It’s the most wonderful time of year…for care packages! Call me crazy, but holiday care packages are my favorite to put together, even though having a loved one gone for the season really dampens the holiday cheer. The busyness of the season can definitely make adding one more thing to your plate feel overwhelming, but by following a few tips, you can easily check your holiday care package off your list!
For more help with your holiday care package, be sure to check out this post for Christmas theme ideas and this post for additional holiday ideas.
Holiday Care Package Tips
Keep things simple!
Holidays are a busy time of the year. Holidays during a deployment are even busier so take advantage of any way to simplify your holiday care package! Pre-printed paper and stickers can help with decorating your box, as can pre-decorated flaps, like these. If you have little ones, let them create artwork to attach to or include in the box. Store-bought cookies will work just fine, if not better than homemade ones.
This is also the time of year when many of the people in your life are looking for opportunities to give back and support meaningful causes. Consider having them contribute to a holiday care package! They could donate items to send (like a box of granola bars) or money to offset shipping costs or even help you decorate the box. Their assistance can reduce your workload and make the process easier.
A holiday care package should not be an extra stressor for you so, when in doubt, go with the simplest option.
Get it in the mail early.
Mail at the holidays can feel a lot like the last few weeks of deployment: frustratingly slow! If you’re planning to ship a holiday care package, you need to get it in the mail earlier than your other boxes, according to the deadlines put out by the USPS. Check them out here. Of course, there’s no guarantee that your box will make it in time no matter when you ship it, but sticking to the deadlines and giving yourself some extra time will help immensely.
Add a special treat, but stay within the rules.
There are so many favorite goodies this time of the year that sending a holiday care package without one or two of them seems wrong! But shipping regulations still apply even during the holidays so make sure that anything you’re sending follows those rules.
Things like holiday movies or music, decorations and a few sweet treats can still make your box special without violating the rules. Get more Christmas care package content ideas here.
Make it personal.
One of the hardest parts of having a loved one away during the holidays is a piece missing from your holiday traditions. Now imagine being the person away from home! While you can’t necessarily fit all of your traditions into a holiday care package, you can definitely work a few of them into the box so your loved one is part of them. A few personal touches like a favorite Christmas CD, the set of pajamas that match the family’s and grandma’s secret recipe cookies can make your loved one feel a bit closer to home.
Spread the cheer to others.
I’ve shared before my “ah ha” moment when I learned that not everyone receives mail from home while deployed. That’s why I’m such a big advocate of sending extra items for your loved one to share or even sending a care package specifically for a group. This is especially true during the holidays. As you plan your holiday care package, think through the ways you can help spread the cheer to others. This is also a wonderful way to get friends and family to help!
Santa may be making his list and checking it twice, but with these tips, your holiday care package won’t be on your to-do list very long!
Want even more care package ideas? I’m giving away 165+ ideas (plus what to put in them) here.