The biggest question we had was what size of box would we each need. Obviously it depends on how many items you're including. For everything we put in, one shoe box was not sufficient in size. I would say we needed more like 2 shoe boxes stacked on top of each other. But then again, we are all moms who are either dealing with our first child leaving the nest, or dealing with empty nest syndrome, so no matter how you look at it, we are a wreck and missing our babies something fierce. We would have packed ourselves up if it weren't for the fact we'd have to be weighed to find out the shipping fee.
Ok, so we lined the boxes up assemby-line style and then we each got in line with our items and as we walked by a box we'd drop in one or two of whatever we brought. For example, one of the things I brought was pumpkin scented lip balm for the girls, and chapstick for the guys. Here are some of the other things people brought:
There was everything from knit gloves, to cocoa mix, to chip clips and gum. There was also a "Thinking of You" card included in each box that was signed by all the moms.
Some things that really stood out to me and made me and my lip balm feel pretty inferior in comparison, was this packet that included a note to each student. I do love the "Don't forget to call your mom" part at the end. That was a nice touch!
One mom made scotcharoos and put each one in a single serving size container that can later be reused to heat up noodles, soup or whatever they choose. How great is that?
There is one mom who makes her own cards (something I will never be creative enough to do!). She made each student a packet with 2 note cards with matching envelopes and 2 stamps. I was super impressed! She even made sure the guys had cards with something less feminine on them than flowers.
Ok, I'm sure you're thinking What's so creative or unique about cough drops. Well, honestly, nothing. But what I loved about this gift was that the mom is a nurse who is always thinking of the kids' health. See the note she wrote on each bag? Cute huh?
Another mom gave each student a page of stickers to decorate a mini pumpkin with. I am so clueless that I didn't even think of MINI pumpkins. I originally thought of giving Ashley a pumpkin to put in her room, but thought it would take up too much valuable space. Uh hellooooo, earth to Dena. There's a great new invention in the past 100 yrs...MINI PUMPKINS! *I'm sitting here shaking my head at myself*
And yet, another mom really put me to shame. She took foam can wrappers and put a plastic cup inside each one. Then she added a goodie bag filled with halloween candy. Yet another time in the evening when I bonked myself upside the head and thought "Why didn't I think of that?"
I did add to my girls' boxes after I got home. I had decorative halloween bags that I added some halloween candies and silly things like chattering teeth and wiggle worms to. I also added a cd of fun halloween songs (think "Purple People Eater" and "Monster Mash"). The only other thing I added was 2 individually wrapped baked potatoes to Ashley's box. Ashley LOVES a baked potato with cheese on top, so I know she'll be excited to make those in her microwave.
There you have it. Nothing fancy, and nothing expensive. As a matter of fact, we all joked that it will probably cost more to mail these boxes than it did to fill them. LOL It's just a fun surprise that will let them know we are all thinking of them and missing them and that we love them very much. Ok, now that got me all misty eyed again, so I'm off to grab a tissue.