Everything you need to know about care packages:
Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog!
Today I wanted to spend some time and touch base on everything care packages :)
As many of you know, my husband and I are going through our first Deployment at the moment and are about half way through it currently!
Thus far I have shipped off one care package as it was his Birthday back in January!
With him being gone for 8 months, I decided to do around 4-5 care packages for the whole tour and spread them out as I found that it took about 2 months to get from Canada to where he is currently located.
*Below are some ideas for holiday inspired packages depending the time of year they are away for.
2. Christmas and New Years;
3. Valentine's Day;
4. St. Patty's Day;
6. Spring into action;
7. Jump into Summer;
8. Canada Day;
9. Fall in love (Thanksgiving inspired);
For his Birthday care package, I choose a somewhat bigger amazon box (yes I had to order a big item for myself in order to reuse the box for him...haha).
Taking measurements of the bottom and sides of the box is your first step for the wrapping paper to fit perfectly. I used a regular glue stick to get the wrapping paper on there and it worked out fine by the time it got to him. Depending what season you are sending packages in, it can also have an impact on how your goods travel. What I mean by that is that I packed a lot of chocolate type snacks due to him being gone in the winter months versus in the middle of summer. For anyone as obsessed as I am, the Bubble letter Birthday sign is believe it or not from Dollarama!!!
Adam and I are also huge fans of the Catana Comics and have their first book at home (he gifted it to me last Valentine's Day), so I printed out our favorite comics and stuck those on the sides of the box as well!
Since I didn't get a chance to take pictures of all the items I packed for his Birthday, here are some of the items I remember off the top of my head:
1. Mini chess board;
2. Mini battleship game;
3. UNO cards;
4. Motivational Quotes- regular playing cards;
5. Plain black gym sweater;
6. After Eight chocolates (his favorite);
7. Pack of mini Mars bars;
8. Pringles chips;
9. Two different flavored type of peanuts;
10. Small leather bound notebook to journal in/write his vows.....;
11. A mason jar of mini sticky notes with reasons why I love him;
12. Two Sudoku books;
14. Instant noodles;
The next care package I mailed out was an Easter one! This particular one was a fun package to create as I got to pick out all our favorite Easter inspired candies and got to have fun with all the colors and make it as bright as possible.
This was a slightly smaller box as I quickly realized the first time around that a big box only means more ideas for me to pack which can get challenging when you are trying to stick to items that he won't necessarily have to bring back with him in a couple of months.
When Adam left, he did not have very much room in his bags with all the kit he had to bring with him, so I tried to pack items such as fun little games, magazines and snacks that he can share with others while there and/or leave behind at the end of tour or throw out.
For the Easter Care Package I learned my lesson and took photos of everything prior to mailing it out!
The third care package I have is a caffeine one to get him through the last couple of months before he returns home!
Adam loves anything caffeine so I filled it with a bunch of instant coffee, Mars chocolates and a very appropriate travel mug!
I find that creating the care packages is as much fun for the person sending as it is for the person receiving. I also forgot to mention that when he received his Birthday care package he opened it with me on Facetime and it felt as though I gave him a gift in person. It was a very special moment for us with him being away.
The last care package that I have planned is a Father's Day one! We do not have any children yet, however we do have a dog named Gunner Mason, that Adam adores and misses very much.
Unfortunately due to the COVID19 pandemic taking place I'm afraid I may not get to send this last care package. However, some ideas for this one all depend if I will mail it over or not. I'm thinking to keep it at home that way I can fill it with his favorite things for when he returns such as: a bottle of wine or rum, maybe a good cigar, some of his favorite snacks and energy drinks as well as maybe an athletic type outfit for a well deserved family hike!
DISCLAIMER: You cannot ship cigars or alcohol overseas, as mentioned this care package will be opened by my husband at home once he returns as I will be unable to send it to him in time. Nor am I encouraging anyone to smoke or drink any type of substances, I simply added items which I knew he would love upon his return from a 7 month deployment!
If I was shipping this to him overseas, I would add any type of snack that I know he loves to make his Father's Day a little sweeter without his floof!
With regards to how you mail something out to your deployed member, I would encourage everyone to find out where their nearest MFRC- Military Family Resource Center is located and go and meet with one of the people who work there. The MFRC offices are civilian run and they are set in place to help military families experiencing any work place separation.
Below you will find an information form that I was given by my local MRFC that will help you with dimensions for packages as well as what you are and are not allowed to send over to the deployed member.
You will also need to fill out a customs form (provided by the MFRC) and they can walk you through that process as well. As mentioned a package can take anywhere from 1-2 months to get to the member depending where they are located, some packages take longer than others depending on the mission.
The fun aspect of a post such as this one, is that you can take any of these ideas and recreate them even if you don't have a deployed member. You can use them in a long distance relationship, if you have a child away for school, a get well soon package, as well as thoughtful gifts instead of purchasing a bag or plain box for a present, make a care package for a loved one:)
I hope this post was useful as well as gave some different ideas for care packages you can use for your deployed member!