Along with sending love letters to my family, I’ve always found care packages to be a wonderful way of showing love and sending fun in a box to someone special!
These packages could be something you tuck inside someone’s suitcase when they’re going away – a little surprise to find when they reach their destination! Or they could be something you mail off to brighten the day of someone far away. I used to send packages to my daughter when she went away to camp – I’d mail them out well ahead of time with a note to hold onto them until my daughter got there. It was a lot of fun for her to find some little reminders of home and some of her favourite treats…always enough to share with some friends. I figured if she was having any trouble making friends, this could even serve as a way to break the ice. When she’d go away to visit friends, even just overnight, I’d include a little package in her bag.
Now that she has gone to university, I love to send her care packages there too. Sometimes they’ll include some of her favourite foods and treats, sometimes homemade goodies, sometimes something she mentioned needing. When holidays roll around, I go for something a little more elaborate. Right now I’m working on a package I call Halloween in a Box and shortly before Christmas, I make one I call Christmas in a Box. My daughter and I have a history of some special holiday traditions and when she first left for university, I felt a pang of sadness that we would miss out on sharing some of those traditions together. So, for the Halloween box that first year, I included the popcorn hands I made every year, her favourite peanut butter cups, some Rockets candies to remind her of me (she always gave me most of those from her trick or treat bag every year), and some Halloween decorations that she could use to add some holiday spirit to her dorm room.
Christmas in a Box is much the same. I make sure to include a mini Christmas tree with lights and decorations so she can have her own little tree trimming, I send a stocking or pair of socks with little gifts in them (for St. Nick’s Day – we usually use boots at home but the socks are easier to send and more practical for her), and I send her a new Christmas book, CD, and movie. For all holidays, I usually include seasonal socks and underwear too. This year, I’m sending her a cookie decorating kit – Christmas cookie cutters, canned icing, cookie mixes, and an assortment of sprinkles in Christmas colours. I know that she and her boyfriend enjoy baking together and I thought this might be something fun for the two of them.
I’ve sent care packages to other people as well. When my sister was going through a tough time, I went looking for things that reminded me of her, our childhood, or were her favourites. For my oldest niece, I once put together a little care package of Audrey Hepburn items (her favourite) – just as an out of the blue, I love you and am thinking of you gift. For my mom, I sent a package of Canadian items that I knew she would like, things she might miss, shortly after she moved from here to Arkansas. We all sent care packages to my nephew when he was serving in Afghanistan and there are organizations where you can get matched up with a soldier who’s deployed and send packages to him/her. Care packages don’t have to be expensive (well, other than the cost of Canadian postage…don’t get me started!) – you can often find things at the dollar store or yard sales that are appropriate. I keep my eyes open all year long and have a drawer of “anytime gifts” that I can draw from. Of course, as a crafter, I love to make some small items for my family and friends’ care packages as well!
When I was working, I used to keep a small box in my desk drawer filled with some all occasion cards, small gift bags from the dollar store, and some little treats and trinkets. If someone was having a rough day and needed a lift, I could put together a care package on the spot and leave it anonymously for them on their desk. It was fun for both of us! At various times during the year, not just holidays, I make up (this used to be done as a family activity when my daughter was home) care packages for workers at hospitals, fire stations, and police stations, for patients stuck in the hospital or residents in nursing homes, and for other members of the community such as librarians, postal workers, or trash collectors.
Who could benefit from receiving a care package from you?
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