57 Gift Ideas for Holiday Military Care Packages

57 Gift Ideas for Holiday Military Care Packages

Posted by Hannah Fleace on 2nd Dec 2019

Sending packages from home is one of the best ways to boost spirits and morale for deployed military service members and those away from home. The holiday season is tricky because you may want to make your December package extra special. I've compiled a list of gifts that will fit almost anyone and will fit in a military care kit. If you have loved ones to send packages to, this is the gift guide for you!

This time of year is hard on everyone – the service member, military spouses, and military families. But one of the easiest ways to bring a little extra joy to the holiday season is to write, write, write. I talked to a handful of service members and military spouses to get some ideas, and all of them said the thing they look forward to most inside a care package is a note or letter. Even something as short and sweet as, “I’m thinking about you. Thank you for serving!” A sweet note from home to deployed loved ones is the best gift you can give.

Military Holiday Care Package

Practical Gifts

Tide Pods

Eye drops

Baby wipes

Foot powder

Grooming essentials for guys and gals

**Pro Tip: Double wrap any hygiene products that have an odor. You don’t want your homemade trail mix to smell like Irish Spring or Axe, just saying.

Soft Toliet Paper – Depending on where your Hero is located, you might put together a little “bathroom bag” with toilet paper and hand sanitizer in a ziplock bag. They can just grab it and go if they’re using portable toilets a lot.


Command hooks

Soap on a Rope – Stop them from dropping their soap and getting it all dirty.

Tech & Fun

Portable charger

Multitool — These are great gifts, but your service member should ask their command to make sure it's okay to have where they're stationed. 

Headphones or earbuds

USB charging station

Nintendo Switch – Portable and small enough to store anywhere.

Fitbit Smart Watch – This is an especially excellent gift if your significant other likes to stay on top of their PT. They can wear it to the gym and while off duty. Some commands allow these as part of the everyday uniform, as well. BUT you should check with your s/o and make sure it’s within uniform regulations and okay with their command.

Thumb Drives – You can send these blank or load them up with movies and music. If you’re feeling really festive, you could load them with classic Christmas movies and music!


Tech-Free Interest

Magazines – Field & Stream, Hunter’ Digest, Time magazine, Sports Illustrated, anything regional to your area.



Puzzle books

Games — Jenga, What Do You Meme, and Scrabble are favorites. I’ve never played, but I know a lot of people love Exploding Kittens.

Creative & Sentimental

Photo Gifts – I love using CVS because they almost always have a sale. Send a little piece of your family with a custom photo creation. They have tons of options!

Get letters from local schools

Love Book Online

Fun or favorite t-shirt

Stocking filled with their favorite things


Trail mix

Homemade ANYTHING – Send your deployed service member a piece of home with homemade cookies, trail mix, chex mix, or any other snack that won’t melt along the way. If you do plan on sending some of grandma’s famous cookies, include a slice of bread in the container. When your package gets to them, the cookies will be fresh, and the bread will be stale.

Instant CoffeeBlack Rifle Coffee Co. has delicious coffee products, and they’re a veteran-owned company.

Summer sausage – A delicious snack that will keep during a trip overseas.

Beef Jerky – This was one of the most requested items I heard from service members. Send them the jerky, y’all.

Girl Scout Cookies – If you somehow haven’t devoured all the Thin Mints and Samoas you bought during the last cookie season, consider sending a box or two in your next care package. They definitely cannot pick those up at the local supermarket.

Popcorn – Doubles as packing material, too! If you’re looking to take your popcorn up a notch, Jody’s Gourmet Popcorn has some mouthwatering options!

Taffy – Can also double as packing material!

Cake in a jar

Taco Bell sauce packets or Chick-Fil-A sauce

Mio or powdered flavor packets. 

Chewing gum – My husband loves Big League Chew, but you should get whatever brand and flavor your service member likes.

Preworkout – This isn’t technically food but it was an often-requested item!

*Pro Tip: Jo, My Gosh! has a great list of candies that won’t melt in the mail!

Military Holiday Care PackageWhite Elephant & Humorous Ideas

Too Close Hat — Military life is even harder when you're packed into a tiny space with a lot of people. 

3D Pen – Endless hours of fun. Takes up almost no space!

Viking Horn Mug – Your service member will take a vikin’ to this mug. Ba-dum.

Face Socks – Use your face, their face, Dick Cheney's face, whoever.

Custom Bobble-Head

Honest Cards – Send them a note inside one of these hilarious and honest cards


Military-inspired clothes – I love Nine Line Apparel, RangerUp, Medals of America, and Valhalla Wear. All these companies are veteran-owned and have fantastic selections!

Warm Socks

Sweat Wicking Socks

Croc Sandals — The sandals they can get overseas don't hold up as well! 

Level Up Your Care Package

Ezsound module – record their favorite Christmas song, record you and your kids singing, a prayer, or something like that. You simply stick the module inside your care package, and they’ll have instant music when they open it up!

Mail the whole darn tree – I’m not kidding. I know a couple people who let their kids decorate a miniature tree like this, and then they put it in the box with Christmas treats. This is a cute idea, but make sure to check with your service member to make sure it’s something they want and have room for.

A string of lights to hang up in their space – This little bit of added Christmas cheer will turn any bunk or room into a cozy space. It also doubles as a reading light! Again, this is one you want to make sure they want and have space for.

When to mail Holiday Military Care Packages

If you’re not sure when your package needs to be in the mail, how to fill out customs forms, what the heck an APO or FPO is, whether to ship priority mail or something else – read this post about mailing holiday care packages! You can also check with your local post office about when and how to send your holiday care packages!

If you're crunched for time, we have packages for every branch. Get your Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard packages here!