We are back with another care packages post! Be sure to check out our Pinterest page for some care package decorating ideas!
|Photo By Naval Surface Warriors|
Ideas for Goodies to Include:
- Small Games-Skip large board games. They don't have a lot of room to store those so go for little car or travel sized games.
- Toys from the dollar section at target. Slinkys, yo-yos, silly putty. They love things that will provide entertainment for a while then they can move on to whats in the next box.
- Pictures. Children, pets, other family and yourself. Bear in mind that everyone in birthing (barracks) will be seeing these pictures so keep them tasteful. I would recommend taking it easy with the boudoir pictures.
- Command Hooks and strips, poster hanging tacky stuff, double sided tape. Some of the racks are not magnetic so they need other ways to hang things in their racks.
- Things that smell nice and like home. Consider those round stick on air fresheners, small boxes of dryer sheets, car air fresheners, etc. Skip anything with a flame (duh) and any aerosol spray cans. Remember, the birthing is a big room full of stinky dudes with stinky feet!
- Food that he loves. Is there a special salad dressing he loves or something like Red Robin seasoning that he would like to have on the ship? Packets of favorite mustard, little bottles of hot sauce are always good.
- Foods that he can eat when the galley is closed. Ramon noodle bowls, snack bars, soup packets.
- Things he can't buy at the ship store. His favorite brand or smell of deodorant, toothpaste, body scrub.
- DVDs, magazines, books or maybe a pre loaded Kindle.
Ask what he wants!
Some guys love the personalization. Some don't. My husband is much more interested in whats in the box than he is in any wrapping paper or decoration. He would rather me get more stuff in there than worry about wrapping paper or making it cute.
Ask him for constructive criticism on your boxes. Ask him what he liked and what he didn't. And don't get offended about it. Learn from it and make any adjustments. Remember, the care packages are not about how much effort you put into them, they are about your service member getting a little taste of home.
List of his running requests and favorites. We have a private deployment Facebook group. Every deployment we change the name (i.e. USS Makin Island, 2013 Deployment) and we use this for several things. The first is a current list of things he likes and things he wants in his boxes. We also have his mailing address and how to enter that address to have things shipped to him straight from Amazon or other websites. (Yes you can have things shipped to a someone on deployment from Amazon!) We have a huge family and everyone constantly wants to know what to send him. This way they can all see the address and his list of requests without you having to repeat it to people 500000 times during the deployment. He also shares pictures and port updates on there for everyone to see. Just remember to observe OPSEC.
Consider doing special seasonal or special occasions boxes. Line the inside of your box with different kinds of wrapping paper, wrap each item in different paper. Avoid glitter or confetti.
Something to consider though. Often when they go to recycle the boxes, they have to remove any wrapping paper and tape from the boxes before they can be recycled. So if your husband doesn't have time (or doesn't want) to remove all that from the boxes, then don't do it. Maybe use sharpies and draw on the inside of the boxes or have your children write little messages on them. One thing my husband recommended is to pick a symbol or design and draw it on the outside of all of your packages. On most ships, all of the mail is dumped in big piles for the mail department to sort out and if your packages are unique, there is a good chance he will see it in the pile and know that he has a package this time. My husband said there is nothing better than knowing you have a box in that pile.
Check out My Navy Wife Life's care package board on Pinterest for ideas!
Big No No's:
Anything that spoils. One deployment my husband was on, an organization thought it would be nice to make up a bunch of care packages for Christmas and send them to the ship. What they didn't think about was how long it would take for the packages to get there and they included little stockings with oranges in the toes. By the time the guys got them, all the oranges had molded and started to smell. Not a fun thing to find in a care package!
NO GIRL SCOUT COOKIES!! Most ships on deployment will get pallets of girl scout cookies and everyone is sick of them way before they run out.
Chances are your box will get a little squished at some point along the way. Be mindful of what you are sending and how you are packaging it. Potato chips may end up getting there as dust and thats just a tease. He sees the bag of chips he really wants to eat but its just powder. So bear that in mind when you are deciding what to put in. It takes a while for things to get there so try not to repackage anything that might get stale before it arrives.
Thanks for stoping by!
Check me out on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter!!
Until next time...