Beer Nuts Save Christmas. Sort of.

I received this card from a Marine on Nov.15th. He wrote, “I know this is early but I wanted to make sure I was the first holiday card.” I laughed, thinking I had all the time in the world to get my Christmas care packages out. Of course, I was wrong.

X-mas card from Afghanistan

Christmas is December 3rd

First of all, the deadline the U.S. Post Office set for sending packages to certain deployed areas is December 3rd for delivery by Christmas. So I really had about two weeks to get my act together. No problem. As long as everything goes according to plan at work and home I should be okay.

What are the chances I’ll have to work late or that a birthday sleepover party for my daughter would take more time than I thought? Sure I was going away for Thanksgiving for the first time, which meant I was down to one week…but this is still doable.

I just have to come up with something creative, warm, sweet, and simple for 3 Soldiers and 1 Marine who are all currently in the Middle East. (All four are troops that I supported on their last tour.) Then pack the boxes and get them to the Post Office via public transpiration during that magic window of ‘before they close” and “still enough time to get home for the sitter.”

You know how some people are re-gifters? No judgment, but I’m not. It’s just not my (admittedly time-saving) habit. If you come up with a gift idea right away, all is well. As you may have guessed, I was drawing a blank. As a bonus, work and home did not cooperate. I realized that while I’d make the deadline for three troops, for one Soldier, I would not. I knew his family would make sure he’d have something to open. But I would miss Christmas for him and I felt terrible.

An option would be just to send it late. A better option would be to turn back time and begin sooner. Every year I promise myself to start earlier and I don’t. In fairness, every year I also promise myself to start a serious exercise regime after the New Year and that doesn’t happen either. So I should know better than to believe me.

Beer Nuts save the day

The one Soldier I failed was on my mind when I happened to be food shopping. Then suddenly a light bulb went off in my head. This light bulb was shaped like the package of Beer Nuts on the shelf in front of me. “BEER” as in alcohol which made me think of New Year’s Eve.

This Soldier is very sociable, a “life of the party” kind of guy. What if I sent him a New Year’s Eve Party in a box? Of course, I can’t send real alcohol. However, along with beer nuts, I can send “Happy 2014” eyeglasses, beads, party favors, chips, dip, glow sticks bracelets and lanterns. I could also send him coffee for the next morning that was Baily’s flavored and so on. You get the idea.

Yes I was too late for Christmas, but I’d be right on time to help him ring in a shiny New Year full of promise, hope, and fresh chances to do things better.

© Gina left the mall, 2013

24 thoughts on “Beer Nuts Save Christmas. Sort of.

    • Hi Kelly, my name is Kyndal. I am a big fan and a big supporter and prayer warrior of the brave men and women in uniform. I saw that your husband is in the Navy, I hope you won’t mind if I ask you this, if it’s ok with you, can I ask you what your husbands name is? I have a note book that I call my soldier prayer book and when I get a new soldier or a new Marine or a new Airman or a sailor to support and pray for, I love to write their name down, and I love to pray over them everyday!! I would like to put your husband on my prayer list.

  1. Gina, the deadline to send stuff just comes up way too soon….I am now busily making Christmas ornaments for some soldiers with popsicle sticks…you know the ole Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer triangle and red pompom and some snowmen out of little wood spoons to eat cup of ice cream with…I’m trying to keep the cost down as you can tell and I need to get them in the mail soon! Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one with a time crunch…it’s the thought that counts….let us know what he thinks of his party in a package!

    • Paula, I’ve been there when I’ve attempted “crafty” gifts. I find myself struggling with a deadline and glue at 2:00 a.m. thinking, “who came up with this plan?!?” Then I remember that it was ME…lol. And I hear you on the costs. I’m always trying to think of creative ways to save. Good luck finishing your project, it sounds really cute and I know that it will be greatly appreciated! And yes, I’ll let you all know how the “party” turns out.

    • Hi Paula, my name is Kyndal. I am a big fan and a big supporter and prayer warrior of the troops!!! Hey Paula, can I ask you something. If you get to see some soldiers sometime, will you tell them that I say “Thank You” to them for their wonderful service to our country, and that they have my total support and my prayers. Thanks Paula.

  2. Gina, sometime chance presents us with a solution when all our thinking and deliberating fails. A package of Beer Nuts suddenly appeared to save the day. I can just see his face brightening up like that light bulb that went off in your head.

  3. Gina, you kind and amazing woman, a little perspective is needed here. Your New Years package is a fabulous idea! A celebration care package when your soldier least expects it will make it extra special. Holidays are just numbers on the calendar. It is never too late or too early to show someone you care! I am positive that it isn’t a package on the 25th that means the most to your troops. It is the fact that they know, without a doubt, that they are in your thoughts all 365 days of the year. You taught me that what our military heroes need is to know we appreciate them and they are not forgotten. Your troops know.

    • Wendy, thank you for the very kind perspective check. You are very right when you say, “it is never too late or too early to show someone you care.” I just get frustrated sometimes because what I WANT to do and what I CAN do, don’t always match. Then add on my calendar-challenged planning skills…lol. But yes, in my heart, I know he will be happy to hear his name at mail call and that’s a “win” any time!

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