I’m sure you have a long list of people you would love to give gifts to for Christmas.
Or maybe you only have one or two.
But I think all of us have friends and family who live far from us and we likely don’t see them often and maybe not ever at Christmas due to distance. These are the people who we choose to send something to regardless of need, just because we love them and want them to know we’re thinking of them. For these people, I have developed *Christmas in a Box*. This is a way of sending a gift early(to beat the mailing deadlines) that encompasses the entire season of Christmas and all its seasonal glory.
First, start accumulating items for your box. Don’t think expensive or overly valuable, but think personal, expressive and unique to your area(especially for those who live in another country, state or province).
Here are some examples:
- a puzzle(for the ones who partake in this yearly tradition I try to splurge a bit more than the average $3 Walmart special~bookstores often have very unique and beautiful puzzles)
- an assortment of seasonal drink mixes: Christmas tea, Christmas morning coffee, hot cocoa mix, apple cider mix
- your recipient’s favorite chocolate/candy or something locally made by you or someone else: fudge, After Eights, brittle, etc
- something cozy: a warm throw blanket(a Christmasy theme), slippers, scarf or mitts….something soft and beautiful that your recipient likely wouldn’t buy for themselves
- a deck of cards with your province/city’s logo/emblem or some other defining feature
- a box of Christmas cards, or make your own..just a few for someone who might not have bought their own
- a couple of fun Christmas tree ornaments, or homemade ones
- a book or movie for the Christmas season: The Christmas Shoes, Nativity, Elf….
- an advent devotional
- a box of mini Christmas lights
- a jar of homemade jam or locally produced syrup(Saskatoon syrup from Saskatchewan is nice! or Maple Syrup..)
- recycle some of your favorite books from the past year and wrap them up too
- a calendar for the new year~one you made is great but one from local scenes is always nice too
- hard candy and candy canes tossed into the box randomly
You could go on and on and on….
The idea here is to give someone a festive surprise EARLY in the season. And by early I mean sending this so it arrives by December 1. Think of your grandparents, aging parents, aunts or uncles, friends in far off lands, kids at college…..there are many people who would love a little love in a box from you. It shows you care. It shows you’re thinking of them. And it’s all items that when they use them throughout the month of December they will think of you and know that they are loved.
Finally, the wrapping: Don’t just throw it all in a box. Take care to wrap each item in tissue, tucking everything neatly into a box and presenting it in such a way that when opened, it will be a feast for the senses. I once sent a box to my mom and instead of packing peanuts and scrunched paper I used pine cones from under our evergreen. It was the PERFECT packing filler and the scent was like northern Alberta forests. (not so sure I could get away with sending that across the international border into the US though).
Once everything is neatly tucked into the box, tape it well so nothing shifts or opens and then wrap with wrapping paper. You can use regular wrapping paper as long as you completely cover it with clear packing tape OR I like IKEA’s brown/red kraft paper at Christmas which is very festive and durable~perfect for wrapping mailing packages. The other option is to wrap in brown kraft paper and stick on cut outs from Christmas wrap or old Christmas cards. Whatever you do, make it pretty; make it festive.
And there you have it: Christmas in a Box.