When it comes to the holidays, it’s the little things that can matter the most. A special note, a photograph, or a child’s drawing can mean the world to a deployed soldier. If you are including a holiday stocking in a care package, here are some stocking stuffer ideas that are useful, meaningful, fun, and inexpensive. These are also great stocking stuffers for anyone who will be deploying soon.
Stocking Stuffer Ideas
A military stocking – If you don’t already have a stocking, surprise your service member with a military Christmas stocking.
A mini-photo album – Document special occasions with family and friends as well as precious everyday moments in a mini-photo album. You can also include scanned pictures of your child’s artwork.
Climate-appropriate accessories – Help your soldier stay comfortable with accessories like sunglasses, hand/feet warmers, gloves, socks, and hats, like this one that is authorized for wear with U.S. military uniforms.
Personal items – Personal items like sunscreen, lip balm, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors, small packs of tissues, and Q-tips are used every day and run out quickly.
Sweets for your sweet – Fill in the empty spaces of the stocking with sweets such as candy canes, mints, gum in blister packs, hard candy, snack-sized boxes of raisins, a cake in a jar, Twizzlers, and cookies.
A little bit of home – A magnet or keychain from a local store, or a mug with your city name can help your soldier show some hometown pride while stationed abroad. You can also include a copy of your town’s newspaper to help him or her stay informed about what’s going on back home.
Personalized Christmas ornament – Express your love and pride and send an ornament personalized with a photo, name, or message. Choose a traditional ornament or one that has a military theme.
Games & puzzles – Help thwart boredom during downtime and include a puzzle book, a deck of cards, hacky sack ball, or travel-sized game in their stocking.
Gift cards – Give them a gift they can choose themselves. Popular gift cards include iTunes, American Express, Visa, Amazon.com, and Best Buy.
Sports team gifts – Any big fan would love to receive a decal, hand towel, notepad, mini-pillow or other small item featuring their favorite team’s logo.
Other military care package and stocking stuffer tips:
- Consider wrapping each gift individually to add to the fun and anticipation.
- Double check to make sure that what you are sending is allowed. Certain countries have restrictions on content.
- Try to avoid sending candy or other foods that may melt or spoil before arriving.
- If you are sending battery-powered items, do not forget to send batteries plus extras.
- Mail early! Give your care package plenty of time to arrive.