A Piece of Work, Care Packages, Gifts

4th of July in a Box

This last deployment was the first time my husband was ever deployed over 4th of July. Usually he was getting ready to leave around that time or hadn’t quite gotten there yet. This past year, he was supposed to return stateside the end of July.

I remember getting strict instructions not to send anything to him the last month of deployment. He was worried he wouldn’t get it before he left for home. When it came down to it though, he teasingly stated, “Well I already know I have a 4th of July package coming.” He did not.

I’m not one to disappoint though. So I wracked my brain and scrambled to put together one EPIC 4th of July care package. The only problem with sending a care package with this theme is… what the heck do you put in it?

You can’t send fireworks, that’s a BIG no no. You can’t send family. These men are already surrounded by patriotism. They bleed red, white and blue. They are over there for our freedom and understand the price of it more than most. It doesn’t get more 4th of July than that.

So I got creative.

What can I send that’s LIKE fireworks? What can I send that is patriotic that they may not have and may be of use? What can I send that would give them some FUN?

The answer was this:

The cap would keep him cool and I knew a lot of his civilian clothes to hang out in were getting stained with the red African dirt so this gave him some more shirts as well. I knew they didn’t have many coolers to keep their drinks cool for their BBQs, so I sent them one for the occasion. As for the Pop Rocks… it was the only legal form of fireworks I could think of to ship.

To decorate the box I purchased:

I lined the box with Black Construction Paper (*side note* for those of you who don’t know this, priority flat rate boxes are the way to go). Then I dispersed the firework stickers throughout. Last, but not least, I poked holes through the interior flaps of he box and strung the firework sections I’d cut off the stringer through them so that it would look like fireworks popping out when he opened them.

Enjoy fellow military wives!

A Piece of Work, Care Packages, Gifts, Traditions, Where the Heart Is

BBQ in a Box

For those of you who don’t know, my husband is an Air Force Veteran. Since this is a recent development, most of our relationship has been that as an active duty military couple. Of Eliott’s 9 years in, we were dating, engaged or married for 5 years, and friends the prior 4. Thus, I got really good at care packages. And I mean REAL good folks..

I thought I’d put my talent to good use and share some of my boxes with you all. Don’t get me wrong, I thoroughly enjoy having my husband home all the time, but why let the gift go to waste, right? As Memorial Day is coming up this weekend, I thought it would be appropriate if the first box I shared with you was my “BBQ in a Box.”

On my husband’s deployment to Africa, they would barbecue about once a month. The chow hall was nice enough to provide the meat and a few of the guys, including my husband, would fire up the grill (or whatever open flame it was they used). After this seemed to be an established trend, I decided to send my husband some extra equipment since there seemed to be a shortage of certain items.

Thus the “BBQ in a Box” was born.

All us military folks know that a good care package needs decoration. So we’ll get into that first. I’m sure that I could have been more extreme with my decor, but I chose to go with simple black construction paper background and stick on letters “Barbecue Master.” For that little extra something I added some red and orange glitter, for the embers if you will.

The contents of the box were as follows:

Clorox Disinfecting Wipes (sometimes they were without hot water to wash with)

Wet Ones

-BBQ Spatula

-BBQ Tongs

-BBQ Basting Brush

-BBQ Meat Fork

-Favorite BBQ seasonings

McCormick Grill Mates Brown Sugar Bourbon

McCormick Grill Mates Smokehouse Maple

McCormick Grill Mates Sweet and Smoky Rub

-Grill Mit

-Grill Apron

Technically, BBQ sauces are not an item you should mail, as they are considered liquids and those are not allowed with USPS. I did send my husband some shave cream one time, not thinking about it being in an aerosol can and technically a liquid. That particular package was confiscated.

*Make sure you check the rules and regulations of your postal service and of the country your military personnel is deployed in before mailing your package.*