Since the military moved us 4,200 miles from home three months ago my sweet Mom has been sending Travis and I the greatest care packages. Every package has had a theme, and she always fills them with the best, most thoughtful, items!
She even managed to put a care package together for my husband who is notoriously hard to shop for. He’s the “I don’t need anything” guy when you ask him for birthday or Christmas ideas (drives me nuts.) The first thing you need to do when putting together a care package is consider where you will be mailing it. Don’t ship chocolate to Florida in July. Since temperatures were dipping down to -30 here in Alaska this winter mom sent things that could easily stand the distance and temperature.
Next, you want to come up with a great theme. Without a cohesive theme you run the risk of your box being filled with random stuff. Nothing wrong with that, but themed boxes just have a much bigger “wow” factor. For my husbands box she did a survival/moose theme. There was a moose puzzle, game and paint-by-number. She also threw in some lifestraws (those things are so awesome!), fire starter kit, MRE’s and emergency blankets.
Travis went a little moose crazy when we first moved up here. He finished the puzzle last week and we actually got a gorgeous frame for it and put it in the guest room (with the moose quilt I got him for Christmas!)
Some other themed boxes mom sent:
Baking Box: mom sent me a box filled with bake mixes!
Spa in a box: I’m kicking myself for not getting a photo of this one she sent. In it she had a jazz cd, magazines, bath pillow, bubble bath, bath bombs and a candle.
Stir crazy box: mom knew how hard it had been for me to adjust to life in Alaska so she put together a box with fun indoor activities. Coloring books for adults with colored pencils, and indoor herb garden, sun catcher, and gorgeous note card set (with stamps and a beautiful new pen!)
Christmas craft box: forgot to take a photo of this as well but it was filled with tons of cute Christmas craft kits from Michaels, a box of wooden ornaments to paint, and a gift card to Michaels in case there were any additional supplies we needed.
More theme ideas:
Get well soon: tea, cough drops, vitamin c drops, comfort food/snacks, new slippers or robe.
New baby: photo frame, baby book, outfit, ear plugs for mom and dad (seriously – for colicky babies these would be a lifesaver), coffee.
Birthday in a box (my dad got one from his family when I was a kid and I still remember how cool I thought it was!) birthday decorations, cake mix, a few presents.
Childhood favorites: I’ve always wanted to do this for my brother. Fill a box with random stuff we lived in the 90s. Gushers, pogs, fruit roll-ups. I actually need to do this asap.
Favorite movie: items for a movie night in and things that relate to the movie. One of my favorite movies is Pride & Prejudice. Items that could go with that would be the book itself, Earl Gray tea, Jane Austen note cards.
Family game night: throw in a few inexpensive game items like a deck of cards or uno, one “big”game, and snacks to go with it.
Coffee lovers box: k-cups, whole coffee beans, chocolate covered espresso beans, a new coffee mug, this box would be great for anyone who enjoys coffee!
Back to school: the usual school supplies, and for older kids/college a planner would be a great addition!
New Home box: things to make the first week in a new home easier. Convenience foods and snacks, paper plates and plastic utensils, a tour guide to the new area, etc.
Happiness in a box: everything in the box must be yellow. I’ve seen this done before and it’s such a fun box to open!
Zen in a box: meditation cd, journal, mini zen garden.
Get Fit box: obviously don’t send this to someone unless you know for sure they are into fitness or trying to lose weight. Don’t want to offend anyone! Protein bars, workout DVDs, jump rope, resistance band, workout journal, hair tied, workout towel, water bottle.
Christmas in a box: mini Christmas tree with ornaments, small presents, string of lights, Christmas cd, hot cocoa.
Football season package: I know zero things about sports but I’m sure you could do a very cute sports box!
Indoor camping box: for when you can’t/don’t want to do the real thing! Smores stuff, glow in the dark stars to put on the ceiling, blanket to lay out on, camping meals, and a book of scary stories to read out loud.
Summer fun box: for kids out on summer break! Water slide, sidewalk chalk, hand puppets (we loved putting on puppet shows as kids) tickets to local museum, book of science experiment ideas.
Sweet tooth: baked goods, candy bars, boxes baking kits, basically anything that has sugar as the first ingredient! Throw in some toothpaste and floss to balance it out.
New mom survival kit: chocolate (definitely first on the list), calming tea, lots of caffeine, a mindless magazine, new bath/beauty products.
Just add water: ramen, oatmeal cups, chia pet, sea monkeys, anything that just needs a little water!
Some like it hot: spices foods, hot sauces, spices candies,…. My husband would love this!
Breakfast on the go: great for a new student, new parent or someone starting a new job (basically anyone who is short on time.) Granola bars, oatmeal packs, single serve coffee mixes, and teas.
Book lovers box: gift card to a bookstore/Amazon, comfy blanket, popcorn (nice mindless snack while reading that’s not too high calorie!), candle (I love setting the mood to relax and read), bookmark, book light (just bought that book light and love it!)
Holiday box: valentines, 4th of July, thanksgiving… So many great excuses to send someone a care package!
Tips for putting together your box:
Try to fit everything into a large, flat rate priority box to make it as economical as possible.
Use items in the box as packing. (Shirts, towels, etc.)
Decorate the box! Use scrapbook paper on the inside. Or recycled materials like an old map or the comic section of a newspaper
Don’t worry if you don’t have a fortune to spend. You could get items from the dollar store, hand make a few items, and cram it all in a small box. I’ve never received a thoughtful package from someone that I didn’t love!
What care package would you love to receive?