Valentine's Day Care Packages

Sending Love to the Service Member in Your Life

Valentines-Day-Care-headerBeing away from a spouse who’s out on deployment can be a tough thing to deal with around holidays, and Valentine’s Day is no exception – you don’t even have to be a hopeless romantic to know that’s true.

If you’re looking for creative ways to send your love across the continent or even overseas, a care package might be right up your alley. Of course it’s the thought that counts, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to send something special.

Here are just a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing when you’re putting together a care package for Valentine’s Day, along with a refresher course on how to get it there effectively:

  • Snacks – starting with the obvious, how about a heart-shaped box of chocolates? Prepackaged junk food? Homemade goodies? Savory, sweet, healthy – whatever they like. While it may be best to avoid things that might get easily smashed, some creative packing could probably make just about anything work.
  • Photos – share a cherished moment with your loved one. Photos can make for great gifts, and putting some thought behind picking out the right one could really brighten the spirits of the service member in your life. You can easily find an inexpensive frame at just about any department store.
  • Hand-written letters – these cost next to nothing to make, but they can mean so much. Make them personal, share your thoughts and feelings with your spouse and let them know what’s going on back home.
  • Get the kids involved – arts and crafts projects can be great fun for the whole family. Maybe they already made something special in art class and you can toss that in? You could have them draw a picture, create custom-made valentines, or write short notes instead of a full-page letter.
  • Think long term – don’t forget to consider how much living space your spouse has. You can certainly include things like teddy bears, stuffed animals, and other trinkets, but don’t go overboard. Your spouse may prefer items that serve multiple purposes and can be used and reused. For example, consider a mug and a bag of premium coffee or tea. Your spouse could use the mug every day for any number of purposes.

Take Advantage of Free Packaging Supplies

Did you know the U.S. Postal Service offers free shipping supplies for care packages, which they call Military Care Kits? They include several flat-rate boxes in various sizes, address labels, tape, custom forms, and envelopes – all of which help you save money on shipping.

You can order a kit to be delivered to your doorstep within 7-10 days by calling 1-800-610-8734. All you have to do is ask!

These kits also allow you to pay domestic postage rates when shipping to an APO, FPO, or DPO address.

Shipping Your Packages

Don’t forget to make sure your care package will make it safe and sound to its final destination and your spouse will be able to accept it:

  • Any restrictions to size and weight of the package? This depends where exactly you’re sending it.
  • Make sure anything that could spill or leak is packed snug and secure. Zip-lock bags are great when in doubt.
  • Get creative with packing supplies to save money. Crumpled up newspaper is a cheap and effective alternative to buble wrap.
  • Consider how long it will take to arrive and plan ahead so it’s not late.

Last, but not least – don’t stress too much! Care packages have a tendency to lift people's spirits regardless of what's inside. Whatever you decide to send, it will probably be meaningful and important to your spouse. For more creative inspiration, check out our dedicated board here on Pinterest. If you have a unique idea for a care package, tell us about it in the comment section below. Happy Valentine’s Day!

Jake Butler

About the author: Jake Butler

Jake Butler is a staff writer at Pioneer Services who understands the challenges facing modern military families. He writes informative and entertaining pieces about military life, financial education and everything in between. Follow Jake on Google+.

Contact: Jake Butler


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