There’s something unifying and fun about the Olympics for me. Even though in recent years some folks have become disillusioned with the Games, I find them inspirational, exciting, and emotional.
The summer John deployed to Afghanistan, the 2012 London Olympics were happening and I took the time to create an Olympics-themed care package to try to bring some of the fun and excitement to him.
While the Olympics are just two weeks every four years, this care package idea can endure no matter the games. Just modify this idea to fit any big sporting event– the World Cup, March Madness, the World Series… You’d just need to find themed products. The rest falls into place!
Content ideas for the Olympics:
- Chariots of Fire
- Cool Runnings
- Caramel Cremes (John’s favorite)
- Peanut M&Ms (to share with his office)
- A mini-basketball game (found at Dollar Tree)
- A ping-pong game that attaches to any surface (found at Barnes and Noble)
- A mini-bowling set
- Special edition magazines about the sporting event (such as Sports Illustrated or TIME Magazine)
- Red, white, and blue stickers
- America-themed stickers and decorations
Celebrate the host country or city
Depending on where the Olympic Games are being held, think about sending some flavor of the area. For example, for the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games, you could send a care package full of items to make sushi. (Believe it or not, there are lots of shelf-stable items that are easily shippable.) You could also send candy sushi, which I did for John. It is stable enough to ship as well. You could also include other Japanese foods (just visit your local international grocery store or the international aisle to get inspired). Of course, if your recipient is in the host country or city, sending American or home foods and gifts might be the best option since they most likely can get authentic food where they are.
Other ideas include sharing interesting facts about the host country or city on the inside decorations, using pictures of the sports venue to decorate, or decorating the box in that country’s colors or with that country’s flags.
Care package considerations before you begin
As with any care package, you want to make sure that you’re adhering to a few specific guidelines.
First, make sure that everything your sending can be sent. You might be tempted to send alcohol to celebrate Team USA wins. Here’s exactly what you need to think about if you’re planning alcohol in your care package. You also want to make sure that any food you’re sending can be safely shipped so it won’t end up moldy, rancid, broken, or otherwise inedible. These tips will keep your food fresh and tasty. And these ideas will make sure your care package items won’t melt. If you want to send sports drinks, make sure that you’re shipping those items so that nothing can break or split in transit. (Better yet, just send powdered water enhancers!) Here’s how to expertly package your care package.
Next, make sure that everything you’re sending is actually needed, useful, or fun for your recipient. If your recipient doesn’t care at all about the Olympics, you might not want to spend the time or money on this care package idea. Make sure that you’re not sending foods that your recipient won’t eat and games or other items that your loved one will just throw away.