Valentine's Day is one of those special occasions that represent the love that couples share. When that couple can't be together due to a deployment, the occasion can still be celebrated with unique gifts that your soldier will appreciate.
When choosing the perfect Valentine's gift to send overseas, a few suggestions should be kept in mind. The gift will need to travel well, should be allowable by military regulations (no alcohol and no porn) and should be something easily transported home when their tour is over. As a wife of a deployed soldier twice over, I've had to find different gift ideas for many holidays including Valentine's Day.
Nothing is more important to your deployed loved one than seeing your face. However, you can go beyond just sending a picture of yourself. Create a collage of pictures of you and your soldier together and give a reminder of times you have shared as a couple. Collage frames can be handmade or you can add your own creative touches to a purchased frame.
Fairly new to the market are digital photo frames. These products can be pricey, ranging from $100 and up. Photos can be uploaded to the frame and pictures periodically change. These frames usually have an LCD frame with some models allowing play back of videos and MP3's. This is a wonderful gift that allows your soldier to view a variety of pictures without having to store and travel with a stack of pictures.
Forget sending your soldier chocolate. In most cases, the chocolate melts during transit and will become a gift your solider would rather not remember. Cookies are always the best way to go if you want to send an "I Love You" via the taste buds. Decorative icing may also melt so best forego the special additions on the cookies.
The cookies can be frozen before mailing, helping them stay fresh during transit. Seal the cookies tightly in plastic wrap and place them in a decorative container. There are different colors of plastic wrap that can be used to match the holiday.
VIDEOS & MOVIES
If your soldier has access to a DVD player, send him or her a movie and don't forget the popcorn. Chances are your other half hasn't seen the latest releases. For those who are electronically gifted, make your own mini-movie with a Valentine's Day message.
Using an online website, you can make a video using your own photos and adding your favorite song. Youtube is extremely popular but for a more personal video that you would rather not display to the whole world, use a website like One True Media. If your deployed soldier doesn't have internet access to view websites, a copy of the video can be purchased on DVD which can be mailed to your special someone.
Don't forget some of the traditional Valentine's Day gifts that your soldier will enjoy receiving. Love poems, steamy love letters or a handkerchief sprayed with your favorite perfume. With any gift you send, include a personal letter written to your solider expressing your love for him or her. In an age of emails and web cams, some forget that letters are still important to your solider. It gives them something to hold in their hands, that you have written and they can read again and again whenever they need to feel close to you.
Always remember to send your gift two to three weeks in advance of the holiday depending upon where your soldier is stationed. No matter what gift you send, anything that shows your love and appreciation will be cherished, bringing you close together even when you are thousands of miles apart.