by Rudi Patel
Are you wondering what to put in that care package for your college-aged kids? Moving away from home may present a startling transition, especially if they opted to attend university far away. Send the right care package to help smooth the transition and bring a smile to their faces. Check out these ideas:
Gift Card Tree
It is likely your college kids are strapped for money, so gift cards are a welcome arrival in the mail. Create a gift card tree to various places around campus, the grocery store and even to the movies. An Amazon or iTunes gift card will work if they love to shop for books and music. Some gift card places allow you to personalize the card — a special touch to make your gift memorable.
Photo Album or Frame in a Box
Chances are your college kids are probably missing home, as well as the familiarity of being around family. They may not admit it, but a sentimental gift like a photo album or picture of the family can offer them comfort in their cramped dorm rooms. If there is a pet at home, you can even send a picture of their furry friend. Pack these items in a big box with lots of tissue paper.
Coffee & Tea Care Package
College students tend to drink coffee and tea on those early mornings and late nights of studying. Assemble a package of favorite teas, coffees and a travel mug so they don't have to make a last minute run to the grocery store or coffee shop. If your college students are lucky enough to own a Keurig, send some coffee pods.
Your kids might not have the money to splurge on small luxuries. A specialty gift basket from FTD can offer a few things they won't buy themselves, but would enjoy. There are plenty of options for a variety of gift baskets — cheese and crackers, spa products, cookies or specialty chocolates. Make this a once a quarter or once a semester gift. They'll appreciate the gesture, especially around exams.
Baked Gifts or Snacks from Home
There's nothing like comfort food to make your kids feel at home. Sending snacks, baked bread or treats from home is a perfect way to let your college students know you are thinking about them.
Dorm Room Decor Items
Since college students are trying to figure out their class schedules, managing deadlines and attempting to transition into the "real world," they have little time to spend decorating their dorm rooms or first apartments. Send along a few sentimental pieces from their rooms at home. Include throw pillows, a wall clock or scented air diffusers to add that special touch to their spaces.
Greeting Card Week
Sometimes keeping it simple is the best way to let your loved ones know you are thinking about them. Have each member of the family write a card or letter. Then space out the mailings so that one arrives every day of the week. This is a thoughtful gift that they will treasure for many years.
Taking the plunge to live away from home might present some difficulties, but these care package ideas will help smooth out the anxiety of college life.
Rudri Patel is a former lawyer turned writer and editor, wife, mother and observer. She has written for Brain, Child; Huffington Post; First Day Press; and Mamalode. She is seeking grace in the ordinary.