Weekly Goods: Care Packages

I thought we’d go with a theme with today’s posts, OK?

A while back I mentioned on twitter that I was going to be an expert care package giver going forward due to all of the amazing care packages that we were sent to us over the course of Will’s treatment. A few people asked that I share some ideas in the form of a blog post, and I attempted to start one over a month ago. It grew completely out of hand and had no structure, I felt like I could go on and on for ages. Then over the weekend I realized that Weekly Goods was the perfect place for this – a themed goods post on the subject of care packages (more themed Weekly Goods posts will definitely be coming in the future). Limiting it to five categories was tough, but this is just a basic guide. Also, because I’m feeling self conscious and some readers really keep me on my toes about stuff like this, 1. We weren’t given all of these things, I added to the categories, this is not a bragging list. And 2. I can’t stress enough that this is not meant to make anyone feel guilty for not sending us a care package. Any support – phone calls and emails and the like are just as good. This is purely a guide about care packages as I was so inspired by them. Alright, onwards!

1. LOCAL STUFF: If you’re sending a care package to someone who is not in your city, it’s fun to send them things from where you are that they can’t get, or at least are not readily available. It doesn’t have to be food, but this is a typical local-type thing that was a reoccurring theme in our care packages.
Early Bird Granola (Brooklyn), whimsy&spice hazelnut whiskey cookies (Brooklyn), MarketSpice tea (Seattle – tea is always great for people feeling under the weather, too! If you could also send a teapot, that would be awesome as well), Te Aro Burnout Coffee Beans (Toronto)

2. SWEETS: If you’re sending something to a cancer patient, check to make sure they’re eating sugar as it’s a common healing diet to refrain from it, but the cancer center is filled with jars of candy and mints because they help with nausea, and if you’re sending a care package to someone who just needs cheering up, sweets never hurt. Plus finding fun candy is, well, fun!
Jila round mints, Vosges Black Salt Caramel Chocolate bar, papabubble mixed hard candies, Fruit Flavoured Gums (some of these fall under the category of local as well! Hard to categorize.)

3. TREAT YO SELF: Ok, not yourself, but someone else. But you get it. Nice things to treat someone to as just because feeling crummy is all the more reason that you need wonderful smelling body or shaving soap, hand cream or fragrance. Will joked about the soap in his post earlier, but we really have been loving all of it! We never spring for the good stuff on our own.
The Soap & Paper Factory Verbena Hand Cream, Saipua Soap, Sea Salt Soap (great for shaving, super awesome package design), OLO Valens fragrance

4. HANDMADE: Dessert! A mix CD! Art! Jewelry! Put your possible creative talent to use, it’s so sweet to get something handmade. Amazing mix CDs got me through the last few months. If you live near someone, make them dinner and drop it by (don’t invite yourself over to make something unless you’re totally sure they’re ok with that, personally our apartment was quarantined for 3 months.) This isn’t exactly handmade, but one of the best things ever is that our friends who live down the street from us went to Whole Foods and bought us a week’s worth of groceries, delivered to our doorstep. I cried at the sight of it all it was so perfect.

5. BOOKS: You don’t even need to buy new books, my grandma sent us a huge box of her old books, which was so sweet. Anyone under the weather – either in a hospital or not – probably has a lot of time on their hands in bed and books come to the rescue. A magazine subscription would be great, too. Also, I didn’t want to make this category too expansive but all forms of entertainment are great – games and movies and such.
The Marriage Plot (my favorite book this year), Fashion Cats, 3191 Quarterly, 1Q84 (Will’s favorite book this year)

I could go into intense detail on other ways to support people when they need it outside of physical care packages, but that isn’t the point of this post and it would make this so long your eyes would roll back into your head.

Now go forth and make someone’s day who needs it!


  1. says

    With the combination of this post and the one from Will, I’m all weepy eyed. I just imagined all those groceries on your doorstep.. Community is so wonderful, isn’t it? I’m so glad that the both of you are on the upswing of things, and I hope they continue to go that way.

  2. says

    This is a wonderful post. I love sending packages to my cousin + sister who both live at university (very far away) and it’s always nice learning about what people actually appreciate receiving. Homemade CDs are by far my favourite thing to give. I love spending the time sorting out the order of the songs + coming up with a good name for the CD + decorating the sleeve (just fyi, these cases from Muji are my favourite – http://www.muji.eu/pages/online.asp?V=1&Sec=14&Sub=58&PID=1521 cheap + a nice design? Yes, please). I don’t really know how to say it, but I wish you all the best this year, truly.

  3. says

    It really says something about me that I immediately gravitated toward the books you mentioned here (i.e. that something is ‘nerd’) :)

    This post restores my faith in people.

  4. says

    Thank you so much for sharing this. My good friend’s very young husband was just diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and I have been at a loss for what to do to support them aside from meals.

  5. Laura says

    Another thank you for posting this. I’ve been trying to figure out what I can to let my aunt — newly diagnosed with stage 4 brain tumor — know that I’m thinking of her and these are great ideas. (Would also love ideas on other forms of support, if you’re ever in the mood to post those.) Best wishes to you and Will.

  6. says

    Hi, i’ve been around for a while, reading and loving your blog. It never seemed a good moment to comment, or well, i never knew what to say that could sound interesting… It’s not that i have something great to say now, but i wanted to let you know that it’s great what you do here and send all my positive energy to Will (i’d love to send soap but i don’t have the adress :P )

    Hasta pronto!

  7. says

    Will’s note made me tear up, just fyi.

    And, yes. YES. THE MARRIAGE PLOT. My favorite book of the year, too, m’lady. Wanna read Swamplandia together, bi-coastally, next?


  8. says

    This would apply if a friend is sick, but also beyond: new neighbors, a new baby, maybe a friend didn’t get that job they interviewed for. I really want to incorporate care packages … just ’cause. Great ideas.

  9. Paula says

    I do theme baskets / containers and love to do them. I’m sure this is my calling in life but alas I must pay the bills. It doesn’t have to cost a lot of $$ to put a care package together. This last weekend I put together a “feel good” basket [(5″ x 10″ x 3″D?) oval tin with handles ~ pink)] and loaded it will the $1.00 goodies that Target carries… oh I went overboard on a couple of $2.50 items. However, I went with a theme (Valentines Day) and everything tied back to the colors pink / red. When you put a package together it looks like so much more than the few items that are involved. It shows a personal interest in your loved one. Thanks for sharing your new section. BTW… I always put in a nice bar of gardenia soap for the ladies… such a nice touch Ü

  10. says

    The Marriage Plot is definitely on my To-Read list, as is the new Murakami. I really loved the Virgin Suicides (both the movie and the book), so it’s good to hear that you enjoyed this one. I’ll bump it up the list.

    Some friends and I do care package exchanges called “$20 packages”. $20 is the spending limit and you put what you can in there to represent your city in the best possible light. I always include locally made choclates from Chocolate Arts. And I always love the packages I receive in return. Thanks for a few more ideas for great care packages!

  11. says

    What a nice post, I did go right to your books section, because I am such a book nerd. The Marriage Plot was one of my favorite books this year too. Thank you for all of these ideas, and I am glad to hear that health and normalcy are returning to your life, that’s absolutely great!

  12. says

    A coworker of mine is about to have a baby, so these tips should come in handy. My current plan is to make her a ready-to-reheat meal because I’m sure she and her husband will be too busy to cook.

    Also, I need to read The Marriage Plot. As a high school English teacher, my days are consumed by “the classics,” and I rarely have any clue where to start when it comes to contemporary literature. So thanks for the suggestion.

  13. Matina says

    I’ve been following your blog for awhile now and never comment, but this seemed appropriate. I’m currently deployed and getting care packages is probably the single most motivating and reassuring thing that can happen. You have no idea what mail call means to us here. Your layout is great, especially the local goods because what more do we crave while away but reminders of home.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *