My favorite holiday has always been Thanksgiving: I love gathering with loved ones, reflecting on all that I’m grateful for and indulging in all the delicious food! But at the same time, it’s also my least favorite holiday because it’s so hard to put together Thanksgiving care packages!
I mean, you can’t exactly send a roast turkey dinner overseas, now can you? Well actually, I’m here to tell you otherwise…sort of! Now, no care package is going to 100% take the place of a home-cooked Thanksgiving dinner, but you can send the elements of the holiday in a fun, festive way, if you’re willing to get a little creative.
How to decorate Thanksgiving Care Packages
You could go a couple different directions with how you decorate your Thanksgiving care package. I love the boxes that are decorated like turkeys, complete with tons of feathers. Using colors in the fall spectrum (deep reds and yellows, oranges and a touch of brown) can help make your box look more festive.
Another option is to decorate your box like your Thanksgiving table. Use paper that looks like the tablecloth that’s on your grandma’s table every year, add “plates” and “silverware” cut from paper and then add cutouts of some Thanksgiving dinner classics.
You could also use one of the many Thanksgiving puns out there along with fall leaves, turkeys, pumpkins and maybe a pie or two to decorate your flaps. Remember to make use of any pre-decorated paper or stickers your local craft store has to save time!
Thanksgiving Care Package Puns
- To my sweet potato, I yam so thankful for you
- I’m so thankful to have you
- Gobble gobble!
- Time to gobble til you wobble!
- Time to eat, drink and be cranberry
- All about that baste
- I only have pies for you
- You’re a cutie pie
- Have a hap-pie Thanksgiving
- Let’s give ’em pumpkin to talk about
- Hello gourd-geous
What to put in Thanksgiving Care Packages
As a disclaimer, I’ll tell you that more often than not, your loved one will have access to an American-style Thanksgiving dinner if they are deployed or near a traditional military installation, even in another country. So you don’t have to recreate the entire meal with care package-friendly items. You can send traditional or seasonal care package contents that aren’t directly tied to the holiday. Remember that if you want to make them fit your theme, you can wrap them in festive paper or add stickers to plain paper.
If you do want to send dinner in a box, remember that all items must be shelf-stable!
There are care package-friendly substitutions for most traditional Thanksgiving staples and while they definitely won’t be as good as the real thing, they can help make your loved one feel a bit more festive.
- instead of roast turkey, send turkey jerky
- instead of stuffing, send single-serving stuffing in a cup
- instead of mashed potatoes, send single-serving mashed potatoes in a cup
- instead of cranberry sauce, send craisins or cranberry juice
- instead of sweet potato pie, send sweet potato chips
- instead of apple pie, send store-made fruit pies
- instead of pumpkin pie, send a pumpkin pie-flavored protein bar
In addition the substitute food items, you could also send “fancy” plastic dishes, glasses and silverware along with sparkling cider to make the experience more fun. Don’t forget to slip a gratitude list in the box before you seal it shut!
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.