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How To Be A Care Package Guru

June 25, 2011

I am normally a pretty humble person, but one of the things I feel like I can claim to be truly good at is the art of making a care package.

The way I see it, that is the time to get out all those cute ribbons, decorative tags, and pretty colored tissue paper that you have been holding back because they’ve seemed too nice to use until now. I love the idea that some small thoughtfully chosen and carefully wrapped things might help a friend through a hard time or ease a little stress or sadness.

So, here is my formula for a special care package. If you have other ideas that work for you, I would love to hear about them in the comments section!

1. Gather together things you think your friend would like, or that you think might be useful in their current situation. My favorite go-to items are listed below. If you have other favorites, please comment!

  • magazines
  • boxes of tea, or single bags of tea from the boxes I have around at home
  • coffee or hot chocolate, maybe a bag of marshmallows
  • mug to go with the tea, coffee, or hot chocolate
  • gift cards to bookstores, Starbucks, or iTunes
  • a funny or lighthearted book if they’re going through a sad time
  • homemade cookies or baked goods of some kind
  • chocolate (if the weather is not too hot to mail it)
  • CDs or mix CDs
  • movies or DVDs
  • a cute small wall or office hanging or magnet decoration
  • key chain- then they can carry you with them everywhere!
  • if you want to spend a little more, deliasthompson on Etsy makes really pretty jewelry that can be engraved with an inspirational message

2. Find a box that all the things will fit in. (If you are me, this might involve braving spiders and dirt to unlock the outside storage closet, then wrangle the flat-rate boxes out from under the rolling cooler on a shelf at least 2 feet taller than me, only to discover that they are the wrong size boxes anyway.) Put some tissue paper in the bottom of the box.

     

3. I think it is nice to wrap up all or most of the components of the care package, and tie on pretty ribbons and/or tags. That way it looks and feels special to the recipient.

     

4. Pack it all into the box with some more pretty tissue paper.

5. Tape well, address, and take it to the post office! Priority shipping is nice when you are including baked goods, and you can get free priority boxes at the post office. If you are using a box from home, I think a particularly spectacular touch is to wrap the outside of the shipping box in decorative wrapping paper and tape the seams and corners well with that wide clear plastic tape you use for shipping or packing.

Hope this helps you with some ideas to bring some joy to someone in a tough spot!

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