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How to Pack Christmas Boxes for Soldiers

Getting packages to our troops overseas in good condition takes planning. Here are tips.

Tips on packing Christmas packages for soldiers overseas from Guideposts blogger Edie Melson.

There is one thing military families learn during the first deployment, and that’s how to pack a box of goodies for a soldier. I never realized it was such an art form until I began sending packages to our son on his deployments to the Middle East. And I learned the truth of the old saying, many hands make light work.

Sending Christmas boxes to our son when he was a Marine was bittersweet. I was glad to be spreading some holiday joy, but I hated the fact that he was so far from home. By opening up the event to friends and family, it lightened—and brightened—the load. Here’s how I planned it and as well as some tips to make sure boxes arrive in good shape.

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Plan a Packing Party

  • Pick a date.
    Choose a convenient date. Don’t worry about making sure everyone can attend. There will always be some who can’t make it.
     
  • Choose a place to meet.
    Depending on the size of your party, a dining room table may provide enough space. If it’s a bigger event, you may need a bigger area.
     
  • Send the invitations with a packing list.
    Even if you plan to provide the bulk of the supplies, everyone will want to contribute. It helps to have a written list. A phone call for the initial invitation is fine, but always follow up with a written list.

Spread joy to our American Heroes – donate a gift subscription to Guideposts Military Subscription Program. Click here.

Packing Tips

  • Use the free boxes provided by the post office.
    The shipping isn’t free (it costs approximately $18 to send a box), but the boxes are the best size to send.
     
  • Send your package to a specific person.
    The military no longer accepts packages without being addressed to a real name.
     
  • Pack the boxes as tightly as you can.
    The contents of a loosely packed box are much more likely to arrive damaged. Beyond that, a lot of our men and women overseas don’t ever receive a single package. So when a soldier does get one, he’s likely to share with those around him.
     
  • Package liquids in several layers of sealed plastic bags.
    As I shared last week, there’s nothing more disappointing than opening a box filled with sticky, inedible Christmas goodies. Truthfully, if you can send two boxes—one with edibles and one with non-edibles, that’s the best option of all.
     
  • Include a personal note and/or card.
    Handwritten notes and letters mean a great deal, and notes from kids are the very best!

Don’t miss the opportunity to bless our men and women serving in the military during this holiday season.

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