If you send a kid a care package, chances are they’ll want one every holiday day.
And if you’re like me and didn’t quite get one ordered in time for Halloween, you have lots of other chances in November:
November 1st - This day brings a variety of national days, and the combo makes a great care package. National Calzone Day. You might not actually be able to send a calzone, but I bet you can find a restaurant that will. Mellow Mushroom & DP Dough fit the bill @ Tech. National brush day - your kid has probably been using the same toothbrush since they arrived at school in August. Three months of studying partying later, it might be time for a new one. Authors day — my kids are NOT big readers (yet), but I still give them books every chance I can.
“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor
And Vinegar Day — I know that seems hard to work with, but think sauces, salad dressings, snacks (salt and vinegar chips), any of those work. And they might not agree, but based on what I saw on Parent’s weekend, cleaning items are always a good call.
November 2nd - National Bison Day. Apparently there are herds of them in every state (seriously), but since I doubt they’re on many (any?) college campuses, it's a great day to get outside, see some wildlife or hit a national park. It’s also Deviled Egg Day - picnic in the park maybe?
November 3rd - Daylight Savings. Otherwise known as the saddest day of the year. Which means they might need Sandwich Day (also Nov. 3rd) to cheer them up. Panera Turkey & Avocado BLT I’m talking about you. And they deliver.
November 4th - National Candy Day. Should this be so close to Halloween? Chicken Lady Day is a better option. Not kidding…read about it here.
November 5th - American Football Day (as in not soccer and not rugby), Bonfire Night (which seems wildly unsafe in a dorm), Redhead Day (I heart this), National Donut Day and Hot Sauce Day. I can work with this: a football, fireworks (safe ones), s’mores, hot sauce snacks like Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chips and donuts (preferably apple cider ones). And don't forget to remind them to vote.
November 6th - Nachos Day. This is easy. Chips, salsa, cheese dip (my roommate’s mom used to send this and we loved it). Chipotle delivers. Qdoba, Uber Eats...you have options. Cabo Fish Taco is VA Tech’s best choice. Bet your school has something phenomenal too.
November 7th - International Stout Day. If your student is 21+ of course. If not go for the other option, National Bittersweet Chocolate w/Almonds Day. Or combine both with Sweet Baby Jesus beer.
November 8th - Cappucino Day. Starbucks does ecards. And Cappucino is a favorite flavor at Sweetfrog. Bound to be a coffee and/or frozen yogurt shop nearby. **Also it's the deadline to register for the December 7th SAT.
November 9th - Go to an Art Museum Day. That should be easy on a college campus, and a nice break from the usual routine. Ours is free, I bet a quick search will find one near your student. Or send an art book, art supplies, or a gift certificate to a paint class.
"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." ~Pablo Picasso
November 10th - Vanilla Cupcake Day. Even Amazon has ‘em, and so does every campus bakery. Don’t have a foodie? There’s vanilla cupcake protein powder, candles, car scents, lip balm, the list goes on.
November 11th - Veteran’s Day. Reminder for them to be good Americans. And it’s Sundae Day — lots of options with this one. So many grocery stores now do mobile pick up and/or delivery. You can order all the fixings so they can make their own- how fun is that?
November 12th - National Happy Hour Day. Still works for the under 21 crowd. 1/2 price appetizers anyone?
November 13th - World Kindness Day. Pretty much anything you send works for this, but how ‘bout all the supplies to make kindness rocks? A college campus seems like the perfect place for those.
November 15th - Clean out your Fridge Day (this should be more than once a year.) Even for a dorm fridge. Especially for a dorm fridge. Baking soda, and new fridge staples. (freshman daughter of mine, that does not mean beer).
November 16th - Fast Food Day. Not that I want to encourage this, but BK now features the Impossible Burger. Also Wendy’s has the frosty, Cook Out’s prices (and shakes) are amazing, Five Guy’s grilled cheese is the bomb, Arby’s has all the meats and sometimes it really IS Bo time.
November 17th - Baklava, Homemade Bread, Take a Hike, and Unfriend Day. Baklava and homemade bread make a killer care package and after indulging a hike is probably in order. Unfriend Day is not as bad as it sounds. It’s about spending more time and energy on connecting with real friends and less on virtual ones. Remind them how important that is.
November 18th - Mickey Mouse Day. I’m not a Disney World fan (I know, I know, but you can’t convince me). But I think we can spin it into ‘Disney Movie Day’. Who doesn’t love a Netflix binge day?? And movie care packages are easy.
November 19th - National Camp Day. Camp care package. Pretty much like a regular care package, but with a handwritten letter included. And National Carbonated Beverage with Caffeine Day - like it was made for college students (and their tired parents). **Also it's the LAST DAY to register for the Dec. 7th SAT (for a slightly higher fee).
November 20th - National Peanut Butter Fudge Day and Educational Support Professionals Day. Send 'em fudge and tell them to share with the staff who make their lives easier (hello dorm maintenance folks).
November 22nd - Cranberry Relish Day -- dining halls this one is for you too. Unless they'd welcome a can of cranberry sauce. Or maybe a Gobbler sub?
More importantly, it's International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day. Find an event near you/them and lend support. Talk about mental health openly, listen actively and make sure they're aware of the support network and resources available to them. Reach out to everyone you know who's been affected by suicide, and encourage your kids to do the same.
November 23rd - Espresso Day and Cashew Day. Neither of mine are coffee drinkers, but they do like espresso flavored ice cream, and chocolate covered espresso beans, cookies, etc., and cashews they love.
November 24th - National Use Even if the Seal is Broken Day (how is this a thing?), and National Sardines Day. Gotta go with the sardines on this one, and my boy man actually likes them with crackers.
November 25th - Parfait Day, Shopping Reminder Day. Does any college kid need a reminder to shop (asking for a friend)?
November 26th - Let Them Eat Cake Day. Tons of cake options out there...butter, pound, sponge, layer, bundt, rum, sheet, cup. You know their favorite; send that.
November 27th - Bavarian Cream Pie Day, Adopt a Turtle Day (do NOT tell my daughter). Gummy turtles, candy turtles, chocolate turtles (you can make your own) --those all work. But no and way to a live turtle. We once had a pet frog live for more than 10 years. I don't need that kind of commitment in my life.
November 28th - French Toast Day and Thanksgiving. They’re likely to be home for this, so you’re probably off the hook for sending something. And if you can get away with serving French toast for Thanksgiving dinner you're my hero.
November 29th - Lemon Cream Pie -- that seem easy. Black Friday - - that does not.
November 30th - Mason Jar, and National Mousse Day -- mason jars full of mousse if they're home, and mason jars full of something more mail friendly if they're not. Also it's Small Business Saturday so a great time for a local gift card.
Any or all of the above work, just remember, if you send your kid a care package they're likely to want one every holiday, but you know what? They're really fun to make/send, and it makes our kids feel so loved. How awesome is that?
Once you've survived November, make sure you have finals week on the calendar and some good ideas for what to send to help your kids crush them. Then go relax until January. I mean after the madness of the holidays is over of course. I believe that leaves you 3.5 days to relax -- enjoy!
And if you're the parent of a high schooler, make sure all things SAT and college prep are on your calendar. Acumen can help with that.