The long, lazy days of summer inevitably draw to an end. Students pack their bags and head to colleges, universities, and technical schools. Many are miles away from the ones they love. Most settle in well, but even the strongest occasionally needs a pick-me-up from loved ones back home.
A care package from a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or friend is a great way to remind that special student that he or she isn’t forgotten. Your love will span the miles, straight to that weary student’s heart. So, where do you begin? Here are three different types of care packages to consider.
THE SNACK PACK
Here are a few fun ideas for snack packs:
A. Crunch Time: If your student will soon be facing exams, send a “crunch time” package. This can include a host of crunchy snacks to nibble on while studying. Protein is especially helpful. Include these or similar item: nuts, favorite crunchy candy, protein bars, pretzels, and snack crackers.
B. Themed/Seasonal: In the autumn, send a colorful box decorated in fall colors and filled with your student’s favorite fall foods and fall-colored snacks, such as Goldfish or cheese crackers. Christmas is the perfect time to pack a box with cocoa mix, gingerbread cookies, and snowball cookies. In the springtime, consider sending a yellow “sunshine” basket to lift the spirits; include lemon cookies, lemon candies, lemonade mix, or other springtime favorites. If your student has had a recent accomplishment, why not send an “EncourageMINT” package filled with mint flavored goodies?
C. Sports-themed: Help your student cheer on his favorite team. Load up the box with sports drinks and peanuts or sunflower seeds. Send a coffee mug or water bottle with the team’s logo on it, and decorate the inside flaps of the box with the team’s name, mascot, and colors.
D. Rise and Shine: This package could include morning items, such as coffee, specialty teas, packaged oatmeal, and breakfast shakes. For a real kick, send a small coffee grinder and coffee beans. Decorate three of the inside flaps of the box to read Rise/ And /Shine with a hand-drawn sketch of a sunrise on the fourth flap.
E. Back to Basics: Load up on those yummy homemade goodies, such as chocolate chip cookies, peanut butter kisses, lemon bars, turtle brownies, and snickerdoodles. Remember, homemade baked goods have a short shelf life and need to be sent by priority mail so they don’t go bad. Basic foods could include packages of tuna, Ramen noodles, instant soups, and beef jerky.
F. Gift Cards: Stuff an envelope with gift cards for fast food, local grocery stores, and favorite restaurants.
PERSONAL CARE PACK
Divide the care package into three sections (body, soul, spirit) and consider the following items:
Section 1-Body: Add personal care items, such as deodorant, toothpaste, lip balm, and sunscreen. For the girls, include nail polish, beauty products, cleansing gels, and jewelry. For the guys, select shaving lotion, aftershave, and men’s body wash/shampoo. Also add dryer sheets and a roll of quarters for the laundry.
Section 2-Soul: Include the latest book from a favorite author, a cherished memento from childhood, message-in-a-bottle (daily messages from home in a bottle), and framed pictures. It’s also fun to send a “Hugs from Home” pillow signed by loved ones.
Section 3-Spirit: Don’t forget your student’s spirit! In this section add a Bible, devotional, daily flip calendar with Scripture verses, or a written testimony. Write a prayer for your student in a letter to her.
MOVIE NIGHT PACKAGE
Stuff a large popcorn bucket with some of the following: DVDs, microwave popcorn, specialty/flavored popcorn salts, and candies found at movie theaters. Send along a popcorn recipe with ingredients. You could add a gift card to a local theater or subscription to Redbox or iTunes.
No matter how you plan to pamper your student, make sure he realizes he’s loved and thought of often. And don’t forget to add a note that says, “We’re praying for you!” with each special package.
Adapted from Mature Living Magazine
Janice Thompson is an inspirational author from the Houston area with over 100 books to her credit. She’s the mother of four grown daughters and grandmother to eight of the spunkiest kids ever.