SEND-OFF SURPRISE: Day 5 of 31 Days of Creative Caring

When I was 16, I was selected to serve on a national missions advisory board.  In order to attend the convention, my Mom and I prepared to fly from Austin, Texas to Kansas City, Missouri.  It was going to be the first flight ever for both of us!  I remember being totally surprised when a friend and her mother gifted me with a send-off surprise for my trip. A purse, a really cute rain slicker … I don’t recall all of the items, but I do know they were NOT things I needed. They were “just because” things … and I loved them!  I’d never known anyone to do anything quite like that before, and it made an impression.
Years later, our family passed along a “just because” send-off surprise gift to a dozen underprivileged teenagers sponsored by our church.  They had been selected to attend a national youth camp out of state, and it was to be the first time away from home for all of them.  Obviously, it would be an experience they were sure to remember. At the eleventh hour, Renaissance Man had the creative idea of providing each of the teenagers with a then-“newfangled” disposable camera.  In truth, we gave the cameras, along with enough money to develop the pictures, to the chaperones so they could surprise the kids once they arrived at their destination.  We heard they were a big hit!
Just this week I remembered a send-off surprise I want to do … and I could use your creativity!  Our postman’s wife was selected to be one of the florists working at the upcoming Tournament of Roses Parade. It’s a lifelong dream of hers, but until recently hearing the words “cancer-free,” she wasn’t sure if she would be able to go. Now … with more excitement than ever, the two of them have purchased plane tickets … and told the kids and grandkids to “go to the other grandparents’ house” this year!  They leave Christmas morning for California!
So here’s where I need your creativity…

What can I include in a “just because” send-off surprise?  Absolutely all I know about her is that she obviously loves working with flowers … and she’s a cancer survivor.  Oh, and she has a husband who’s been pulling for her … and her dream … for a really long time!  So what do you say?  Will you help me brainstorm this one?
UPDATE:  Thank you everyone for your fantastic suggestions! To see the finished product, go HERE.
This post is part of a 31-day series.  To read previous posts, go HERE.


  1. I received these suggestions from an email subscriber: Flower(preferably rose) scented hand sanitizer.
    Travel packages of flower/rose tissues.

  2. More great ideas emailed to me:
    I hear those people work really hard. Long hours as parade time gets close.
    Lotion – tired hands & feet
    Cute socks – roses on them?
    Edibles – granola/power/energy bars
    Autograph book – never know who she’ll meet!
    Poncho or rain slicker – the show must go on!
    A pretty tote bag or backpack – she’ll gather all kinds of souvenirs
    Ear plugs
    Crossword or sudoko for flight

  3. I was going to say ear plugs but I see in the comment ahead of me that it was already suggested. I love the other suggestions, too. I was thinking about some of those socks with the aloe in them. Also, I was thinking about one of those herbal microwavable wraps to sooth tired muscles at the end of the day. I would suggest bath salts for the same reason but I’m not sure they would fly well. I don’t want her suspected of being a bomber or something.