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The Holidays are APROACHING fast!

I was reminded yesterday via Some Soldier's Mom that CHRISTMAS is coming.  It will be here before we know it.  It was an excellent reminder to me that there are packages that need to be sent to our men and women overseas, or those who may be away for the holiday season. 

The holiday season can be rough, without a deployment, but when a deployment is over a holiday the normally joyous celebration is bittersweet. 

I encourage you to go over and look through all of her suggestions NOW

She does offer this great advice:  I for one tend to forget about deadlines for mail.  Frankly I am terrible about remembering dates. 

If you missedthe parcel post deadline (that was earlier this week), here are youroptions for getting mail to an APO/FPO address by Dec. 25 (subtract 21days from these deadlines to ensure delivery in time for Hanukkah):

- Space Available Mail (SAM): Nov. 27.- Parcel Airlift Mail (PAL): Dec. 4, except for ZIP codes starting with 093, which are all areas of contingency operations (Iraq and Afghanistan). The suggested deadline for those locations is Dec. 1.- Priority Mail: Dec. 11 (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).- First-class letters and cards: Dec. 11. (093 ZIP codes, Dec. 4).- Express Mail Military Services: Dec. 18 (not available to 093 ZIP codes).She also offers these great care package ideas!!  Please feel free to add your own suggestions in the comment section. 
Christmas Stockings.- Individual packets of hot chocolate, cider or hot soup mix...- Candy (bite sized, individually wrapped, all kinds)- AT&T Phone Cards - Hand held games (battery games with batteries, please)- Small puzzle books- Small, signed Holiday cards from you and your families (include your name and address!)- Cigarettes (no lectures, please. I don't smoke, but most soldiers we know do)- Cigars (good ones!)- Books (current titles are greatly appreciated)- Magazines (cars, trucks, men's health, exercise, business, computing...)- Microwave food items (popcorn, all-in-one pan microwave deserts, heat & eat soups, etc.)- Cereal bars- Granola Bars- Home baked goods (pack brownies and cakes in bread slices or package in tins and wrap in plastic wrap- Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) Gift Cards- Pre-paid gift cards or gift certificates from American Express, Visa, Amazon.com,or from specific stores - Best Buy, Staples, Barnes & Noble,Circuit City, etc.) These soldiers have a range of things they need orwant over the course of their deployments...

Like I said Some Soldier's Mom has a great comprehensive list, and she has been gracious enough to share it almost yearly now.  Go over and take a look. 

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