I have a hard time with care packages. First of all, after nearly nine years at war, military infrastructure is such that R has better access to some American items down range than I do living on post in Germany! Also, I'm not a big fan of sending "stuff" for stuff's sake. After watching him pack and repack his rucksack to accommodate a command-issued list full of redundancies, it doesn't seem sporting to send boxes of items that he'll have to store. Or eat, and frankly, that just gets stored around his middle, right?
But it's Christmas. And maybe it's not about the "stuff" but when you're 2,500 miles away, it's pretty hard to whisper "Merry Christmas" into a cardboard box and hope that the holiday spirit makes it to the middle of the desert intact. Here's where tradition comes in to save the day, because homemade treats, brightly wrapped packages, colorful cards and shiny ornaments all sing out"Merry Christmas!" and will make it to the desert (mostly) intact.
I didn't think it was possible, but I'm finding that my inherent practicality and infrequent sentimentality intersect at Christmas.