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O/T Holidays when Overseas in the Military

thinkthrice's picture

Question:  are you allowed to send Christmas presents to military stationed overseas during their deployment?  And if so I'm thinking you want to send something small so that you don't burden the military personnel having to haul it back home.   Awesomeson is in Saudi Arabia, which is a primarily Muslim country.   He has already warned me about sending items related to religion especially Christendom.  

Any gift I sent him though would not be religiously themed.

Or should I just buy the presents and store them here for when he returns in early April?   Also trying to stay positive and upbeat.


ESMOD's picture

I believe there would be someone at his local station that would be able to absolutely answer what kind of mail service that they would be able to recieve.  

If you have any contact with him.. they may have been told too.

I would not send anything of any particular value though.. and consider the conditions that the packages would endure.. so no melty chocolates for example.  


TheAccidentalSM's picture

I did have experience of getting parcels at boarding school.  I loved getting small things that we couldn't get easily that reminded me of home like ginger snap biscuits and a specific brand of chips.  The other thing that was lovely was getting written letters.  I know its a bit old fashioned but there is something so meaningful about getting an old school written letter from a loved one.  It gives you something physical from home.

Felicity0224's picture

I went to a university where a lot of people ended up in the military after graduation, so for several years I regularly sent care packages to friends who were deployed. Mostly to Afghanistan and Iraq, and there were no issues with delivery. I usually did baked goods or other non-perishable food gifts along with a handwritten letter. Sometimes they'd ask for a specific toiletry item or something along those lines that they couldn't get from the commissary. It was always appreciated and I enjoyed doing it. 

SteppedOut's picture

Comfort items.

I used to make cookies, vacuum seal and send priority mail. They get items pretty quickly (unless lost). Like oatmeal cranberry or peanut butter w a small reeces cup or date balls - something that can stand up to being vacuum sealed.

notsurehowtodeal's picture

Ask him what he wants or needs and send that, along with things that are "consumbable" - either food or useful products. You are right, he doesn't need something that he will just have to schlep to his next post or home. If you want to get a traditional present, save it for when he is home.

CajunMom's picture

Military mom here. When my son was deployed, I sent lots of boxes to Afghanistan. Even rallied my friends to do the same. My son's unit had some serious shortages - he gave me the needs list - and I made sure it was filled. You can google "soldier needs" and find lists of items that are useful. I sent a box filled with Mountain Dew Red along with chips and salsa in another box...items that could not be obtained there. The message I received afterwards was priceless. "Mom, I almost cried when I opened that box." 

I'd ask him for a list. Also see if his fellow soldiers need anything. My son shared with his entire group. 

Thank you to your son for serving our country!

Rags's picture


Using your son's APO address you should be able to send most things that you would like to send.

BIL2's favorite was fresh made cookies.  We would also send thumb drives with new release music.  Saudi has great internet coverage so you may just want to send him Itunes cards, etc...

Not knowing where he is specifically stationed, I do not know what restaurants are accessable for gift cards.

If he is near Al Khobar or Dammam, there are a bunch of US restaurants accessible.  Chilis, Applebees, Red Lobster, Outback, etc.....   Though I would reccomend local places while he is there.  The ME cuisine is incredible.  IM me with his location and I can recommend some great places... depending where he is stationed.

I will IM you a llink to an FB foodie group we still are a part of. If he is in the specific province, It is a good networking tool for great restaurants.

If he is Jonesing for an American style breakfast and he has transit access accross the Bahrain Causeway, I recommend Rick's Kountry Kitchen in Manama.   They have it all, bacon, sausage... and even.... BEER!!!!   And... cocktails.   Just make sure he does not bring any pork or alcohol back over the Causeway when he returns to KSA.

Please give him my best wishes for the holidays and thank him for his service.

Sincere regards,


justmakingthebest's picture

Absolutely! You just need the address, APO/FPO whatever it is for them. 

Postage is like sending to the US so it isn't like when we send stuff to Spain to my exchange student! LOL 

Things tend to arrive fairly quickly, within a couple of weeks for most locations.