My first care package

I decided with Halloween just leaving us, and Thanksgiving right around the corner it’s about time I sent my Dad a care package.  I decided to mix the holidays together, with the understanding that it will probably not get to him until after Thanksgiving.

I first decided that with Halloween in mind, sending him a bag of his favorite candy was a must, even though he told me not to.  Along with candy I decided a Philadelphia favorite snack to remind him a bit of home.  I also got him a box of Cliff bars in his favorite flavor, just to even out the junk food.

Dad candy

cliff

Growing up my dad always had a stack of National Geographic magazines, although I know he prefers Business Week it’s a little hard to send a weekly magazine when you know it’ll be almost 2 months out of date by the time it gets there.  National Geographic is something I know he’ll enjoy.

natl

Lately I’ve been hearing from my dad how cold it’s gotten in Northern Afghanistan, about 50°, the same as our classic New Jersey fall.  I went to Target and picked up what I found to be a comfortable, yet sporty jacket that I know will keep him warm while away and when he comes home.  It’s a Champion jacket with a fleece inner-layer, cost around $40.00 and is great if you’re looking to send your loved one a sporty light jacket while he’s away.

jacket

I sent my dad two cards, one for Halloween and one for Thanksgiving, each describing in their own themed way how much I miss him during these times.  Fall in New Jersey is my favorite time of year, and more than ever I wish he was here to enjoy it with me.

" Wish there were a magic spell that let us travel in one simple instant poof

” Wish there were a magic spell that let us travel in one simple instant poof

halloween inside

“Then i could wish you a Happy Halloween in person. Thinking of you from across the miles..”

thanksgiving front

“Thanksgiving means..autumn skies, crisp clean air, bright leaves falling here and there, Pies are baking, meals prepared, warmth and hugs and laughter shared.”

thanksgiving inside

“But all those good things can’t replace just being with you face to face-And even though we’re far apart, please know you’re always close in heart!”
–“Dad, This Thanksgiving I’m thankful for you. I am grateful and proud of what you’re doing. I am grateful for the chance to speak to you as often as I can, and for your safe return home. Above all I’m grateful I have such a great Dad who I can call my friend. Love you, See you soon 🙂 Gina”

Last but not least, I had to include a couple of pictures.  My dad missed out on a family wedding in October, and although he saw all the pictures through Facebook, I included a few in the package.

cousins

My brother, myself, my cousins Kristen, Noelle, and Michael

nick and i

My brother Nick and I

us4

Nick and his girlfriend Alison, my boyfriend Tony and I

I’m hoping my package reaches my Dad and touches his heart.  All of the things included were chosen to make him smile and look forward for his short return on December 20th.

all things

All care package items

Inside box

Items placed in box right before taping!

Creating the Perfect Care Package

Fall is among us and the holidays are just around the corner.  I’m lucky enough to have December to look forward to since I will have my Dad home for almost two weeks.  Most people with loved ones deployed are not as fortunate as I am this Christmas.  A great way to help make your loved one feel as if they’re getting to spend a little bit of the upcoming seasons with you is to make fun, creative and personal care packages.  I’ve compiled some of my favorite seasonal how-to care packages for some inspirational ideas to bring you closer to the one you miss.

With Halloween the first up, Army Wife 101 brings us her “Boo-Tacular” Halloween Care Package ideas.  This care package is a great way to showcase what the kids are dressing up as this year, or to send your loved one their favorite candy.

Next up is Thanksgiving! Married to the Army has compiled a list for all kinds of care package occasions.  I especially love her thanksgiving ideas including canned turkey, instant mashed potato cups, and hostess apple pies.  As military families, we’re thankful everyday, do a little bit more by making your loved one feel appreciated on thanksgiving by sending them a list of what makes you so thankful for them.

Photo Courtesy of: http://itsjordyn33.tumblr.com

A clever New Years care package
Photo Courtesy of: http://itsjordyn33.tumblr.com

Christmas is where you can get the most creative.  Sharing old family photos, or your favorite Christmas together is a great idea for bringing your loved one back to that memory, and letting them know that they’ll be home making new ones soon.  Deployment Diva has tons of ideas for not only Christmas care packages but almost every kind you can think of.  Deployment Diva included a mini stocking filled with small candies, santa slingshots, and even tree scented sticks to give the deployed the feeling of Christmas morning while being away.

I hope some of these ideas work for you and help you cope a little bit better as the holidays approach us.  I know I will be sending my Dad one before he gets home, I just have to come up with my own idea because chances are he already read this before it arrives! Check back soon to see what I come up with for my original care package.