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How often do you send "care packages"?

joszacemjoszacem Posts: 196Registered User Junior Member
edited July 2012 in Parents Forum
S1 is a rising senior (college) and my wife sends him care packages about once every other week (he is in Ca and we in the Midwest). I have calculated that she has spent almost $1000 on usps priority shipping alone in the past 3 years. S has worked a research fellowship every summer so we only see him for 3-4 weeks in August/September and over Christmas break. My wife occasionally mentions that it seems S doesn't appreciate it (i think he does just doesn't say it). I told her to stop sending them if she feels that way. But I know she won't, I think it makes her feel a little closer to him to take the time to assemble the items and pack and ship them (she often shows me how much she can pack into one small usps box).

Is my wife the only one that does this or is it a common practice?

(I have a feeling it tapers off after first few months in college.)
Post edited by joszacem on
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Replies to: How often do you send "care packages"?

  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Posts: 16,252Registered User Senior Member
    I send one a trimester, so that's three over the school year. Every other week sounds a little much, especially if he's not appreciative. But he's probably not as appreciative because they're so common at this point.
  • lotsofquestslotsofquests Posts: 614Registered User Member
    I have only sent a few in the 2 years that my son has been away but he has come home 3 or 4 times each year. He just doesn't need more stuff or more junk food. Even though he seems very appreciative, I have noticed that he usually has leftovers at the end of the semester. I guess that he is not very good about sharing!
  • heyalbheyalb Posts: 956Registered User Member
    I have twins who are rising seniors (college). I've never sent them care packages, and last I checked, we still all love each other. :)

    I'm not saying my kids wouldn't like it --- I'm sure they would. But the obvious things to put in there would be junk food, and I don't like to encourage that. What else? Money? I'm paying for their college educations; 'nuff said.

    That leaves non-food tchotchkes. Waste of money, and they don't have the space in their tiny college apartments for more junk.

    I think care packages are okay to send, but why send them frequently? Once a year is enough. After that, appreciation plummets geometrically.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 26,028Registered User Senior Member
    I wouldn't want random junk sent to me, so why would my kids? They live in small spaces. I have a friend who sent my twins a whole Dr. Seuss "Thing 1 and Thing 2" bunch of stuff (because they are twins) - mugs, keychains, pads of paper, etc. It was a kind thought, but what are they going to do with this crap?

    The things I have sent are generally consumables (whether food or a personal toiletry item). They just don't need stuff.
  • joszacemjoszacem Posts: 196Registered User Junior Member
    Most of what wife sends are consumables, but very little junk food (beef jerky is only thing i would classify as junk food), S1 won't eat it (a type I diabetic that watches his diet closely). But no doubt some of what she sends takes up room that he doesn't have (although he has a single room this summer and next year). She also sends stuff like contact solution, gift cards ( Panda Express, Subway, ...) (usually only one of these per month or so (which I undestand as they have to fend for themselves for food on weekends and in summer)), tooth paste (???? don't know why), ..... I think in the end after having been there to send him to school every morning and being there when he got home every evening she has found her way to keep that feeling. :)
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 32,981Registered User Senior Member
    I don't send random stuff but kids might not agree.
    Around finals I sent stuff they like to have when studying. Chewing gum, protein bars, chocolate. I will order things to be sent to them, I sent older D an automatic tea kettle when I noticed she was still using the same (drippy) plastic one she had as a freshmen over ten years ago, and after a big rainstorm, knowing that younger D has to ride her bike to work I sent her an extra pair of my rain pants.
    But every other week sounds like a hobby, and an expensive not very fulfilling one at that.
    With an Amazon Prime acct you can send packages as often as you want for about $70 a year.
  • Youdon'tsayYoudon'tsay Posts: 16,252Registered User Senior Member
    I send random themed junk. In the fall, for instance, I sent a string of paper skeletons, which ds and roommate really appreciated and decorated their dorm room door. They loved it. Just little junk like that. I think it's fun. I usually send some kind of healthy food and junk food to share with the floor, which is big at his school. I also send copies of sports sections that I think he might like, or the Sunday comics. Just a bunch of silly stuff.
  • saintfansaintfan Posts: 3,668Registered User Senior Member
    Fun, Youdon'tsay. I would love to get that kind of thoughtful care packages. My mom sent similar such stuff a million years ago when I was an exchange student.
  • ready2010ready2010 Posts: 251Registered User Junior Member
    DS lives across the country and only comes home for Christmas and summer. So I send packages at Thanksgiving, his birthday and Easter. Usually food and enough to share if he chooses to.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Posts: 26,028Registered User Senior Member
    I get that kind of stuff - it's disposable! The kid decorates for Halloween, and then throws it away. The stuff I'm thinking about is more "hard goods" that the kid then has to figure out how to store.
  • SlitheyToveSlitheyTove Posts: 5,878Registered User Senior Member
    I sent home-baked goods about once a month last (freshman) year. When I'd bake at home, the extras would get tossed in the freezer and would eventually make their way into a care package. D1 shared generously. I regarded this as being sort of a group care package for the entire floor. :)

    Lack of gratitude/enthusiasm would make me ramp down.
  • lammb66lammb66 Posts: 447Registered User Member
    My DD school actually had care packages that you were guilted into buying, yes I fell for it. They were delivered when they kids first arrived at college, finals week, valentine's day and sometime in the fall. My DD liked them but said she didn't like all the stuff in them and felt I probably was wasting my money. I did send her Subway and McDonalds gc a couple of times throughout the year too. She will be a sophomore and I am definitely not getting the care packages from the school but may send her the occasional gc just so she can have a change from the regular cafeterias. I like to let her know I am thinking of her. She comes home about once a month.
  • scout59scout59 Posts: 1,974Registered User Senior Member
    I sent my just-graduated D two care packages per quarter - one for mid-terms and one for finals. Very little was junk food (Except for some gum and M&M's - her preferred go-to snack when she was studying.)

    Instead, I tried to send useful or cute gifts that I knew she would appreciate, especially when she was stressed-out from exams: highlighters and post-it notes in cool colors (she has an office-supply fetish). Gift cards to a local pizza place that delivered late-night. Trashy magazines for a study break. Maybe an occasional gift card to the movies (so she could celebrate when she was done.) You know - stuff that was significant to her that would let her know we were thinking of her during a stressful time.

    Sometimes I just wrote her goofy poems. I know she loved it all, because I often saw pictures of those packages on Facebook.
  • dentmom4dentmom4 Posts: 599Registered User Member
    I sent rare care packages: a few when he was in England for 6 months on foreign study (fall when he needed a few US items, Christmas, and his Feb birthday) and one other time when he didn't make it home around his birthday. Sometimes a valentine box, but really small.
  • romanigypsyeyesromanigypsyeyes Posts: 22,727Registered User Senior Member
    As a student, I'd much rather have the 1k in cash than any care package. :)
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