With Thanksgiving and Christmas approaching, people are rushing to the stores to make their holiday’s a success. But when a military member is deployed, their holidays are quite different. While we are here putting our turkey’s on the table and presents under the tree, they are in a foreign country wishing they could be in the States with the people they love. So how can we make them feel special while they are away? Care packages, holiday cards, letters, and media items are four great ways to show them you care.
1. Care packages-The normal care package usually includes personal hygiene products such as, lotion, shampoo, shaving items, soap, and underclothes. But instead of sending the usual, send them items that they’ll not only use but things that they’ll cherish. Items like picture frames with a recent photo of the family, home made goodies that are their favorite, personalized pillows or blankets which can either be hand crafted or sent to a seamstress to make, and coffee mugs with packets of hot chocolate for the cold days. Don’t forget the mini marshmallows to put an extra ounce of love in it.
2. Greeting cards-For the military members that have younger children receiving a handmade card from their little one will put a bright smile on their face. Sure store bought greeting cards are nice but creating something especially for them really says “I love you”. Also instead of grouping everyone’s cards in the same envelope send them separately. Although they may say they don’t need or want anything, they enjoy it when it’s received.
3. Letters-Open lines of communication are so important anytime a spouse is deployed. They need to have a sense of normalcy. Writing letters can be very encouraging, not just in general but especially around the holidays. With the internet and other means of technology, we as a society no longer see the importance of personalization. Receiving a letter in the mail is much nicer than sending an e-mail.
4. Media items-Depending on the country they’re located in, media may not be easily accessible available. Sending their favorite movie, CD, or book will not only make them feel good, it will also give them some kind of entertainment while they are away from home. Another idea could be a video of the family that contains either a slide show or a taped activity. Whether it be the kids Christmas play, putting up the Christmas tree, or just hanging out. They would love to not only hear from their families but they would love to see them as well.
As children we loved opening our gifts on Christmas day so packages and other mail items should be sent out prior to Thanksgiving to ensure they will be received by Christmas.
Remembering people on the holidays is important, but remembering those that serve our country is essential. Make them feel loved, valued, and special this holiday season and let them know you care by being creative. Happy Holidays!