Happy Tuesday Blogland!
If you know me in real life, it goes without saying that I love putting gifts and packages together. It's one of my favorite things to shop for other people and surprise them with fun things. Birthdays, Christmas, Arbor Day...you celebrate it, I'll gladly put a gift together for you. I had mentioned in my February goals that I wanted to put some care packages together for soldiers overseas. I was so excited putting this particular package together because I knew it was going to someone absolutely incredible! Better yet, it was going to someone I'd never met before! Here's a breakdown of what I sent and some tips if you decide to put a package together as well...
I started off with a plain box from the post office. I bedazzled it with hot pink and yellow glitter paper...because who doesn't love that?? I also (poorly) cut out a shape of California and wrote out a few words with stickers to let them know I was thinking of them.
I ran out of stickers and I was seriously kicking myself because I had JUST gone to the craft store. I'm embarrassed that I actually wrote "thanks 4 all u do" but alas, you have to work with what you've got sometimes. Get as creative (or not) with your box as you'd like! Pictures, drawings, stickers, poems, the possibilities are endless!
|Let's all take a moment to laugh at my attempt to make California happen...|
When I was shopping, I broke the box off into different "layers" in my head...
The bottom layer (what they'll see last) consists of a giant box of tampons and a bag full of candy...a totally normal combination of course. Tampons are a bit hard to come by for our females overseas, and I don't know about you but I super wouldn't want to be running around the desert with a pad stuck to my butt. No thanks.
I like to call this next layer the treat yourself layer. This included some fun, girly things for entertainment and relaxation. A magazine, a movie, a pocket puzzle book, some stationary and a girly deck of cards, a facial mask, and some fuzzy socks.
Note: These boxes have a long journey to go through to get to your soldier, they can get really hot and things can melt. Because you don't want your soldier to eat food that tastes like shampoo or body wash, choose between sending either toiletries or food, but not both. Here are some suggestions for both categories:
|This bar of soap can also be used to give yourself a quick massage in the shower. Quirky little items like this are fun and can usually be found at TJMaxx & Marshall's for $3-$5|
Next, I thought about toiletries. Mini shampoo and conditioners, body washes, soap, hand sanitizers etc. I picked up a few basics from the travel section at Target. I also thought it would be fun to continue with the girly theme of the box and send yummy smelling body washes from Bath and Body Works. The travel sizes are 3 for $10 and BBW always has coupons online! Cleansing wipes or baby wipes are also great for quick clean ups, so I threw some Simple Brand wipes in there. They were slightly more expensive, but if the person who receives this box happens to have sensitive skin, I want to make sure they'll be able to use them. I also found a nifty little 3-in-1 cotton set box at the Dollar Store. I made sure to seal up anything that could potentially spill into zip lock bags to avoid damaging anything else in the box in case anything happened to open up.
Last I added a few comfort foods. Anything boxed or canned that won't easily spoil or expire is ideal. Macaroni & cheese, tuna salad, popcorn, crackers, etc.
1. Let them learn a little about you by adding items that you love. For example, I LOVE Disneyland, so I chose mac and cheese in the shape of Disney characters. I also threw some Disney Alice in Wonderland tea in there. Add little post it notes to them and let them know they're your favorites and you hope they enjoy it as much as you do! Be enthusiastic!
2. Shop for things in unexpected places. TJMaxx and Marshall's have wonderful stationary, pretty journals, etc. I bought the pocket puzzle there for $3. They also have a great assortment of toiletries such as those massage soap bars.
3. Micheal's was my go to for the construction paper to decorate my box, but it was also where I found the pretty deck of cards and matching stationary. Don't forget to check out the cute things they have in those dollar bins!
4. I found great prices on food at both Big Lots and the Dollar Store. Don't shy away from these places. They have really great deals!
5. DO NOT FORGET THE TAMPONS. Seriously. They really need them.
TAMPONS. Have I made my point yet?
Candies & small stuffed animals (they carry these around in their pockets and give them to local kids)
Travel size toiletries
Magazines, books, puzzles, movies etc.
Stationary (and a self addressed envelope if you'd like to hear from them)
Comfort items like small blankets, fuzzy socks or slippers
Any type of powder mix for water. Crystal Light, Gatorade, etc.
Items to avoid:
Home baked goods. For their safety, these will just be thrown out
Depending on where the service member is located some items may not be appropriate. Do not send pork or pork by-products, religious materials, obscene material, or alcohol.
If you're interested in joining in on care package making fun, make sure you come back Thursday for a special announcement on how you can get involved!
Thanks for stopping by!
Have a terrific day!