Get your mind out of the gutter, creep. I’m talking about care packages. You know, those things you send to a loved one when they are far away for an extended period of time? Yea, those things (::hint hint his side of the family::).
Awhile back I wrote a post about sending James’ first care package to him. He has long since had it but I’m getting ready to send him his fourth package and I thought to myself, “Hey, space cadet, you forgot to post about his FIRST care package. Get on it.” So here I am.
I want James’ care packages to be special, filled with things that really could remind him of home. I didn’t want to do the whole give-him-things-he-needs. I’ll leave that up to family (::hint again his side of the family::). I want to send him things that bring him comfort and help him to smile when things are crappy. But the first care package was really important to me. Its like giving the first gift to a new boyfriend/girlfriend- you get something sh*tty, you totally get the side-eye each holiday/birthday/anniversary. You get something awesome and amazing, you get lucky. That is unless the recipient is 358984252 miles away. Then you get a heartfelt email or phone call that says how awesome and amazing you are for sending an awesome and amazing care package that made them feel awesome and amazing. Works for me.
So what was in this glorious care package might you ask? Disclaimer: Now that I’ve talked it all up I’m sure you’re going to be disappointed with the results. But whatevs, he loved it.
A HOMEMADE FLEECE BLANKET
This is probably one of the easiest crafts I have ever done. I’m not the seamstress in the family (and since Evelyn is just learning to eat her feet and Pendleton doesn’t have thumbs, you can deduce who the seamstress is…) so this was something I could do. So simple- just take two 2 yard pieces of felt, cut one inch strips along the edges (be sure to cut off the ream of the felt first), and then tie the pieces together. Here is a super easy tutorial in case you feel like being a copy-cat (I won’t tell).
And yes, that is our dog being a giant pansy yet still laying on the blanket like I was making something for her. Sheesh.
No, not for James. Although I’m sure he’d love one. As long as it is the footie pajama kind and has the butt cutout on the back (::hint hint hint family::). This was one of Evelyn’s onesies. I thought it would be neat to give James something tangible to see how much E is growing. Its hard to really see just through pictures. So every few months he will get a onesie with her hand and foot prints on the front and her height and weight on the back.
Yea, so the hand/footprints kind of suck. You try to one-handedly paint a 3 month old’s hands, keep them open, and stamp them down on a t-shirt while she instinctively closes her fists and kicks her feet. Note to self: Use a freaking stamp pad next time.
A PHOTO ALBUM
I don’t have a picture of the photo album but I just got a $1 flimsy 4×6 photo album from Wal-Mart. I put some pictures in there and I left the rest blank so I could send pictures and he can add them to the album as time goes on. This way he doesn’t have to look through emails to look at pictures or rely on their oh-so-crappy internet signal to get on Facebook. And its something that is consistent in each package.
Although these things were not in his first care package, here are some other ideas that I came up with:
- A USB drive- I added videos of E and some extra pictures that I didn’t think warranted space in his album but that I thought he might like to have on file. I sent a pre-addressed envelope back to me so that once he loads the videos and pics onto his computer, he can send me the USB back and I can send it to him with the next package.
- Holiday packages- right now we have alot of little holidays that are fun to send packages for. A package for St. Patrick’s Day is on its way to him now, so I’ll write a post about it when he gets it. When I remember. Which might be in June. Sue me.
- Scents- if you have a certain perfume you wear, write a letter and spray some on it. Smells can evoke so many memories and give comfort to your spouse. James says I smell like Cheerios since E arrived. So I sent him a box of Cheerios.
- Treats from home- these don’t have to be homemade. Oftentimes, homemade things don’t make it over there very well anyways. But snacks and treats that they aren’t able to get over there. Like Girl Scout cookies (yea, they have Operation Thin Mint but they want cookies to themselves).
- Family calender- James took one before he left, but it is a calendar made from Shutterfly with pictures of us on each month, plus all the important holidays and birthdays. It helps him to count down the days and he looks forward to when he can “flip” the calendar to a new month.
- Family book- I make one for James for each deployment. It is a book of pictures of our family that he can keep close to him and look at when he gets lonely. Again, from Shutterfly, but there are lots of photo gift creators such as Kodak, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, and Costco.
- Need some other ideas? My friends from The Bump came up with a great lists of things you can send.
Honestly, the guys love getting packages. LOVE IT. Getting things from home is probably one of things they look forward to most while over there. So send something. Anything. A card, a letter, a picture, a footie pj with the butt cutout. Whatever. They’ll love it and appreciate it.
I hope this help to inspire a few with ideas of what they can send to our guys forward. Do you have any creative ideas of things to send? Post on the comments below and maybe we’ll be able to bounce ideas off one another!
PS- Thank you to everyone who has sent care packages to my husband and his unit, namely my parents and my sister-in-law’s cousin whose office sent several large boxes filled with bags for the guys. We really appreciate all your support and we thank God for you every day!