouraged the kids to use their Love Pak gifts as a daily, tangible reminder of how much Jesus loves them.
In Timothy’s case, it’s safe to say the Love Pak helped him understand Jesus’ love in a new way. Looking at all his gifts, Timothy thought he might burst with joy. He’d never felt so loved.
And that’s exactly why Love Paks are so important. They’re so much more than the gifts inside them. Every time Timothy plays with his soccer ball or falls asleep under his new blanket, he’ll remember the happiness that bubbled up inside him during his Love Pak party, and the joy of knowing that Jesus came to earth for him.