Birthday Care Package Ideas needed - tried and true home baked goods

<p>D'16 has now launched! Her 18th birthday will be next month and I'd like to send her some homemade goodies. She loves my chocolate chip cookies. Have you sent your kids similar care packages? What has shipped well for you and stayed relatively fresh? How did you mail it? USPS, FedEx? I have to mail cross country.</p>

<p>We mostly did regular snail mail, us postal service because of the convenience. We often used plastic grocery bags as fillers. Only real suggestion is the timing. Don’t take your package to the kiosk at the post office late at night or early in the morning. Just get there just before 5:00 pm or whatever there cutoff is. Otherwise your cookies spend extra time “sitting.” Definitely think about this when mailing on the weekend. Cross country I might consider UPS. If VERY heavy then I believe UPS or FedEx is the way to go. Do a google search. Someone has some tips as to what is the deal breaker.</p>

<p>I have sent many care packages, although usually filled with boxes of cereal or forgotten clothes. I just use regular USPS, but I get tracking on the package. That helped when a box got caught up in a sorting facility for days and days, and it contained a dress DD needed for her choir concert that was quickly approaching.</p>

<p>But I did want to add one idea- Put a helium mylar balloon in the box so it will float up when she opens it.</p>

<p>Bluejay, good tips of timing of the drop off. Leftylou, never thought of packing a helium balloon!</p>

<p>I would get it at the very last minute, on the way to the post office, so it’s as fresh as possible.</p>

<p>I mailed a applesauce sheet cake w/ cream cheese frosting to D2 for her birthday a couple of times. She was over 2000 miles away at college at the time. Baked the cake in a disposable aluminum sheet cake pan with plastic lid from the grocery store. Packed it a flat rate USPS Priority box padded by bubblewrap and mailed it right before the last mail pick-up of the day at the local PO. Cake arrived in 2 days, intact and very much appreciated.</p>

<p>USPS Priority “all you can stuff in one box” flat rate is wonderful! Pkgs always arrived in 2 days. I’ve shipped everything from cakes and avocadoes to climbing gear and textbooks that way.</p>

<p>Oatmeal cookies–use the recipe on the Quaker Oatmeal box. I’ve used flat rate USPS Priority with tracking. Used a tin that once held fruitcake and lined the rows of cookies with paper towels. I also put bubble wrap around the tin.</p>

<p>Last b-day I sent DS a Candy Bar Cake! Fun and easy to make and so cute! Using double side tape, afix candy bars around a styrofoam cake form or round tin. I believe it took about 18 candy bars. Decorate the top with ribbons, birthday favors, etc. There are great ideas online if you search for candy bar cakes. DS shared the candy with friends and said they were most impressed with my craftiness (a crafter I am not!) I put bubble wrap around it and sent it in late April in CA. Did not melt- DS said candy was in perfect shape.</p>

<p>I made a candy bar cake last year. It was a big hit.</p>

<p>I have a friend who baked a cake in a mason jar to send to a soldier overseas, but it sounds like a good idea for college students. Ig you google “mason joar cakes” you will get lots of hits. Be sure to include a long iced tea spoon so that they can get to the bottom of the cake.</p>

<p>We do coast to coast (major city to major city) shipments using the Post Office fixed price boxes, and they generally make it there in 2-3 days. Cookies hold up well. So has everything else.</p>

<p>You didn’t ask for additional ideas, but I’ll share anyway. My D turned 18 the second week of college and was quite sad about being away from home. I sent a box with treats and presensts, but I also called a local florist and arranged for a green plant with a bouquet of birthday balloons to be delivered to her dorm. It was a big hit with her, and you won’t believe it, but she will turn 27 next week and she still has the plant!</p>

<p>I sent a birthday party in a box. My
Kid happened to like rice krispie treats which shipped very easily. I included candles, party hats, birthday banner, some party whistles, napkins, cups and paper plates (birthday theme).</p>

<p>I sent mini cupcakes, but didn’t frost, but sent frosting and sprinkles…made cookies smAller as well, so more kids could have one…I find when sending a care package, sending two so lots to share really makes it fun</p>

<p>The USPS priority two day boxes are a great deal</p>

<p>I love the idea of a balloon, but will it survive a plane trip? I was once on a plane when someone’s mylar balloon popped, and that was in the pressurized cabin.</p>

<p>Thanks for the ideas and comments. Keep em coming! I had forgotten about rice krispy treats!</p>

<p>I actually successfully sent (Priority Mail) a homemade King Cake last Fat Tuesday! I made a frosting that set a little hard, sugared and bagged it, then filled in the spaces in the box with bagged popped popcorn (that I suggested she use to feed the birds). It arrived beautifully intact (and surprised the heck out of Babyfrog, who admitted that she was somewhat sad about the thought of missing this family traditional treat). Careful packing, Priority Mail. It works. (Also…hope the kids check their mail…some cookies I sent to her b.f. sat at the front desk for about 3 days until he got around to getting his package…luckily they were pretty stable oatmeal cookies!)</p>

<p>I hear you, Mammafrog. Done that. Worked hard to get the package to the right place only to find that it sat on the receiving end. Can only get packages when someone’s on duty…Forgot to check… They didn’t put a slip in my mailbox to alert me… You want it to be surprise but…</p>

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<p>This is my fear too. Whenever I send a package I always pay the 85 cents for Delivery Confirmation, so that I can text D and tell her to go pick it up.</p>

<p>I really appreciate this thread. DS will turn 18 a week after I leave him at college. I imagine he won’t have the close friends yet who will make a fuss the following year so I was wondering how to approach it. We’re 3,000 miles away. I think I’ll go with cookies even though a cake is traditional. Just not sure about shipping an entire cake, plus he might not have plates, etc. to serve it on yet.</p>

<p>The only time I did well with care packages was when son in grad dorm. I could send cupcakes or cookies from local bakery, and it was signed for by the grad student at front desk, who then sent email to the worm. </p>

<p>Now that son going to apartment, he’s already warned me to not send packages. Still, his b/d in September, so I want to do something. How intrusive would it be to contact his g/f or roommate?</p>