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Yankee Pete

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(Photo by Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images)

It’s been a little more than a month since your college-age child or family member has been back at school.  And still awhile before they’re going to be back for the holidays.

Now is a popular time for withdrawal and maybe a little homesickness.  What a better time to put together a little care package for the young adult who might not say they want to hear from you, but who doesn’t love getting mail from home.

A few ideas of things to send that aren’t too cheesy but that would be put to good use:

A small gift card to a local restaurant.  $10 for fast food or quick service Mexican could make a college kid feel like they could splurge a little.  And isn’t it more fun to open that in a package than to just have a few bucks electronically deposited into their account?

Home baked treats.  Sure, that kid probably has plenty of food and snacks but if there’s a favorite that they had at home, why not put a few into a Ziploc and include them in the package.  It’s up to them whether or not they share.

Candy.  Maybe that’s just my preference, but why not help that kid have a stockpile for the room.  Nothing wrong with a little early trick-or-treat supply!

Toiletries.  It’s not as much fun as candy but now is a good time to check in to see which supplies they might be running low on.  Deodorant, soap, toothpaste, a fresh towel or two?   All low-cost items that hit our grown-up budget a lot less than it hits the budget of a college kid.

Microwave-friendly items.  This could be microwave-ready foods or you might want to send a few microwave-friendly pieces of dishware/cookware.  Either way, that kid that you miss is probably spending more time around a microwave than they did at home.  Why not make it a little more enjoyable?

Roommate Gifts.  By now, you’ve probably heard something about the roommate or a friend down the hall.  Why not include a small surprise for them too.  You always were the cool mom/dad/aunt/uncle, right?

And finally, just for fun, wrap each one up individually.  Just like Christmas or a Birthday, we all love to unwrap as many gifts as possible, right?  Why should opening the box be the only ‘surprise’ when they get the unexpected package?