Studio 5 Party, Holiday and Idea Contributor Alisa Bangerter shares creative care package ideas to make the day of any friend or family member.
GENERAL CARE PACKAGE IDEAS:
• Be creative with contents. It is always fun to add humorous items or something that will bring an extra smile.
• Personalize your care packages. Add items that the recipient would love and appreciate.
• Use creative packaging. When mailing a care package, use an unusual container such as a soda bottle, a cardboard tube, etc. Decorate the outside of the box/container if mailing, with stickers, markers or decorative stamps. Use bright colored packaging. If package is not to be mailed, baskets, or a fun themed container might work best.
• Adhere postage stamps in creative combinations (such as all 2 cent stamps or a fun combination of unique stamps).
• Pack contents of a mailed package with unique packaging materials: dry popcorn, paper shred (make your own custom from a paper shredder), colored tissue paper, wrapped candies, etc.
• Check with your local post office or shipping company for packaging that is a flat rate for as much as you can put in. Also remember some things are not safe or are illegal to send through the mail. Make sure to check specifics when sending a package overseas or out of the country. (In some countries mail may not be safe or may not arrive at all due to theft or may take a long time to arrive in certain areas of the world.)
• Send a themed care package (golf, sports team, fishing, scrapbooking, reading, summer fun, gardening, cooking, movie buff, get well, camping, princess, chocolate lovers, etc.)
• Dollar or discount stores are great places to find fun items for care packages. Make sure to check out travel-sized items as there are many possibilities for items for care packages.
• Give a care package anonymously – even better send more than one. This could be a fun service project for a group or neighborhood to take turns making care packages for a specific person who is new in the neighborhood, ill, in need or just because.
• It is fun to create your own care packages. There are however, many companies you can find online (put the word “care packages” or a specific type of care package in an internet search engine) that will deliver customized care packaged for you. Some even have monthly plans so a care package arrives at regular intervals. Some to check out: www.hipkits.com, www.carepackages.com, www.customcarepackage.com, www.showyacare.com, www.angelsstore.org, www.care4troops.com, www.called2serve.com, www.dearelder.com
FIVE SPECIFIC CARE PACKAGE IDEAS:
Birthday in a Box
Send a “packaged” birthday party. Use bright fun colors that scream “celebration!”
Include items such as: party hats, party blowers, a package of balloons, a box of fun and unique candles, a cake mix, a can of frosting or frosting mix, cake sprinkles, cupcake liners or an aluminum cake pan, disposable camera, small gifts(s), a bag of confetti, a birthday banner to hang up, card(s). It might also be fun to send a dvd/video of well wishes or birthday greetings/advice. You could even have a party on the dvd/video and cut and eat a cake in honor of the recipient.
Nursing Home or Grandparent Care Package
Grandparents usually prefer items that are personal and sentimental. Avoid sending expensive items to a nursing home.
Include items such as: paper placemats (disposable and decorate with comics, art, stickers, photos etc.), a small gift to open each day for a week or month, set of cards/postcards and postage – some self addressed or addressed to friends and family members, magnifying glass, lotions, photos – enlarge them/frame some, thought a day cards, greeting cards, children’s artwork, a book of telephone numbers and address of family and friends in large print, fuzzy socks, slippers, book of jokes, a small photo album or scrapbook of family photos or photos of the life of the recipient, a dvd or video of family and greetings, favorite treats, a music cd of songs from their younger years, magazines (quilting, bird watching, travel, etc.). A nice themed package would be great for grandparents such as travel, golf, quilting, etc.
College Student Care Package
Students love things that remind them of home as well as appreciate little items that come in handy.
Include items such as: items with the school mascot or school colors (t-shirt, socks, cuff links, tie, sweat shirt, shorts, umbrella, mug, blanket, etc.) small school supplies (pens, pencils, erasers, paper clips, staples, etc.) phone, gas or grocery cards, recipes/recipe book with some simple ingredients, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, gum, packages of candy or small treat items, earrings, quarters for laundry, an instructional manual (laundry, first aid, financial, etc.), homemade cookies/caramel popcorn, a dvd full of greetings from family, address book/thank you notes/postcards with postage, travel sized hygiene items, first aid kit, basic tools, toothpicks, pocket dictionary, stuffed animal, a map of the city they are living in, magazine, book, book light, journal, poster(s), a holiday item (even some fun out of the ordinary holidays), food mixes, scissors, sewing kit, microwave popcorn, nail clippers, hand sanitizer, etc.
Care Package for a Family Member/Friend Living out of the Country
Whether you are sending a package to someone in the military, on a mission, or a student abroad, send items that mail easily and that may not be found where the person is living.
Include items such as: small packages of food they might not have access to (Jello, pudding, powdered drink mix, hot cocoa mix, gravy mixes, seasoning packages, spices, etc.), candy, gum, treats, photos, dvd/videos of greetings, seasonal items – especially for American holidays, small toiletries, card games, puzzles, books, magazines, hometown newspapers, phone card, cough drops, etc.
A Holiday Care Package
Send some holiday cheer to someone living away from home. Remember holidays and seasons throughout the year. Be creative with packaging material for example, if sending a package in October, pack items with fake spider webbing(include a spider or two!), if sending at Christmas time, package with or sprinkle in some fake snow. You might also consider sending a color themed package such as red/white/blue items or green/red items, etc.
Include items such as: small seasonal decorations, seasonal treats/candy, holiday cards/postage, a tiny tree and ornaments for Christmas, a cd of holiday music (customize your own at www.itunes.com – you can find, patriotic, spooky, love songs, Christmas, etc.), dvd of a holiday themed movie (classic Christmas movie, patriotic, love themed, Halloween, etc.). It might also be fun to send a package for an unusual or wacky holiday observance (see: www.holidayinsights.com/moreholidays/index.htm).