this post is brought to you in partnership with American Greetings. all opinions are my own. thank you, as always, for visiting plays well with butter & supporting the brands that support me! 💜
despite holiday season being behind us, january & february are a couple of my favorite months of the year. in our house, january has so far been a busy but totally joy-filled month. chris & i returned to minneapolis, after spending the holidays in wisconsin with our families, feeling renewed and excited for a big year to come. we’ve both stayed busy with work, but we’ve also been prioritizing spending quality time together & getting our house back in order after the frenzy of the holiday season. january’s been filled with snowy minnesota days (the kind of totally fluffy snow straight out of the movies – my fave!), & i always look forward to the pop culture moments that happen this time of the year, like red carpets & football playoffs.
plus, one of my favorite holidays of the year is still to come: valentine’s day!
lots of people grumble about valentine’s day being a totally commercial holiday, but i just love it. i’ll never say no to any opportunity to celebrate the special relationships in my life. whether it’s a cozy date night at home with chris, a galentine’s brunch with my bests, or a girl’s day with my mom, there are so many fun ways to show your care and appreciation for the ones you love most this time of year!
two of the people i’d love to celebrate valentine’s day with the most also happen to be the two people i don’t get to see nearly as much as i’d like: my niece and nephew.
aged 8 and 6 respectively, i have loved watching them grow up, even from afar. they’re maturing into the kindest, most hilarious kids i know. (plus, they sincerely call our pup their cousin and it’s the sweetest/funniest thing i’ve ever heard…kills me EVERY time!)
i LOVE spoiling them (aunt’s duty, right?!), but since they live across the country i sometimes have to get a little creative. one of my favorite things to do is send them care packages! with valentine’s day right around the corner, i thought it would be the perfect time to show you how to put together a valentine’s day care package for your long-distance little love this year!
how to assemble a valentine’s day care package for the little loves of your life:
the valentine’s day care package vessel MUST feel special. it’s valentine’s day, after all! you can make your care package in a cute basket or valentine’s-themed gift box – they’re so readily available this time of year, and reasonably priced! since my niece & nephew are in boston (& i am in minneapolis), the most budget-friendly option for me is a flat rate shipping box from usps. you can pick these up at any post office (for free!) and put literally as much stuff as you want into them without worrying about the box getting too heavy or too expensive to ship…that’s the beauty of flat rate – it will always ship for the amount indicated on the box!!
since the outside of a flat rate box leaves a little to be desired when it comes to cute valentine’s charm, i load up the inside with tons of tissue paper (red/pink/red for the win!) and some cute valentine’s confetti (nothing too small/sticky – my brother would kill me!). i want it to feel like a valentine’s day explosion when my niece & nephew tear into it. they’re only going to buy into magical little holiday-themed moments for so long, and a surprise valentine’s day care package from their auntie should definitely be one of those magical holiday moments.
load it up with treats!! this is the fun part! choose a few little treats that you know the kiddos will go crazy for. i like to peruse the dollar section at Target – it’s honestly like a gold mine of little treats! my niece LOVES crafts and little knick knacks, so sticker books and unicorn shaped erasers are perfect for her. my nephew likes playing with toys so i knew he’d go crazy for slime (i mean, what little boy wouldn’t?!).
other treats i’ve sent in valentine’s day care packages in the past include books, coloring books, markers, small toys, and so on. just think about what your recipient(s) like! if your niece or nephew is older, you could throw in a couple of their favorite magazines. keep it fun!
a homemade treat never hurts either. homemade touches make any gift even more special. my family always goes crazy for my homemade brownies. i love them because they’re easy to make, they’re always a hit, and valentine’s day isn’t complete without some fudgy chocolate, right? as a bonus, brownies hold up to shipping really well. i like to whip up a batch and individually package a brownie or two for each of them (and a couple for mom & dad, too! 😉).
you could really make any treat you’d like! cookies also hold up nicely to shipping. if you want to go a slightly healthier route, you could whip up a batch of mini banana muffins (kids love anything mini, seriously!) or homemade granola.
and don’t forget the most important part: a valentine’s day card.
valentine’s day is all about cards, right?! i love shopping the greeting card section this time of year, and American Greetings’ assortment at Target this year did NOT disappoint! i was so excited to see that American Greetings specifically has cards for nieces and nephews – not just “for kids” – which is typically kind of hard to find! the assortment was perfect, too. there were tons of options for my nephew, who is in the height of “little boy” phase, AND my niece, who is honestly 8-going-on-14.
with a little personalized message from chris & me inside, these American Greetings valentine’s day cards are the perfect finishing touch to our valentine’s day care package!
so, tell me…are you a long distance auntie? how do you like to celebrate holidays & fun highlights of the year with your nieces & nephews? will you be sending them a valentine’s day care package this year? let me know in the comments below…i’d LOVE to chat! xo
pin this valentine’s day care package idea for later!