Guys! It’s Halloween time… so of course I had to send a special missionary care package to Dylan for Halloween. I had TONS of fun putting this box together. It probably helps that Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. I love everything about Halloween, so trust me when I say this box could have been much, much bigger.
Before I begin showing the items in the box, I have to state a little bit of a disclaimer here: I stole most of my ideas from someone else. I can be pretty creative, but in this case I decided there was no need to reinvent the wheel. I was sort of in a time crunch (although that didn’t stop me from overdoing anyway) and parts of it had already taken longer than intended. So I took what I saw online, gave it my own touch, and was so happy with how everything turned out.
To Treat, or not to Treat?
Dylan has told me emphatically that he is trying to eat better and not gain weight. I have tried hard when sending him packages not to send nothing but junk food but it’s sorta hard. Especially when we’re talking Halloween…because basically, isn’t that what Halloween is about? I avoided buying bags of candy to send for this reason, and also because he can buy that crap anywhere. I was going for some homemade stuff that he probably misses by being gone during holidays.
Cookies from your Mummy
I made these cute little missionary mummies out of Pringles cans. First a word of warning: Empty them, wash and dry them, and let them sit for a couple of days to air out. You don’t want your cookies to taste like chips. Especially those nasty cheeseburger flavored ones. (If you haven’t tasted them yet, let me do you a favor and say…just don’t. They went in the trash in my house.) I intended to take pictures while making these babies, but before I knew it, they were done and I didn’t have any pictures, so instructions will have to do.
I covered the Pringles can with black paper and glued it on. I tried it with a glue stick at first, but that was sort of stupid because it didn’t even pretend to hold, so I ended up switching to a glue gun. I had about a half yard of white fabric that I ripped into strips that were about 1 ½ inch wide. You don’t actually want them to be very long because you want to be able to wrap them at an angle and switch angles often. Once the black paper was on, I glued on the eyes, and then started wrapping them with the fabric. I put dots of hot glue here and there to hold it in place as I wrapped, being careful to make it look like the eyes were peeking out.
The ties are just made of scrapbook paper and so are the nametags. I did one for both him and his companion.
I made a circle label to go in the lid with matching paper to the ties. I stuck those labels in the lids with a small piece of double sided tape.
And then for the cookies…
I absolutely HAD to go with one of my kid’s favorites: pumpkin chocolate chip whoopie pies! These cookies are da bomb. In an effort to not make this post horribly long, I will save the recipe for another day (but trust me, this is one you really want…)
I wanted to keep the cookies as fresh as possible and not have them all stick together, so I tucked little squares of wax paper between them and then rolled them up in some plastic wrap (plus I didn’t want to take any chances that the cans still smelled like those nasty chips!)
I put them in the freezer all wrapped up like this. When I was ready to box it all up, I pulled them straight from the freezer, put them in the cans, and shipped the box. This worked incredibly well. I asked him after he received the package and he said they were as fresh as if I’d just made them.
Something to Sink Your Teeth Into
The other homemade goody that I made for them was caramel corn. I attached plastic teeth with a little packet of blood to the bags too. Sending it seemed a little tricky because I didn’t want it to get rock hard, but I also didn’t want to put it in a Ziploc bag for fear it would get soggy. I opted for cellophane bags. Hopefully it was good and stayed relatively fresh, but I forgot to ask him!
Bugs And Kisses
These little goodies are just a bag of Hershey’s kisses and rubber bugs. I got the chalkboard labels at Hobby Lobby and they have come in handy on more than one occasion. I wanted something black and these were all I had. I then made the mistake of using a white gel pen to write on them. That was not a good plan. I waited two days for the gel pen to dry and it never did, so I had to go over it with a chalkboard marker.
Wrap Yourself Up
I saw all sorts of other mummy references to go with this cute tag. Some people had used candy bars, etc. I decided I already had an awful lot of junk food (and he’s mentioned several times to go easy on the candy and goodies) so I decided to go with one of life’s necessities and send him toilet paper. I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t include some kind of bathroom humor in every package.
And for your breath…
Tic Tacs with little labels!
Keep it Spiritual
As I am putting stuff together to send each time, I like to always keep the original reason why he’s out there in mind and tie everything back to the work he’s doing. I loved the saying about pumpkins.
I also made these pretzel rod “ghosts” with candy eyes to go with this saying.
My daughter made fun of my ghosts because she said they looked anorexic, but I thought they turned out kind of cute.
And, of course, the missionary Halloween poem had to be included too:
Top it all off with a box of Booberry cereal, some apples with caramel dip, and a gigantic spider and the box was ready to go and cram packed! I dumped a bag of candy eyeballs on top.
This giant lovely spider building a web on top was the final piece. I didn’t want to bother decorating the box sides, so this is as close as I was going to get.
I also included a packet of “Open When” letters that really had nothing to do with Halloween. I will post more on those later because I think they are one of the best things ever to give to a missionary.
Other ideas that you might consider if you’re sending a Halloween box to a missionary could include some fun Halloween socks and/or a seasonal tie. I didn’t choose to send either because A) I couldn’t really find any socks that I liked and B) My Elder is very strict in his obedience to mission rules (and I am so proud of him for it) and he would consider a seasonal tie to be outside the conservative-ties rule.
This was such a fun box to put together! I really miss the fun of having little kids for Halloween, so this was definitely a project to fill my empty spaces.
Apparently he likes his giant spider…