A few weeks back I had a package waiting for me when I got home from work. In an age where real mail is rare, getting a package can be even rarer, at least for me. Immediately upon opening the package, which was from my friend Megan, my mood improved: I was excited, happy, and felt like a kid on Christmas morning. Megan moved to Chicagoland last year and since we don’t get to see each other much anymore she decided it would be fun to surprise me with an autumn care package. The contents of this package exceeded my wildest dreams: apple cider doughnuts, McIntosh apples, Halloween Peeps, candy corn, honey creme, chocolate marshmallow pumpkins, and an owl with a top hat. Yes, that’s right, an owl with a top hat.
Seeing as how this made my day I decided to pay it forward to my sister and her kids, who moved across the country last spring. Since I’m not going to see them around Halloween this year I thought I would surprise them with a package of spooktacular treats. Here are some ideas to make a care package for kids that is fun and relatively healthy.
Beyond Candy. My nephews and niece will get enough candy on Halloween so I wanted to do something that was sweet but also a little healthier. For sweet I selected mini boxes of raisins and fruit leather and for salty I went with bat-shaped pretzels and single serving peanut butter packages.
Family Oriented. I have four nephews ranging in age from almost 15 to 6 so thought the movie Beetlejuice would be perfect for them. I also threw in a pair of spooktacular socks for my toddler niece and some stickers and a color chart for her while her brothers enjoy the movie. For the whole family I found an autumn-themed cookbook so they can find something fun to make together.
Thoughtful. My sister probably doesn’t get excited about bat-shaped pretzels like her kids do so I added a little lip balm and nail polish for her! I also did homemade cards since they are fun, much more affordable than commercial greeting cards, and can be more personalized.
Use Humor. When my sister and I were younger we would melt peanut butter and marshmallows together in a bowl and then eat it until our tummies hurt. I thought it would be fun for her to get a special treat from me that reminded her of way back when, aka the 80’s and early 90’s! Hopefully this made her laugh as much as the little owl with a top hat that I received in my care package.
Be Creative. My all-time favorite spooktacular treat is Nutter Butter ghosts. I have made these a few times over the years and wanted to send some to my family as I knew the kids would enjoy them. Plus, it’s a special occasion so I thought we could go with something a little less healthy than the pretzels for the whole family.
Melt four squares of almond bark over low in a saucepan. When completely melted, cover half of a Nutter Butter with almond bark and place two mini chips on your ghost for eyes. Wait until cooled and hard before you package or share.
Have you sent or received a care package recently? Do something thoughtful for a friend or family member today! Knowing you made someone’s day is truly an amazing feeling!