Christmas Care Packages

Monday, November 4, 2013

Deployment during the Christmas season is hard, families are apart from the ones they love; they watch while other families celebrate the season together. 

I wanted to do something special with the Christmas Tree Farm sessions, something to give to the military families. Maybe just a little happiness knowing the one they love that is deployed, received a package from someone who wants to wish them a little joy this Christmas, and hopes for their safe return back to their family soon.

This is a way for you to send a care package to a military service member overseas for Christmas, and in return you will receive a free 10x13 of your choice from you session.

I have sent many packages to my husband while he was deployed. The kids and I would take a shopping trip to get what we wanted to send him and also to pick up the items on the list that he would give us that he needed.  The kids enjoyed picking out the paper and stickers and things to go with the particular package we were sending. They also enjoyed baking the special brownies that my husband's unit loved just as much as he did. I think each package we would send a dozen extra for that reason. He loved receiving packages and letters from home. Thankfully, on his deployments to Afghanistan, we did not have to spend a Christmas apart. He returned home his first Afghanistan deployment on R&R just in time for Christmas. It was a wonderful Christmas that year.

I put together a package that I will be sending with the other packages brought to the Christmas Tree Farm sessions. It is not necessary to decorate the package this way to bring with you to the session. But, if you would like to and  want to do something fun and something that your kids will enjoy helping you put together, I have put the directions together below.

What you will need:

USPS Large Flat Rate Box
5 Sheets of 12x12 scrapbook paper
Glue (I found that spray glue works best)
Packaging Tape
Goodies that you will be packaging inside

Start with your large flat rate 12x12 box, open and fold in bottom pieces, then cover seam with packaging tape.

Care Package 01 Web

This is the paper that we picked out for the package we will be sending.

Trim just a little tiny bit off of one side of each piece of paper, really just a sliver. This will help when folding the top pieces together.

Care Package 02 B Web

Spray the inside parts of the box (preferably take the box outside if using spray glue, it is sticky).

Start with one side of your box. Line the edge of the top of the box with the top edge of the paper. Smooth down the paper as you go and when you get to the fold in the box, pull down the flap of the box and run your fingers along the crease to make a good seal. Smooth the rest of the paper to the box until you reach the bottom of the box.

Continue with the other three sides.

Place the last piece of paper in the bottom of the box and smooth with hands to adhere the paper to the box.

Care Package 03 Web

This is our box tipped on its side to show what the box looks like when finished and ready for all the goodies to go inside.

Care Package 04 Web

Since this care package is a Christmas one, we bought what we thought a deployed service member might enjoy. 
Care Package 06 Web

I know my husband always preferred individual wrapped items (such as the Ritz crackers and Oreo packages), he said it was easier because if he was going to be out for the day he could just grab a few things he wanted and throw them in his pockets.

Care Package 07 Web

Our kids wanted to send some "snow", since these will probably be sent where there is a lot of sand and no snow.

Care Package 08 Web

Care Package 09 Web

 Maybe it's because I've packaged quite a few care packages but it is pretty easy to fit everything you want to send inside this size box.

Care Package 10 Web

Care Package 11 Web

 Be creative as you like, have fun with it......and I can promise your kids will enjoy this.

Also, cards are always fun to send. Kids love writing little messages and drawing pictures. I have found that Hallmark has a section for deployed/military members that is really nice.

I will be using the site Any Soldier to send these packages to. If there is someone you know that will be deployed for Christmas and would like to send one of these packages to, you can send me their address and I will be sure that one of the packages given will be sent to him/her.

A portion of the proceeds will go towards shipping these packages overseas.

I have found this website for Christmas Care Package ideas and this for Common Items Requested by Soldiers.

I think this is the most beautiful version of "I'll Be Home For Christmas".

I want to say thank you to all those deployed and those at home waiting for their safe return, thank you for serving our country.

We didn't miss Christmas but we missed a wedding anniversary, Easter, 4th of July, 5th grade graduation and birthdays (my husband's birthday and all three of our children's birthdays).
We had a lot of fun with my husband's birthday packages. We made him a cake and sent it to him for his birthday. He was in training at the time (otherwise I would never have sent something that would sit in the mail a long time) and kept telling us that there is NO WAY a cake would make it in one piece. Well, it did and he was very happy to share with all of his buddies he was in training with.

Care Package 12 Web
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