Holidays are hard when you spend them apart from the ones you love, especially with all the traditions of Christmas. Packaging up Christmas and sending it overseas may not replace holiday times together, but it can help ease some of the emotions and maybe even be a little fun.
In addition to restrictions and guidelines, USPS recommends “send by” dates to get packages to military members on time. Most dates are before December 10, so see if these ideas can get your mind cranking quickly:
- Tree: You can send a mini Christmas tree with decorations and battery operated lights (with plenty of batteries). This way your service member and his/her unit can decorate it together.
- Classic Movies/Cartoons: What’s Christmas without Rudolph, the Grinch and twenty-four hours of A Christmas Story? Pick out some holiday favorites and send them over.
- Stuffed Stockings: Send a stocking with goodies including essentials like Chapstick, toothpaste, etc. but also send some candy canes and toys. In an AllMilitary.com forum, it was mentioned that deployed members enjoyed playing with toy soldiers, parachute men and squirt guns. Most dollar stores carry these items.
- Christmas Carols: You can buy or make your own play-list set of Christmas carols. If you really want to personalize it, record your family singing tunes together for your service member.
- Church Sermon: Many people make it a tradition to attend church for the special Christmas sermon. With the Internet it’s easy to get archives of past sermons. Snag one from the previous year and send your member a copy.
- Gingerbread House Kit: Many grocery stores will stock winter-themed gingerbread kits during the holidays. It may be a fun activity for your service member and unit to play around with.
- Decorations: Get kids involved and send homemade paper snowflakes, snowmen or Santa himself
- And don’t forget New Year’s: You may be an ocean or two apart, but you can help your member welcome in the New Year by sending some confetti, blowers, hats and plastic champagne glasses to toast at midnight. You can also share your New Year’s resolutions and ways your deployed service member can be a part of them upon their return.
Photo thanks to anna gutermuth via Flickr Creative Commons