Our "Treats For Troops" Christmas Specials... * Please note that the Christmas collection for 2011 is now closed. However, regular items are still required for the new year! Thank you to everyone who took part in the Xmas drive! *
Click here to skip to the latest update for this page.
We're looking at sending a batch of boxes no later than 30th November, when we guesstimate that they will arrive with the lads just in time for Christmas. It's not just about sweets and tubes of stuff to make ration packs more interesting so we've been thinking of a few things we'd like to gather together to put in with the usual goodies to brighten the festive period for those out there at the time.
We're thinking that those of you who are kind enough to donate items for us to send to our troops might like to consider things like small crackers, party hats, Santa keyrings/novelties, small Xmas puddings (boil-in-the-pot type - please be aware that some brands contain alcohol), custard powder, and anything that you think might be cheering (but seasonal) to people living in basic conditions far from their families at that time. Remember that the things we send have to fit in a shoebox, preferably with a selection of other treats in the usual manner - and the whole thing including the lid, labels and gaffer tape has to weigh in at less than 2kg (by the very sensitive digital Post Office scales). Also, if anyone wants to send a Christmas card (I'm suspecting your children might have an interest in this regard?) then please put the envelopes in the bottom of our collecting box and we'll put them in shoeboxes with the other things we collect.
Please note that alcohol, aerosols, glass, matches, lighters, Christmas crackers, party poppers and adult material are not permitted. More here. (Sorry - only discovered that crackers aren't allowed at the end of November, when the Xmas collection closed!)
* In regard to custard, just-add-boiling-water sachets are about the only format viable; cartons are too heavy and, as with cans, ready-made custard probably won't go too well with the climate. This is also probably true for small tins of ham, spam and other meat. I made the mistake of buying sponge puddings that are microwave only so had to go back in to buy a different brand that can be cooked by placing the can/pot in boiling water. Also, I bought some very tasty looking Aero dessert sachets (arrowed in the photograph here) as they were on 3-4-2 offer and I could get more for my money and it was only when I got home that I realised that, like Angel Delight, they need milk. Not sure on the milk situation in the field but luckily these sachets only need 100ml and a shoebox-sized Carnation can contains 170ml so I rubber-banded a sachet to a can and will send as one item. If you are buying these sort of items for us to send to our troops please check that they can be boiled as well as microwaved, and can be mixed up with water rather than milk.
[September] Here's some items we've bought or been given to get the collection started:-
[November] There's quite a collection of Xmassy items accruing now, which is cheering. There's some more pictures below but in short we've lots of Xmas puds, custard, party hats, sweets, condiments, hot chocolate, toiletries and all sorts of groovy things. Thank you, everybody!
And so we packed up ten! Christmas-themed boxes of puddings, custard, party hats, decorations and similar items that one might lay in for the season. These will be taken ASAP to the Support Our Soldiers charity to be sent to soldiers in Afghanistan and so should be there in time for "the big day."
We made up four boxes each containing 1x baby wipes (fragrance free), 2x Xmas puddings, 2x custard powder, 1x Carnation milk with an Aero dessert, 1x sage and onion stuffing mix, 1x pack of tea bags, 1x toothbrush and toothpaste, 1x pot of pepper, 2x disposable razors with covers, 1x bubble-blowing mixture, 3x assorted drinking chocolate, 1x coffee sachet, 2x Rocky biscuit bars, 3x conical party hats, 1x Xmas decoration; two boxes each containing 1x baby wipes (fragrance free), 2x Xmas puddings, 2x custard powder, 1x Carnation milk with an Aero dessert, 1x pack of tea bags, 1x toothbrush and toothpaste, 1x pot of pepper, 1x disposable razor with cover, 1x bubble-blowing mixture, 4x assorted drinking chocolate, 1x coffee sachet, 1x permanent marker, 2x Rocky biscuit bars, 2x Moaom chews, 1x Cadbury Brunch Bar, 1x Xmas decoration; one box containing 2x Xmas puddings, 4x custard powder, 1x large tube of Smarties, 1x Carnation, 9x Penguin biscuits, 1x pack of teabags, 2x Cadbury Brunch Bars, 1x sherbet dip, 2x permanent markers, 1x bag of Aero Bubbles, 1x each "single serving" shampoo, conditioner and body lotion, 1x Xmas decoration; one box containing 1x syrup sponge pudding, 1x Spotted Dick pudding, 1x Suduko puzzle book, 4x custard powder, 1x tin macaroni cheese, 1x coloured pencils, 4x Maoam chews, 1x Ginger Nuts, 1x pack of teabags, 1x bodywash, 1x "single serving" shampoo, 1x box Mansize tissues, 1x pair [new!] socks, 1x Xmas decoration; one box containing 1x syrup sponge pudding, 1x chocolate sponge pudding, 1x Carnation, 1x polystyrene glider, 4x custard powder, 2x Cadbury Brunch Bar, 1x tin mushy peas, 1x pack of teabags, 1x "single serving" jam, 1x "single serving" marmalade, 2x drinking chocolate, 2x coffee sachets, 1x sherbet dip, 1x Smash potato with herb sachet, 1x Maoam chew, 1x Xmas decoration; one box containing 2x syrup sponge puddings, 1x Spooky toffee popcorn, 2x disposable razors with covers, 1x shower gel, 1x pack of teabags, 2x coffee sachets, 1x coloured pencils, 2x drinking chocolate, 1x Savoury Rice, 1x Carnation, 2x custard powder, 3x Maoam chews, 1x sherbet dip, 2x Fruit Pastilles, 1x pot of pepper, 2x Xmas decoration.
We made up another three boxes each containing 1x festive beaker (filled with 1x Chupa Chupp, 6x candy canes, 2x drinking chocolate, 1x Rocky biscuit bar), 1x disposable razor with cover, 1x Carnation, 2x cereal bars, 1x shampoo, 1x conditioner, 1x Heinz soup sachet, 2x sherbet dips, 2x chewing gum, 1x soap, 2x toothbrushes (one box has a five pack of toothbrushes), 1x toothpaste, 1x pen, 1x soup powder, 1x bag of fruit sweets, 1x baby wipes, 1x mustard/1x HP Sauce/1x Squeezy Oxo (depending on box). One box also has a Santa hat!; two boxes each containing 1x Carnation, 2x Xmas pud, 1x Aero Xmas Tree, 1x Rocky biscuit bar, 1x sherbet dip, 4x Cappuccino sachets, 1x vinegar sachet, 4x sugar sachets, 3x salt and pepper sachets, 1x shaving gel, 2x disposable razors with covers, 2x chewing gum, 5x candy canes, 1x Foxes Glacier Fruits/1x Foxes Glacier Mints (depending on box), 1x Jammie Dodgers, 1x shower gel, 1x Squeezy Jelly/1x Gummi Bears sweets (depending on box); one box containing 1x Shortbread Fingers, 1x Supernoodles, 1x tube of Smarties, 1x body lotion, 1x soap, 5x pepper sachets, 1x salt sachet, 2x sugar sachets, 1x notepad, 1x bubblegum, 1x Drumstick chew, 1x Savoury Rice, 1x soup powder, 1x Chocco Topping, 1x tin of mackerel fillets, 1x box of gingerbread men, 1x tube of Rowntrees Pick n' Mix, 1x festive beaker (filled with 8x candy canes, 2x drinking chocolate sachets, 2x Chupa Chupps), 1x Xmas tree toy.