Care Package Ideas

Five Care Package Ideas to Ensure Winning Care Packages

Anyone who has lived one for long enough will tell you that life can sometimes be a funny thing. Indeed, life can be likened to the seasons in many respects as it oscillates between the spring of great joy, the winter of great sorrow, and every conceivable emotion and sensation in between. Emotions run particularly high during times of great change or stress, such as exam periods at college or university, military deployments, or even the happy but trying times weathered by new home owners or the freshly married. During such times, the best thing a person can do for those they care about is to be there in person to shower them with love and support and wisdom. A face to face meeting, however, is not always possible, whether as a result of distance or timing or prior commitments. When such is the case, a care package is nearly as good as being there yourself, which is probably why it's become such a popular means of expressing your care and devotion to another person. Read on to get some great care package ideas.

But what, exactly, makes one care package a dud when another one is just what the doctor ordered? Even the experienced care package enthusiast might have a hard time pinning down the answer to that question, let alone the novice. The truth is, the answer is both more complex and much simpler than you might have been led to believe. It's true, for instance, that as each person is different, so too will the specific contents of each package vary from parcel to parcel. Happily, however, the highly individualistic nature of care packages doesn't mean the sender has to torture himself or herself to get things just right. In fact, a little background knowledge of the recipient - which virtually all senders will have, most of them being relatives or friends - and the following tips will help make sure that regardless of time, distance, or circumstance, anyone can show just how much they love, care for, and appreciate the object of their next package.

Read on to learn how to make your own care packages a "hit the spot" slam-dunk!

Are You Having Fun Yet?

ImageNameDescriptionPrice
Daily Journal

Daily Journal

A daily journal is a great addition to a care package. Make sure to include a special note before you send it!

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House of Cards DVD

House of Cards DVD

I love this series, very entertaining and will take quite a while to go through all episodes.

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Rolling Stone - Subscription

Rolling Stone - Subscription

Magazine subscriptions are great as they serve as a reminder that you care all year long.

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Yahtzee

Yahtzee

Light, small and easy to pack, this is a great addition to a care package. Batteries included

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A Game of Thrones - Book Set

A Game of Thrones - Book Set

This is a fantastic series. I am sure your loved one will enjoy them as much as I did.

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Playing Cards

Playing Cards

A deck of cards can keep me entertained for a long time, everything from solitaire to trying to make a building.

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The unique stresses and "otherness" of any new experience or environment can really start to wear on a person, especially if they're new to it and/or have been immersed in it for a long time without a break. This is why some of the best things you can put into a package is stuff that's just plain fun! It doesn't have to be rocket science, either. Childhood toys are a great place to start. Digging out your intended recipient's favorite book, toys, games, and so on can really make a boring or stressful day into a fun-filled trip down memory lane, especially if the giver and recipient are from the same family. After all, nothing distracts from the present reality of current circumstances better than combing through that long-forgotten collection of Beanie Babies or Disney World photos!

"Twisted" Care Packages

Getting something other than bills or junk in the mail is good enough, but when it turns out to be a care package from home, well, that might just be the best thing ever. One of the best tricks you can use to really take your care packages to the next level is to put a little twist on their contents. Does your student, Marine, fireman, or other recipient like music? Send them the latest issue of Rolling Stone and / or an iTunes gift certificate! Or perhaps the recipient of your package enjoys the glitz and glamor of the Hollywood scene. If that's the case, why not gift him or her with a Google Chromecast or an Amazon Fire TV? Enclosing family portraits or a homemade card is another great idea. Whatever you decide upon, just remember that the premise of this tip is to get you (the sender) thinking outside the box while giving the recipient of your gift a renewed bond with family and friends - and something to do in their off-time, even if that means helping them create some!

What's Cookin', Good Lookin'?

They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. No one is quite sure who came up with that little chestnut, but whoever it is, they neglected to mention that one of the things a person's heart yearns for is some good old-fashioned home cooking! Nothing puts that warm, fuzzy feeling back into someone who's lost it quite like a heaping plate of their favorite dish. It isn't just the end recipient who benefits, either. Cooking or baking your loved ones their favorite treat can really help bind you to them in a way few other things can. It gives you the chance to really put something of yourself into the gifts you're about to send, and sure, it might take a little extra effort, but that's kind of the point. After all, when the gift-ee finally opens up the mysterious parcel from home and sees what's inside, he or she will appreciate it all the more for the work that was put into it. In addition, you can make sure you include the types of food appropriate for both you and them.

One note on food-based gifts: Always double-check to make sure your intended doesn't suffer from any food allergies! Nothing ruins a care package faster than having to take it with you to the emergency room.

Dial "C" For "Care Package"

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OneSimCard International SIM Card

OneSimCard International SIM Card

Phone sim card that can be used in over 200 countries around the world

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LG A275 Black Unlocked GSM Dual SIM QuadBand Cell Phone

LG A275 Black Unlocked GSM Dual SIM QuadBand Cell Phone

Dual chips allow the flexibility to use any GSM operator on the same phone

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Universal World Wide Travel Charger Adapter Plug

Universal World Wide Travel Charger Adapter Plug

Universal Power Adaptor for over 150 countries

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Given the prevalence of smart phones these days, these might not be as necessary as they once were. Even so, slipping a phone card into your next box can really brighten up the day of its recipient. Nothing bolsters the spirits of the separated like hearing a familiar voice, so whether it's with a card, a new phone, or just a simple call on an existing line, make sure that a phone call is part of the next one you send. Letters and cards are wonderful, but there's just something about hearing "I love you" in the voice of someone you also love to really put you over the moon and make life seem a little brighter. The glow of that once phone call will linger long after the last brownie has been wolfed down.

Care Packages For The Clueless

So, maybe you want to send your beloved a care package more than anything, but you're at a loss about how to make it happen. Maybe you're just not the domestic, crafty sort. Maybe you're swamped with work or school yourself. Hey, maybe you just forgot. It happens. Instead of beating yourself up about it, jump on Google or find a phonebook! If the object of your affection lives in a reasonably populated area, it's almost a guarantee that there'll be at least one bakery or restaurant that delivers to their location. Failing that, why not book them a reservation? A little foie gras can really help take that post-final exam edge off!

Homemade care packages are always the best, since you can include little inside jokes, toys, photos, and the like, but this tip is there to show you that anyone can send a little taste of home to someone who needs it, even if they've waited until the last minute. It's always better to do something than to do nothing at all, so get busy! Both you and the recipient of your gift will be glad you did.

Don't Play Hard To Get

This one is simple: When wrapping or otherwise enclosing your box, there's no need to lock it down tighter than Fort Knox! Keep the package as frustration-free as you can. It's just one less thing your intended will have to deal with at an already stressful time.

Logistics

The final, simplest, yet perhaps most crucial tip on this list is the following: Make sure you've used proper shipping for your package! Double and triple-check all addresses, postage, taxes, and duties paid (especially if you're shipping internationally), and so on. If you're shipping food, expedite it so nothing spoils, and if you've got fragile toys or objects inside, take care to note that for the delivery team(s) handling your care packages. Nothing kills the mood faster than a one that arrives totally destroyed, or worse yet, simply never arrives at all.

Conclusion

And there you have it, all the tips you'll ever need to make your next care package the absolute best it can be. A lot of people really stress out about sending the perfect package, but as this guide has attempted to point out, it's not really about that. Care packages, you see, are about much more than just what's in them. If sent with love and forethought, a plate of cookies and a hand-written note is all that's required. Many people choose to go above and beyond this, of course, and that's fine, but sending one of these things shouldn't stress out the giver any more than it ought to fail to surprise and delight the recipient. After all, the real point of any care package is, well, the care! I really hope these care package ideas help you during the process. Happy gifting!