Sharing holidays with deployed family members


Sharing holidays with deployed family members

by: Kim Suchek | .
. | .
published: October 16, 2013

Hello military community,

Fall is the beginning of the toughest time of the year for service members and their families during deployments. During this time, there are many family holidays that make the separation even harder. These holidays highlight the loneliness and separation for the service member as well as his or her family. That’s where the care package comes in.

Care packages are one of the ways to help keep your service member’s morale up and feel included within the family circle during holidays. And the holidays are a great time to put a special twist on those care packages – starting with Halloween.

It’s not just the holiday that your service member is missing, it’s also all the other things that go along with the fall holiday season – the change of weather and falling leaves, smells of holiday baking and eating special foods, decorations, trick or treating, parties and football games, etc. If your service member is in cooler areas send him or her a new set of sheets and spray them with the scent of pine (or your perfume or cologne).

Make sure you enclose them in a Ziploc bag so the smell remains ONLY on the sheets during delivery and doesn’t spreading to other things like food.  You can also send some candles (it may help with the smells in the area) but again keep in mind the temperatures aren’t still overly warm where he/she is so the candle wax will survive the journey.

A really cool way to give your service member a taste of home is to send a cake in a jar. Most typical cake recipes can be made in a mason jar and baked according to the package directions. If you prefer to bake from scratch, many cakes in jar recipes can be found online. While the jar is still hot, carefully attach the lid, and, as it cools, it will seal the jar. When it arrives overseas, it should be as fresh as it was when it came out of the oven. He or she will enjoy the taste of home.

There’s no reason why service members deployed can’t have candy too. Pick up some plastic treat bags and fill them with their favorite candy. Tie up each bag with orange and black ribbon. Just remember to keep his or her location and the local temperatures in mind when sending chocolate or other items that may melt during transport. And don’t forget to send extra so it can be shared with others.

As Halloween tends to be a holiday for kids to dress up and have fun while trick or treating as well as attending parties and special school events, always have a video camera in hand. Record your child (and friends) dressing up in the costumes and have them tell mom or dad why they picked the costumes and where they’re going and who with. If your child is small, follow them to a couple houses and record them ringing the doorbell and saying “trick or treat” for candy. Not only will this lift their spirits but you’ll have a recorded great memory to replay as well.

This holiday is the perfect time to send DVDs overseas for a horror movie marathon along with the candy and popcorn. Make sure to send extra cause (who wants to watch them alone). There is no reason your service member has to be excluded from the festivities back home simply because he or she isn’t there.

Through care packages, email and video you can still include them in Halloween as well as other upcoming holidays and personal events. Remember be creative and have fun with the packages, get the kids involved and it will be memorable and fun for everyone.

As always, make sure when sending a holiday package (or any other) allow ample time for the package to arrive by the holiday. Packages overseas are NEVER guaranteed to arrive within a timeframe.

Do you have a great idea for holiday care packages? Write me and I will share it with everyone.

Blessings from my family to yours,

Kim Suchek

If you have any questions or concerns or would like to share a story or situation, contact me at and visit my website at for updated information and other resources not listed in my book.

Related Content: No related content is available