Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Spreading some Christmas cheer

Here in the office, our department is sending Christmas cards to people in the armed services overseas. I just signed about a dozen cards in a row, and frankly, I wish I could have done more with each card. Basically, the cards that we used were ones left over from the boxed multi packs of Christmas cards that we weren't going to give to our own families. Nearly all of the cards are the average, milquetoast, garden variety "Happy Holidays" type of card. There were a couple of more Biblical cards, with wise men and Scripture verses and the like. What I would have loved to see was some funny cards, or just more whimsical cards. Then we wouldn't feel so obligated to write such a serious note in there to our men and women in the trenches. After all, they see serious 24/7/365...why not a little levity?

I did what I could to be funny without raising the (potential) ire of my coworkers who hadn't yet signed the cards. Isn't it funny how the people who are giving the cards would be more offended at a little ridiculousness than the actual recipient of the cards? Anyway, there was one card that had a couple of black terriers on the front of it. What they have to do with Christmas, I don't know. So inside the card, I said, "Thanks for your sacrificial service. Come home soon—those black dogs on the front miss you." There was another card that had a sprinkling of glitter on the front. My message: "Thank you for all that you do. Sorry about all the glitter all over your hands." (Of course, I myself had glitter all over my hands after I wrote that.)

In this holiday season, and yes I said holiday, not Christmas, because I am including Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, there are a lot of our soldiers all the way on the other side of the planet from their families and friends at home. They miss it here, and they miss all of the things that make this country great, those things that they are over there fighting to protect. We've done pretty good about supporting our troops (this time), but I know that there's more that we can do.

We got an e-mail this morning that has a list of items that our men and women are in dire need of, and some things that they really wish they had. Here's what they say:
…it seems that the below items for care packages would be a blessing. Most items are extremely short … if they have them at all. These items are very hard to get…. The shelves are empty most of the time and when a shipment comes in, they are wiped out pretty fast. Some are wish-list items....

Shampoo
Q-Tips
Baby wipes
Soap bars & liquid
Chapstick
Deodorant
Hand lotion
AT&T Phone cards
60 watt light bulbs
Power strips
Charms blow pops
Short cheap extension cords
AA & AAA batteries
Mouse traps
Chocolate
Socks (white & green cotton)
Homemade cookies
DVDs
Rolls of Charmin
Multi-vitamins
I would probably add handheld video games and decks of cards to that list. And High School Musical 3 napkin holders. (Only joking.) The e-mail said that it takes two weeks to ship these items overseas. So, to get things in the hands of our soldiers by Christmas, things should be sent out by next week.

Here's a few links organizations whose mission is to send mail and care packages to soldiers:

Any Soldier
Treats for Troops
Operation Shoebox
America Supports You

Or, just do a Google search for "send care packages to troops" to find more.

God bless our troops. May they come home soon—those little black dogs miss them.

2 Talked Back:

At December 2, 2008 at 8:27:00 PM CST, Blogger Amber said...

So, I know I am a random stranger who is hijacking your blog...but I did want to add something to your post. My cousin, who is in the Navy, cautioned me that EVERYTHING edible that is shipped with any kind of soap ends up tasting like soap. Kind of a let down to see chocolate chip cookies and taste Dial. So, I would send the shampoo, q tips, soap, charmin and wipes in one box and the cookies, chocolate and lollipops in another.

P.S. You don't know me, but I come here alot because I think your random insights are hysterical. I figure you won't mind much since you put it out in here for anyone to find. And online connections seem to have worked out very well for you in the past, what with your wife and all.

 

At December 9, 2008 at 9:57:00 PM CST, Blogger Matt and Lori Graber said...

You put a smile on my face, today...Thanks!

 

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