Birthday Countdown Box

Today was an awfully hot, miserable day. My classroom was insanely muggy, and the kids, while they weren’t bad, were sluggish and tired. I don’t blame them.

J’s birthday was two weeks ago, and he received his packages, so I can safely post the care package I sent him. I definitely went overboard for J’s birthday, but I have no regrets. It was the summer, I wasn’t working, and it was a lot of fun to construct them.

I sent this package so it got to J a week before his birthday. In it were 7 wrapped presents with instructions on which day to open each package.

This was the rhyme I wrote and glued onto cute scrapbook paper ($5 tablets of  50 pages of cute, coordinated papers are available at Wal-Mart in the craft section). Then I glued it onto each side of the inside of the box.  (I’m rather proud of this rhyme! My English degree’s working for me!)

I tried to find cheap, funny, and useful things for J’s countdown box. Here’s what I ended up with:

A) I bought these stick-on mustaches at Michael’s in the dollar section of the store. It was $2.  The same ones are at the Dollar Tree for $1. And, of course, I couldn’t help a writing a dorky pun.

B) The last present J opened was an Earth, Wind, and Fire “best of” CD that I bought from FYE’s crazy awesome cheap-o bin. Most of the music is from our marching band days, which is pretty awesome. And seriously, how could you be sad listening to EWF?

C) I wrote J a letter on a roll of crepe paper and rerolled it with directions for him to unroll it. I thought it would be annoying in a fun way and make him slow down and enjoy the package instead of rip through everything!

D) Some of the other items I included… a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (but I forgot to include a spoon… whoops!), a removable wall sticker with a fantastic Emerson quote for his barracks wall (found at the Dollar Tree), sour gummy worms with a dorky note (“Bookworms for my bookworm”) and a few magazines, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Creole seasoning and Chicken of the Sea pink salmon packets (if you haven’t seen these, they are fantastic– healthy and ready to eat!), a pocket lint package (J told me he’ll just save it until he comes home… I thought it might be helpful with uniform stuff, but count a swing and a miss on that one for me), and a package of pretzels.

After I filled the box, I had some room, so I blew up balloons and threw colorful pom-poms and little notes to J. If you’re going to do this, make sure you don’t blow up the balloons too much. It’s better if the balloons have a little give for the trip. J said that all but one of the balloons made it intact and that he enjoyed popping them.

The outside of the box was a bit plain Jane, but I wanted to use the packing tape I bought on sale at Michael’s. Check out the packaging aisle where they sell paper bags, tins, plastic containers, and package decorations. I picked up a bunch of graphic packing tape rolls for 99 cents (normally they’re between $2.99-3.99). When I sent this box, the postman smiled (which is rare for him) and said, “Wow! That’s tape? Nifty!” And then he went back to scowling.

Time to watch a bit of the DNC convention and try to stay awake past 9 PM!

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