Christmas ideas for soon to be deployed US Marine

Barb - posted on 12/19/2011 ( 14 moms have responded )

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I'm just at a loss. He is coming home for Christmas WOO HOOO!! But he is a single marine, lives in the barracks, eats at the chow hall, doesn't have a car. He has bought himself an awesome laptop, an iPad2, an iPhone, a solar charger for the iequipment. Anything he wants he can buy. so what do i get him?

I know he's going to Afghanistan in January.. i know it's really cold in January there, so i bought him a couple pairs of PolarTek (super lightweight special long underwear that whisk sweat away and keep you uber warm) But other than that, i'm at a loss.. chapstick and hand warmers are in the stocking with candy.

Any ideas or clues? And yes, buying him a car is out of the question. My budget for him is $500.00 He is 20 years old, he will be 21 next October.

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Ange - posted on 12/20/2011

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As a vet, may I suggest -- pictures? Pics of family, of friends, a good pic of girlfriend if she'll help, that kind of stuff. If he's able to take his laptop or other device that can view them, then you could make them electronic/digital pics, but still pick one or two really good ones and get small prints made, a size it's possible to carry with in a pocket, and maybe one pic a good size to hang up or whatever. Also, having everyone that knows him commit to a promise to write one letter every month. Doesn't have to contain any earthshaking news, just everyday stuff is fine. Just... to have that contact with home, reminders of how things are, and it will help keep him current with what is going on back home. The good thing about letters is, they're something you can hold and re-read over and over. I still have all my letters, and its still fun to go back and read them again. And may I add, there is just NO thrill like hearing your name called at mail call and knowing someone cared enough to write!

Lynn - posted on 12/20/2011

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My husband was there for ten months, and has been home for over a year now. Some things I sent him were calling cards, coffee, breakfast sausage, crackers, chips, pop tarts, beef jerky, nuts, candy, and just any type of snack that he likes because the PX probably won't have it. The roads there are all rocks, so he asked for gel shoe inserts, an inexpensive camera and batteries, and personal care products. He bought a towel that's like a shammie (It's a microfiber towel). It folds into a tiny pouch and dries really fast. He got it over there at the PX. He also used shower shoes because the shower floors are nasty.

An e-reader of some kind would be a great gift because they have to sit around and wait for planes, sometimes for days. As you can tell, I'm a huge reader, and would DIE without a constant stream of books! You can get them for free from Amazon and Barnes and Noble's web sites.

Sandy - posted on 12/21/2011

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Gift cards for "iStuff" which he can use for music, movies and books. However, the internet connection over there is horrible. Since he is going there in winter, I recommend some very warm socks, like Thorlo for military, and cash for his Eagle card for use on the base or pay for internet service if available.

What about a photo book, like those calendars photo places make, but not a calendar, or maybe a calendar, which ever, with pictures of family and friends and encouraging things like, "when you get home, I'll be sure to cook your favorite meatloaf or something. ^_^

Yvette - posted on 12/20/2011

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i can only imagine being there while all of are sitting here. i would agree with dorothy. some kind of a cd with all of the family (i don't know how many there are of you) on it, maybe a journal, or how about a homemade pillow case sprayed with moms perfume. sometimes there is no better comfort than something that smells like home. a pillowcase is light, can be folded tiny and easy to fit somewhere. how about a special saying that you could do yourself and that he could take with him in january - something like a bunch of small envelopes with a special saying for everyday of the week. the sayings could be inspirational and uplifting.

Dorothy - posted on 12/20/2011

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Not sure it this will help, but how about a recording of all the family...just "well-wishes', words of encouragement and love...jokes, even...I would suspect to "talking time" whether by phone or skype is limited to monthly (hopefully weekly) calls?...I know that if that were me, I'd like to hear my mums's soothing voice!

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Yvette - posted on 12/21/2011

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i would like to wish you and your son an extra special Very Merry Christmas. Prayers for safety when is deployed again are sent your way. God bless you and please tell your son that we appreciate everything he and the rest of the men and women are sacrificing - gigantic hugs to you and your family.

Kathleen - posted on 12/21/2011

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itunes gift cards, make an appointment for a massage for him before he leaves, and take tons of photos when he's home for him to have.

Spring - posted on 12/21/2011

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foot warmers are also a good idea. I sent them to my cousin when he was deployed over in that area. Maybe some magazines that he likes. Try to keep it simple but from the heart.

Barb - posted on 12/21/2011

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You guys are all so helpful, thank you much for your great ideas!

I was going to give him cash, but i like giving him something to open too. I wonder if i can record on my phone, then save it to the mini sd card? i'll look into that, and make it happen.

As an electrician, i've worked outside in the cold before, and those mechanic's gloves were the best ones i ever had.. kept my fingers very warm yet gave me the dexterity i needed to perform my tasks. I think i'll get him a couple good pairs of those as well.

I just realized he'll be home SUNDAY!!! I need to get this place decorated!

Shawnn - posted on 12/19/2011

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Oh, I know...mine has just been medically released to join, and I know it will be hard! You may be hearing from me a lot, and soon...

Maybe another SD card? I know they hold a lot, but...

Barb - posted on 12/19/2011

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OH, good point Miss Can't be Wrong LOL (still can't get over that nick.. might want to change it to lil miss smartass) ..

It's my son, my youngest son. LOL

And Shawnn.. the hugging and loving on him isn't going to be the problem.. it's going to be letting him go when leave is over.

So his favorite meal, money for him and a friend to go out to the movies.. he gets his movies from some place online and saves them on those little SD cards. I forgot to mention he also has an iTouch, so that doubles as an iPod. He has earphones.. i think they have new ear phones that can connect wirelessly to the idevices.. but honestly, i want his ears open and alert in case of danger.

Shawnn - posted on 12/19/2011

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Boy, I don't know, but make sure you give him big hugs and lots of love and thanks from those of us who aren't there!

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/19/2011

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Wholly shit, I just realized who this was! BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....lover.....BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...sometimes I am a fucktard.

Yeah, but seriously, spoil him with home goodies that he misses when deployed. You could get him an Ipod....sounds like the only thing he is missing. Or REALLY GREAT cases for his items. They are not cheap, and they need protecting.

~♥Little Miss - posted on 12/19/2011

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Who is this Marine to you? Child? Lover? I would make him an incredible home cooked meal, and get him all of his favorite things that he cannot get in Afganastan....Favorite magazine, variety of chips and other foods, a gift card to a movie also to pay for popcorn, I mean...give him all the conveniences of home that he has missed.

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