Care packages are little pockets of generosity, sent far across the land into the hands of a friend or family member. They can arrive for a special day or make a humdrum day special. Either way, a carefully packed care package brightens up your recipient’s life for a while. Consider giving one if someone’s going through something tough, they need something specific, or you haven’t talked in a while. Apart from showing up on their doorstep, this gesture does the best job allowing you to be physical present. If you’re planning to send one, here’s an exhaustive guide to what you should put in a care package based on who you want to ship it off to.
For a Significant Other
First, care packages to a significant other are opportunities to forge a deeper relationship and keep things exciting and special between you. While care packages are perfect for long-distance couples, no one says you have to be hundreds of miles apart to send something their way. Regardless of distance, though, there are some hallmark items to include. Pampering them with their favorite candy or snack food is always a good idea. Otherwise, pack their all-time favorite movie, a gift card to that restaurant they love, and any number of compact items that signal your loving knowledge of who they are and what they enjoy. There’s little better than reminding them that you think of them often, and including a heartfelt note is the perfect bow to bring it all together. If long distance is a struggle at times, give them a memento to remind them of you so you feel closer. This helps you both anticipate your next meeting even more.
For Your Friends
Care packages also cement your presence in friends’ lives, especially with those whom you haven’t seen in years. Over time, you gain many strong friendships that time or distance keep you from participating in to the fullest. Instead of losing contact, send them a personalized care package once in a while. Send pictures of your best memories together, include a letter about what their friendship means to you even today, and throw in some retro pop culture items that will bring a smile to their face. For ’80s friends, send some awesome accessories complete with neon leg warmers and cut-off sweatshirts, or perhaps send along an old Walkman like the ones you obsessed over back in the day. In a note, be sure to open the door to spending more time together so you don’t only reflect on the past but also spend quality time together in the future.
For Your Kids
Parents never stop wanting to care for their kids. Care packages help bridge the gap between parent and child. They remind them you’re there, patiently awaiting their next phone call or visit. Send your kids random childhood drawings of theirs you found when going through boxes. You’re their strongest link to a childhood they miss but too often forget, so anything related to these years is a precious addition to a care package. Also, if they’ve recently set out on their own, pack in some home décor pieces that either hearken back to their childhood home or fit their current style. For your cooking-minded kids, take the time to handwrite a mini cookbook for them to use. There’s something about this care package inclusion that makes Mom or Dad feel very near to them whenever they’re cooking. Finally, if your kids have kids of their own, spoil them with candy or pick out clothes for the oncoming growth spurt.
For Your Parents
When considering what to put in a care package for your parents, remember that simply hearing from you is enough to make their day. Giving them an extended inside look into your family’s life these days is gift enough—sending a flash drive with some videos you shot would be so valued by them. This is also your chance to give back for everything they’ve done—consider getting something extravagant such as an expensive gift card to that bookstore or restaurant they love. For parents with some wanderlust, help them plan their next getaway by giving them credit toward their hotel stay. Deliver your mom a bouquet of flowers to beautify her home and send your dad credit toward a gadget or expanding his record collection. Beyond these bigger gestures, small items still make a difference too. If you have kids, enlist them to write a handwritten card to Grandma and Grandpa regardless of how unreadable it turns out.
For a Loved One Overseas
Sometimes, the reason someone is distant is because they’re halfway across the world on a mission. Whether they’re part of the military, serving medical needs in underserved areas, religious missionaries, involved in international relations, or any number of other roles, your loved ones would appreciate hearing from you. They would probably value a care package more than most people because they often don’t have access to their comfort foods or products. So send them those breakfast pastries they can’t get outside the States, or that type of candy they hanker for. Send that movie sequel they can’t see while deployed. This one could use some coordination—though it won’t come as a surprise, you’ll need to get their address correct and ask them what exactly they want that they can’t otherwise access. Sending a care package overseas also affirms your care for them in a time when—separate from their family and friends—they may feel lonely and isolated.
For People in Times of Transition
Finally, send a care package to anyone in a state of transition, whether positive or negative. For those grappling with grief after a loved one’s passing, arrange a way to send homemade food (items that won’t spoil on the way, like bread) so they don’t have to think about cooking as they grieve. New parents need so many things—sending them diapers and wipes with an encouraging note goes a long way. For retirees, consider decking out a care package with sunscreen, sunglasses, and some seashells to celebrate their upcoming time off and trips to the beach. In general, be creative with who you give a care package to—you can greatly encourage them in a time of great change.
If you’re searching for specific pieces—décor, clothing, or vintage items—to pack into care packages for any loved one, consider shopping online with Quinn’s Mercantile. We’re a Tennessee gift shop with unique artisan-crafted pieces carefully made to last and impress.