Romance is in the air… Well, maybe not quite yet, but if you’re doing a deployed Valentine’s Day, it’s never too early to get those care packages packed and sent. There are lots of ways to celebrate Valentine’s: diving head-first into the mushy-gushy-lovey-dovey matching PJ sets, getting chocolate crazy, or busting out the boudoir photos. Nothing’s wrong with any of those! But sometimes Valentine’s Day can seem so high pressure, that when you’re already doing the hard work of surviving a deployment or LDR, the last thing you need is more stress.
So here’s a suggestion for your Valentine’s Day à la Deployment: make it silly, make it small, and make it sweet. Let your sweet babooknow you love them, but save the high-intensity romantic approach for the next time you’re in the same place. Instead, allow yourself to recognize that a holiday all about being together might feel lonely for your sweetie, too, so keep it low-key and let your love know you care by making them smile. Here are a few ideas to get you started on a great package for your Valentine:
1. Valentina Hot & Extra Hot Sauce: If your sweetie digs hot sauce, send a bottle or two with a tag reading, “Hot sauce for my Hot Stuff!”
2. Wacky Food Faces: Fill out a few of these silly food face Valentines with funny sayings like, “I donut know how I’d live without you!” and “You’ve got a pizza my heart!”
3. Scratch-Off Valentine Jokes: Hmm… This treat may actually cause more groans than laughs, but if your Valentine loves a solid dad joke, this will make their day. Fill out a few, or send the whole box along.
4. Conversation Hearts: If you can’t talk in person, let these classic candies do the talking for you. Necco’s classic hearts won’t melt like chocolate and this one-pound bag ensures you’re sweetie will have plenty to share.
5. I Love You Toilet Paper: It’s hard to hate a poop joke, and you don’t have to with this novelty T.P. that reads, “I love you top to bottom.” Head’s up, though–the price is a little steep for only one roll, so consider sending your cutie’s patootie some real luxury potty paper with a similar message.
6. Magic Color Scratch Hearts: Send your love 24 black hearts that magically turn into a multi-colored masterpieces when scratched, or scratch your own design and send along the extras for a little arts and crafts fun.
7. Sudoku: Nothing says “Love ya!” like expert-level math puzzles. Include a note like, “Do the math: we belong together,” or “I checked the numbers and you + me = love.”
8. Six-Pack of Love: This cute six-pack carrier is an adorable way to tell your honey, “I miss your six-pack.” Instead of shipping beer, try filling the carrier with something your service member needs, like a half dozen socks or undershirts.
9. Fun Food Gifts: If your service member has the food blues, tasty and shelf-stable treats might be a Valentine’s Day hit. Try single-serving cereal with a note like, “You’re my HONEY and I love you BUNCHES!” Include a lunch treat like single-serve mac & cheese, tagged “Our love isn’t cheesy: it’s grate! If your sweetie likes sweets, grab some Swedish Fish and a tag reading, “In the whole sea, you’re the fish for me!” or gummy bears with a note that says, “Life is unBEARable without you.” You can even send some peanut butter powder and a cute note reading, “You butter believe I’m nuts about you!”
10. What I Love About You Fill-In Journal: This gift is a bit more serious, but its small enough to travel back home when your partner’s deployment ends. Use the prompts in the book to say everything you love about your Valentine. If you feel like the miles are taking their toll on you as a couple, try What I Love About Us to highlight why you two are made for each other. (Pro tip: consider taking pictures of all the pages before mailing so you can remind yourself why all this is worth it when the days get hard.)