Silent Night?

I haven’t heard from my adopted Airman yet. That could be for many reasons. Troops are busy—many work 12-16 hr days, 6 or 7 days a week, they go out on extended missions, they may not have access to email, plus they’re already doing so much—you don’t want make them feel they “have” to do more to get support. So there are no expectations or strings attached. If someone is “silent” you keep on supporting them anyway.

That said, I’ve only had very Un-silent troops in the past. When one couldn’t connect, his wife would reach out to me. Some would send long emails or even letters. And one told me more about field-dressing an elk than I ever wanted to know. I’ve been lucky to “meet” some amazing people and develop some lasting friendships. I’ve also realized that it’s a lot easier to make a care package when you have some idea of what someone wants, needs, or is missing. In the absence of that hard intel, and with the Christmas mailing deadlines quickly approaching, I had to make some decisions.

I know from past care packages that candy and silly toys were always a hit. So I figured I’d do that. But I also yearned for a Theme to have some fun with. So, in the loosest possible definition of Theme, I came up with:

Things That Are Red, Things That Are Green

That’s right. And let me tell you I made myself laugh in the aisles as I used that as my shopping guide. Spiderman erasers? Red licorice? Sure. Green ninja pinball and dried wasabi peas? Toss ’em in! Maybe in the randomness of the selection, I’ll hit on something he loves.

Now in case my loose Theme was too subtle, I added red and green tape. My daughter added the holiday emoji stickers because she has a thing for emojis (and texting me loooong messages consisting solely of emojis).

Holiday Care Package with Red and Green theme

As you can see, the Things That Are Red, Things That Are Greeen theme is easy to pull off 🙂

A Quiet Win

I hope that when my Airman opens this box he smiles. I hope he feels a genuine sense of care—that there are people back here rooting for him and that it does not go unnoticed that he is far from friends and family while we gather with ours. And while a smile doesn’t make a sound, it’s possible for it to have a resounding impact.

© Gina left the mall, 2015

11 thoughts on “Silent Night?

  1. Awesome theme, Gina! Red-green is a great idea because as you said, it is so easy to find those things. I WILL be using this idea in the future. THANKS. You are experienced, so you know that if you were laughing in the aisles of the store, your Airman will feel the smiles and laughter when he opens the box. I love the red and green tape too. So much easier (and just as colorful) than gluing on wrapping paper. Plus, Sofia’s emoji’s are a clear directive to smile. This morning you created a ripple of smiles.

      • Perhaps different, Gina, but NOT better. 🙂 There are lots of different ways to make someone smile, and smiling is the bottom line. I figure that even if the troops just shake their heads and wonder if we are crazy, they will be doing it with a smile!

  2. That was a great idea for him! And you know you liked learning about the joys of field dressing and skinning the elk and deer, LOL! It was a fun conversation that day HAHAHAHAHA!

  3. I’d love your Red and Green theme! Who knows, you might have the soldier who has been Jonesing for wasbi peas. I am sure he’ll have a blast going through your box, so many cool things in there.

  4. Our office adopted a service member, and we never heard from him at all during the entire nine months. It was a challenge to think of what to send and what to write… but luckily I found a lot of helpful information on your blog. It is great to hear from you again! Thank you so much for all of the inspiration, on so many levels. 🙂

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