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Sending a bit of holiday cheer to your deployed spouse is easy, fun, and will boost morale for both you and them. Let's look at how to craft the perfect military holiday care package to make your loved one's season bright.
Before you get to the fun part of packing your box, make sure to note some critical logistics.
First, your package can take 30 days to get to its destination, depending on where your loved one is stationed. Add in the fact that holiday mail gets even more backlogged, and you will quickly understand the importance of early preparation. Plus, all mail must go through customs and military inspection, so you should add that to the timeline, as well.
Fun fact, many military spouses favor USPS Flat Rate boxes as they are larger and less expensive to send!
When thinking about what to include, don't pack anything that might get spoiled in a few weeks, like perishable food. Place anything that might spill or leak in heavy, sealed zipper-lock bags, and make sure to include adequate cushioning.
Don't forget to write out your spouse's full mailing address, including their full name, unit, and APO/FPO address!
Indulge Their Sweet Tooth
Once you've considered logistics, it's time to get to the fun stuff! It's the holiday season, after all, so we're sure your deployed spouse would love a little winter cheer. This could include home-baked goodies, powdered hot cocoa, their favorite seasonal candies, or any other decadent treat.
Think about it like this: if you could condense your family's holiday happiness in one box, what would you include? While Santa himself might not fit, his cookies might be the perfect pick!
Don't Forget the Bare Necessities
As delicious as those Christmas cookies are, your deployed spouse would likely benefit from some staples, as well. Sometimes, depending on where they're deployed, getting even simple things, like Advil and razors, may be difficult.
Some great essentials to include in your military holiday care package may include:
- Toiletries (toothbrushes, toothpaste, tissues, etc.)
- Personal care items like makeup wipes, Chapstick, and lotion
- Fresh new socks and undies
- Disposable hand warmers, a beanie, or new gloves for the winter months
Supplement your holiday goodies with essential staples to round out the perfect holiday care package. Military.com has a great comprehensive list of things to include.
Give Them Something to Pass the Time
Your deployed spouse would likely love something entertaining to enjoy during their downtime, and holiday care packages are the perfect time to send something over!
Maybe you just finished a book you can't stop raving about, or there's a magazine that has your loved one's name all over it. These, along with games, newspapers, and letters, are all great things to include to help your husband or wife enjoy their holiday season. It can be hard being away from family, but some good games or books can help pass the time.
Sending your deployed spouse or loved one a holiday care package is the perfect way to give them a little piece of home. You will feel good making it, they will feel good receiving it, and it will bring you guys a little closer (if not literally, mentally!).
Related: 10 Ways Deployment Could Strengthen your Relationship