Often times when friends and loved ones are sick, in quarantine or going through a difficult time I feel pretty helpless. I want to help, but sometimes there’s not a lot I can do. That is why care packages are one of my favorite things to put together. They can be a tangible way to say, “I see you, I’m sorry you’re going through this, and I care.”
2020 and 2021 brought lots of opportunities to create care packages, and I have made a lot of porch drop offs and received a few as well. Often the contents of the care package weren’t nearly important as the love felt when someone takes the time and energy to put together a little package. We had to quarantine over Christmas and some of my family drove 5 hours round trip to deliver presents and Christmas pie. I was so touched, we would have been fine without those items, but their thoughtfulness and sacrifice to deliver the items made me feel so loved.
I wanted to share some of my favorite tips & ideas for care packages to help inspire you the next time you want to brighten someone’s day.
Here are some things to keep in mind when you are creating the care package:
1. The Reason. Of course, the reason for the care package is going to be most important. Are they ill? Then include mostly items that will be more of the health/immunity/comfort variety. Are they going through a hard time emotionally? Then maybe the goal is to cheer them up with favorite things and other fun items. Maybe it’s just to say, “Hi, I miss you”
2. The delivery method. Before you begin creating your package determine how it will be delivered. Of course there are some items that ship better than others. When I am mailing a package I try to stick to smaller items to keep shipping down and avoid breakable items. If you have a shipt membership, or other delivery service membership consider shopping and having the items delivered…saves postage money and a trip to the post office. For local friends/family porch drop offs allow you to really take anything you want!
3. Budget. Care packages can get pricey quick. Determine how much you can/want to spend and pick a few items that stay in your budget.
4. Consider a theme. Sometimes a package feels extra special with a theme. Items of a similar color palette are really fun. Or pick items that fit all fit a theme like “cozy items” such as tea and fuzzy socks. A family night package can be great, too. Include popcorn, a game and a little treat!
5. Reach Out. You can always ask if there is anything that they need, especially if they are ill, so that you can include any specific requests. If they say they don’t need anything you can still curate a box of love!
6. Add a personal touch. A handwritten note or a homemade item like soup, cookies, or muffins can really be a touching addition to a care package.
7. Make it pretty. You don’t have to make it pretty, but presentation can make a few items feel extra special. I love to use simple craft paper gift pages like these and colored tissue paper for a cheap and easy presentation. You can draw on the bag for some added personalization. A basket is another great way to package the items.
A couple of tips for making care packages a snap to put together:
1. Feel free to repackage items. Buy a box of tea and gift a few tied up in string. Or use cellophane bags to package up a few chocolates or other items. Repacking items allows you to spread the love over multiple care packages, or use some of what you already have on hand.
2. Keep a few go to items on hand. Half the struggle of putting together a care package is finding the time to gather the items and get them ready. I use pickup services often, but having a few items ready to go makes it even easier. Pick a few items that you love to gift, that work for multiple occasions and stash them away. Things like cozy socks, chocolates, tea packages, and coffee gift cards are great to keep around for easy gifting. It also helps to keep gift bags or other packaging
3. Don’t over think it. Care packages do not have to be elaborate or expensive. The beauty of a gift like this is that it is a surprise, therefore there aren’t any expectations. Just pick a few items that you would appreciate or that make you think of the recipient.
And finally, here are some fun ideas to get your creative juices flowing. Pick and choose from the different categories or just stick to one!
Health/Immunity (Think of items that you appreciate when you are I’ll and trying to get healthy. I try to avoid sending sugar/treats since they make it harder to recover.)
- Naked Juices
- Nuun tablets
- Electrolyte Drinks
- Fresh fruit
- Homemade Soup
- Elderberry syrup or gummies
- Epsom salts
- Healthy snacks
Comfort/cozy items/pampering items
- Cozy socks
- A fun mug
- Hot cocoa mix
- Bubble bath/Bath bombs/Epsom salt
- Face mask
- Nail polish
Entertainment- (Sometimes things that distract or pass the time are helpful. For families/kids that are sick this is a fun thing to add.)
- Books (new or books you’ve already read)
- Playdoh (store bought or homemade)
- coloring book/new markers
- Print out bingo cards
- Board game/card game
- List of movie/show recommendations
- Coffee or coffee gift card
- Ice cream ( a fun one for a porch drop off/delivery)
- Handwritten note
- Handmade items such as cookies, muffins or soup
- Spiritual bouquet note
Gift cards for meals/treats are also fun to tuck in with other items.
I think care packages are such a fun and thoughtful way to cheer someone up! I hope some of these ideas inspire you to create a care package for someone you love, and I would love to hear some of your favorite items to include in care packages.