In case you missed yesterday‘s Christmas care package post, you should know that Christmas and Hanukkah simultaneously exploded in my apartment during the marathon few days I spent creating Jonathan’s care package. Partially because I was overcompensating for sending him emails filled with possible gift ideas, most of which were cat sweaters.
Lessons learned: If your deployed soldier does not find cat sweaters adorable and funny while he is stateside, he also will not find cat sweaters adorable or funny while he is deployed.
Although this care package (like all my previous ones) was concentrated in baked goods, I also wanted to find a way to send some Christmas spirit to Afghanistan without also sending diabetes. To do so, I enlisted the help of Jonathan’s nieces and nephews (and of course his sister and sisters-in-law) to send his family directly to him for the holidays.
As much as I’d like to pretend I came up with this myself, I found the idea on Spoonful. But since Spoonful is apparently operated by Disney, and I’ve spent a huge amount of my parents’ and my money supporting Disney for the past 25 years, I’ll go ahead and take a little of that credit back.
The great thing about this project was that it gracefully walked the line between sentimental and entirely-too-cheesy without falling overboard. And also, through the modern magic of smartphone cameras and computers, I was able to include postcards from Jonathan’s nephews who are as far away as Georgia. The kids all drew pictures or Christmas cards for Uncle Jay, and their moms were kind enough to forward them along to me. The Spoonful directions include dimensions and instructions to give the employees at Kinkos when you hand the next part of the project over to a paper-copying professional, but I’m not even sure where there is a Kinkos near me, and working for a magazine has made me really great at paper things (and nursing paper cuts), so I decided to go full-on DIY. Once the pictures were scanned or downloaded, I popped them into a word processor so I could force them all into a uniform size.
Another reason I liked this project was because it incorporated all the craft skills I learned in kindergarten, except I’m way better at them now.
Easy as pie. Except that making pie is actually much more difficult than gluing paper to cardboard. And much messier, too.
So now that the sweet stuff and the sentimental stuff is covered, stay tuned for the final four gifts. None of which are cat sweaters. (Spoiler alert. Sorry.)