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retiredHSmom

care packages - am I the odd one here?

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I have a sophomore and a junior both in college far enough away that we don't see them except for 4 or more day breaks.

 

I send them an occasional care package. A pack of treats at Halloween, brownies at finals, a pack of treats at Valentine's Day.  And if they mention wanting or needing something in between I may send it as a gift maybe once a semester.

 

My middle daughter (the junior) spent 8 weeks this summer doing research in another state.  When she mentioned the inferiority of instant coffee I sent her a small coffee pot as a gift.

 

She recently told me that the other kids on the research project received frequent care packages from home containing food and candy.  I was really surprised, they were only there eight weeks.  They were being paid!

 

When I asked she told me that her friends at school get frequent boxes of food too.  It never even occurred to me.  I mean I paid for their meal plans and provide both girls with $140 each month in allowance.  I figure that they can go and buy oreos if they want them.  When they come home I usually take them shopping and buy them several bags of food that they take back to school and keep in their room for snack.

 

Am I odd for not sending frequent care packages?  Do you?

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My parents send me zero care packages when I was in college. 

 

I send my daughter stuff at least once a month. I also put a lot of stuff on amazon subscribe and save that is sent to her. 

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We sent our daughter care packages two or three times each semester while she was away at school. Usually, they were small and filled with silly stuff: an iTunes card, a book or magazine I thought she'd like, a pair of cute socks, pictures of the pets, some home-made cookies, etc. I often sent them around holidays for which she wouldn't be home. And we always sent something in time for finals.

 

She did not have a car, and there was no real grocery story within walking distance of her campus. In theory, the college ran shuttles for shopping, but they mostly ran to Wal-Mart, which wasn't helpful for my vegan kid. Sometimes, she could coordinate with another student or two who also wanted to go to the more upscale store, and they could arrange for a ride or a special shuttle stop, but they timing didn't always work out. And so, usually, about once a semester, she'd run out of certain food-type staples that were difficult for her to get hold of locally, like her preferred brand of shelf-stable Indian meals, Some things, I could order through Amazon and have delivered directly to her, but for other items it worked out better to purchase things locally and stuff two or three flat-rate shipping boxes and send those off to her. Even for those practical packages, we tried to always include some small, personal, fun item.

 

Apparently, there were lots of other students who didn't get packages nearly as often or who got only the generic, pre-packed ones parents can order through the university. My daughter told me receiving those packages made her feel happy and loved . . . and she made lots of friends who were eager to help her consume those home-made cookies.

 

 

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I had always planned to send really nice care packages, but the difficulty of getting packages to my son (he has to pick them up from the central mail room which isn't always open at convenient times for him) brought me down to reality.  I think care packages have gone the route of goodie bags at birthday parties (which morphed from a bag with a couple of fun doo-dads from a 5-n-dime to these overblown productions.)  I send something nice and fun for his birthday and we make sure to take him shopping and out to eat when we visit him.  He hasn't let on that it was a problem. 

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I never got a care package when I went away to school.  Would have been awfully nice though!

 

My parents were just not into any of that.

 

 

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I send packages about once a month.  Sometimes it's because they forgot something, so I mail it and throw in some homemade cookies.  Sometimes one of the younger sibs wants to bake something for them.  Sometimes it's because I know they are having midterms and feeling stressed.  My packages aren't elaborate --usually just some cookies in a box!  The guy at the post office knows me by now and always says there's a new regulation and he has to taste them.... :)

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I've never sent one to my sophomore.  He comes home every few weeks so he gets what he wants then. (I did send him, freshman yr., a memory foam bed top which he LOVES - does that count? LOL)

 

Yup, I'm with you - they are on the meal plan AND they have some spending money. 

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Sounds like a love language thing to me.  Some people get great comfort out of giving or receiving special little packages - nothing elaborate but gifts that are especially for them.  Some people just don't really care about that.  

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Sounds like a love language thing to me.  Some people get great comfort out of giving or receiving special little packages - nothing elaborate but gifts that are especially for them.  Some people just don't really care about that. 

 

You know I hadn't thought of that even though I have read the book.  Neither of my girls seems particularly concerned about my minimal car package mailing skills so I guess I am safe.

 

After reading responses here, a few time a semester (which is what I manage) or monthly seem to be the two most common answers.

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I just sent a care package to my sister. She's in grad school full time and due to her research had to

quit her job. I k ow she is subsisting on very little. Cashews, pecans, almonds, dark chocolate, gluten

free pasta, dried pears and apples, gas card, fun autumn scarf, and cash. I think I win the good sister

award this week.

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 I keep getting advertisements from some company wanting to mail goody-packages for me. Really? I think it added up to $30 a box for snickers and oreos. I told Walt to think of his mama when he went to the vending machine instead!

 He's not far from home, though. I plan on taking him some special treats occasionally--stuff like fancy chocolates and foo-foo coffee mixes that he likes.

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I sent some to #1 dd in undergrad. I sent her more when she was living in VA and MI as she was not in a great place.

 

I sent a HUGE number to #2 at USNA--and they had to be big enough to share with the entire company! Two double pans of brownies will just fit a medium flat rate box. In the middle of her time at Navy, they got a new Supe who decided that ALL meals would be mandatory--only he didn't let the kitchen know. They went from about 3500 Mids eating to 4200 three times a day, with 12 hours notice. The Mids got with moldy hamburger buns with gravy on them for at least a week. The parents rallied and started sending hundreds of packages a day. Moms would drive up to the gate, with the back end of their cars full and holler, "Are you hungry? Come over!" and load up anyone walking by. This went on for weeks. I remember dd's excitement when she did an exchange to AFA--she called and screeched, "They have FRUIT! I haven't seen FRUIT for 2.5 years! And we can TAKE a piece with us!"

 

I don't send as much stuff to dd#3 as we've been seeing her once a month for doctor's visits. I did send her a big box last week, of more kitchen stuff.

 

I write my girls every night--have for many years...

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I write my girls every night--have for many years...

Do you email or write with a pen on paper? I wrote to husband every night every time he deployed from our engagement to his last deployemnt ( I emailed for that one and I wish I had written) we have a book box full of the letters. Even I love reading them again they are quite a time capsule.

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My kids will probably be SOL when they go away to school. I am the world's crappiest military wife and only send one, maybe two care packages when DH is deployed. I don't imagine the kids will fare much better. :)

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We sent occasional packages with things like:

 

items inadvertantly left at home, bag clips (we neglected to provide those with the grocery bag full of goodies from Trader Joes that we left at the dorm), a package of stickers of the college's mascot, some humorous comic strips/articles, dollar bills that we received that we registered at Where's George? so that my daughter could add her location to the list, and Command brand picture hanging widgets.  And chocolate!  (One must always send something chocolate.)

 

Regards,

Kareni

 

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Do you email or write with a pen on paper? I wrote to husband every night every time he deployed from our engagement to his last deployemnt ( I emailed for that one and I wish I had written) we have a book box full of the letters. Even I love reading them again they are quite a time capsule.

 

 

Pen & paper! When dd was a Plebe, I wrote in colored ink--she was so starved for any kind of color in her life. I write in a card every few days--it's kind of a tradition now--the kids get me cards for birthday and then I send the cards to them! I don't know about deployment letters as she was so short on space, but I do know that Navy girl kept every single letter I sent at USNA and flight school. I get little devotionals from church and rip out a page and send that every night too. I still write in colored ink, just for fun. I challenge myself to see if I can memorize a new address in one day--a trick with ship's addresses. They aren't exciting letters, a lot like the ones my mom used to send me--the dog misses you, it snowed, little sis has a dentist appointment and what we had for dinner. Especially the ones to Navy girl were/are full of quotes--she's fond of Churchill. Before she headed to Plebe Summer, all the family and friends wrote cards and I'd send them every few days. We'd printed photos and they wrote on the back of them. If they had writing on them, they couldn't be confiscated by the detailers.  

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I keep getting advertisements from some company wanting to mail goody-packages for me. Really? I think it added up to $30 a box for snickers and oreos. I told Walt to think of his mama when he went to the vending machine instead!

 He's not far from home, though. I plan on taking him some special treats occasionally--stuff like fancy chocolates and foo-foo coffee mixes that he likes.

We get these all the time too. They're annoying. They always try to make you feel like you will be the only parent not sending your offspring something and they'll feel so left out... The first time I got one I contemplated it due to that, then figured I'd send something myself instead. According to my guys, not many get them... it's all advertising. Surprise, surprise.

 

We don't send many boxes (do send occasional stuff either letters or a box pending what we want to send). My love language is not gift giving, but we figure a surprise every now and then is fun for anyone. What goes in them varies. Generally we have to send potato chips as we live in the world where various brands are made and my guys can't get them where they are. Many hallmates love these brands too (Herrs for regular and sour cream, Utz for tortilla and pretzels), so one bag doesn't go far. For middle son, white board markers are common too. With his classes and study groups, they go through those quickly. Then Lindt truffles...

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I sent some to #1 dd in undergrad. I sent her more when she was living in VA and MI as she was not in a great place.

 

I sent a HUGE number to #2 at USNA--and they had to be big enough to share with the entire company! Two double pans of brownies will just fit a medium flat rate box. In the middle of her time at Navy, they got a new Supe who decided that ALL meals would be mandatory--only he didn't let the kitchen know. They went from about 3500 Mids eating to 4200 three times a day, with 12 hours notice. The Mids got with moldy hamburger buns with gravy on them for at least a week. The parents rallied and started sending hundreds of packages a day. Moms would drive up to the gate, with the back end of their cars full and holler, "Are you hungry? Come over!" and load up anyone walking by. This went on for weeks. I remember dd's excitement when she did an exchange to AFA--she called and screeched, "They have FRUIT! I haven't seen FRUIT for 2.5 years! And we can TAKE a piece with us!"

 

I don't send as much stuff to dd#3 as we've been seeing her once a month for doctor's visits. I did send her a big box last week, of more kitchen stuff.

 

I write my girls every night--have for many years...

Yikes what a mess with King Hall. That wasn't the norm when I was there, but then we ate every lunch and most ate dinner. It was hard to skip because we all marched to tables after formation. We also had big steam kettles of fruit, though not as much as I wished. It seemed that meals were good when I was there a couple years ago, but it was summer so their might have been more options. I was amazed to see salad bars.

 

I got several care packages a semester (and gifts is definitely my moms love language). I also got a couple dozen cookies a month that were made and delivered by a local church as a fund raiser. Parents could sign up parents weekend. That was great. And prevented the care package tragedy of having it misdelivered to the wrong company. I had one go astray and of course it got stuck in a company notorious for a couple flamers. No way I was going there to get it.

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My son is too far away to come home on a regular basis (he stays on campus for fall break, for example) so I am inclined to send him care packages.  Admittedly they are fewer in number as the years go by.

 

He has asked for the occasional book from his shelf or one of ours.  I send homemade cookies or popcorn treats from a place that has weird flavors like Buffalo or cherry/chocolate.  I mail him a birthday cake (cocoa bundt without frosting).  Occasionally I send him something goofy (stapler that looks like a piece of sushi) or a pair of handkniited socks.  He received more snack foods when he was in a first year dorm where few students had cars.  He is now in a suite where several students have vehicles so it is easier for him to do the occasional grocery run.  I also think that he has figured out where he can buy certain items on or near campus.  Things were not so clear in the beginning.

 

I don't enjoy shopping and I usually don't buy a lot of presents.  I do like to bake though.  If he were coming home monthly, I would probably be sending him off with a package of cookies and scones--which is really no different than what I place in his care package. 

 

 

 

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I have sent a care package or two or three -- over the last six years! I try to put together a package for Valentine's Day, but I often fail even to do that!

 

I send them the "stuff" that accumulates for them, and I try to put in a quick note into the package when I do, but that's it.

 

I like the suggestion that sending care packages is a love language thing -- it's certainly not something I do!

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When I was young Navy officer, my boyfriend's parents used to send me a lot of notes. They often slipped in a comic strip or article they thought I'd like. I enjoyed that especially when the mail came in the middle of a busy or stressful day.

Of course that was pre email. But I'm not sure a link has the same feel.

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I send them.  They are definately part of my family's tradition.  My father is STILL talking about the brownies his sister sent him in college.  I also write or email pretty much daily.  I don't expect to have that be two-way.  It is just in case they've had a bad day and to keep them abreast of what is going on at home.  Haven't managed to get that established with youngest at uni yet, but we certainly did when he was away other places.  I know he is really enjoying the food at commons so I thought perhaps he didn't need cookies but apparently I was wrong about that lol...

 

Nan

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I send clippings from the local paper once a week (we only have a weekly paper). My mom used to send me the Peanuts comic.

 

The cookies at Navy are still a tradition--the Baptist Student Union does them--they're expensive, but it's a fundraiser for them, too. They certainly fed my Mid enough over the years... We used to make a donation to the Chapel--the Plebes ALL went to church (well, not all, but a lot!) because the upperclassmen could NOT yell at them there and they fed them DONUTS!I think one of the chaplains is the reason dd made it through Plebe Summer. BSU had special finals week packages and we always sent them. We figured we weren't helping with tuition or room & board, so we could help out. We also used to send care packages to the chaplains and they'd hand them out to any Mid who wasn't getting mail. The parents' list periodically sends out a request for them. I can't imagine being a Mid who never got mail or a package, but there definitely are some...

 

I continued sending packages when dd was deployed--I always sent enough for her fellow aviators and then I'd send another package for her maintenance guys. I figure that these young sailors are keeping her helo up in the air--the least I can do is send some bags of Jolly Ranchers!

 

One of the things I always send my college kids is stuff to dye eggs. They make them now that are Q-tips with the dye right on them. The kids always had access to hard-boiled eggs and it was a lot of fun. Advent calendars are a big hit. And I sent a bunch of stuff to decorate for Christmas. The girls used to decorate their doors in the dorm. On board ship, the various squadrons would have a door-decorating contest. I'll send Christmas lights to Laramie this year.

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I suppose I have been negligent about sending care packages to my kids. I've only sent a few, even to my DS at the Naval Academy. He said he has everything he could possibly want, and the food is plentiful. He actually gained weight during plebe summer. I did sign up with the church for the monthly cookie delivery. He recently requested that I send him one of his books, so I'm preparing a package now. Thanks everyone for some good ideas!

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I wanted to, and I had planned to. This is my dd's freshman year.  But she said she doesn't check her mail box, plus we text at least a dozen times a day, and she has a trip planned home every three weeks.  There's not really much I could possibly send her.

 

Maybe next year?

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I wanted to, and I had planned to. This is my dd's freshman year.  But she said she doesn't check her mail box, plus we text at least a dozen times a day, and she has a trip planned home every three weeks.  There's not really much I could possibly send her.

 

Maybe next year?

 

Gracious, that makes me feel old! :) When I was in college (granted, well before texting...and probably only slightly after Pony Express...), going to the mailbox was the high point of my day. Even a pizza coupon or a flyer for movie night was exciting. 

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When I was at college, no one sent/received care packages that I knew of. Even as a child away at camp, I don't remember anyone receiving any, although we often received hand-written letters (at camp and at college). I feel like this generation is more into giving things than the generation before, but maybe that's because it's easier and more affordable to do so.

 

When my son was living/going to school in NYC, I'd send him care packages about once/month -- sometimes more -- because he was really short on money (he was supporting himself for the most part) and stressed. He lived alone in a room the size of a closet in a German men's boarding house and it seemed like a lonely life! I sent him little cheap seasonal decorations to decorate his room, homemade cookies, instant meals that you just need to "cook" with hot water, because he had a hot-pot, photos from home, things like that. I know it cheered up his days! My daughter who goes to college in our home state (but 3 hours away) is living with an aunt and uncle and I don't send her care-packages. She gets plenty of care where she's at! We keep in touch a lot and see her about once/month. For my daughter who lives in Central America, I do not send care packages because she doesn't have a mailbox or an address. For my daughter who lived in England all last year, I did send her a little package a few times during the year, but I sent her a hand-written letter every week. It meant a lot to her to get a letter from home in her little mailbox weekly.

 

I meant to add that for my daughter who is going to school in our home state, her school sends out forms to parents every year at finals' time to offer professionally-made care packages that the parents can buy for their student. They push you to buy the most expensive one, and tell you that nearly all the students get one and do you want your student to be the one without? It really drives me nuts that they do that, plus all the stuff they send is pure junk. I don't buy them and my daughter wouldn't want one anyway. :)

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When ER was in college, I sent him care packages from time to time.  He always LOVED it.  I would send cookies, popcorn, root beer...you know--junk food! I would sometimes send mints, fast food gift cards, $20 or so, gum, pencils/pens... the same kinds of things we always put in his Christmas stocking or Easter basket.  I will continue the tradition with EK.  So far, I've sent her a couple of packages--one had a necessary cable for her computer and a package of hot cocoa mix.  Another had her forgotten-at-home calculator and some other goodies that I can't remember.  On Monday, I'll be mailing a package with a box of her favorite tea, a just-for-fun picture book, and her favorite cookies.  She has already told me what  thrill it is to get an email from the school post office notifying her that she has a package.  :)  

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My girls are both at a school that is just 4 hours away. They come home 1x/month. I tried sending food back with my oldest, but she never ended up eating it. I do send a lot of food back with my middle dd. I don't send care packages.

 

My middle dd (the freshman) facetimes with us 3-4x/week. My oldest (the junior) calls or video chats maybe 2-3x/week, but always at least 1x/week.

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DS21 got plenty of care packages his freshman year - he had little free time and had a tough time keeping his weight up.  Beginning his sophomore year, his wonderful girlfriend has taken over the care package job, so I mostly just load up his backpack with candy when he goes back to school. He says he feeds most of it to starving freshman, lol.

 

DD19 got lots of packages last year when she was in the dorms.  Her schedule was brutal and even getting time to eat was touch.  I will certainly send her something for Halloween here soon as it is a good excuse to send strange candy (gummy teeth and garbage pail gum)

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. Generally we have to send potato chips as we live in the world where various brands are made and my guys can't get them where they are. Many hallmates love these brands too (Herrs for regular and sour cream, Utz for tortilla and pretzels), so one bag doesn't go far.

 

 I just had Herrs chips for the first time--the honey barbeque. They're now my favorite. Wegmans sells them and Utz here, so Rochester may have them.

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 I just had Herrs chips for the first time--the honey barbeque. They're now my favorite. Wegmans sells them and Utz here, so Rochester may have them.

They go to Wegmans reasonably often, so I'll have to let him know!  One of the students on his hall freshmen year was talking about ordering them (Herrs Sour Cream especially) from the company by the case.  I don't know if he ever did or not, but that sure seemed extreme to me.

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