This year’s Conservative Future Christmas social action project is seeing activists sending packs of supplies, food and presents to our troops overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan – and all ConservativeHome readers have been invited to get involved.

It’s a fantastic way of bringing some festive cheer to the troops serving our country overseas and Anastasia Beaumont-Bott explains here how you can do your bit:

  1. Shoe boxes. All packages under 2kg for troops will be sent out free of charge by Royal Mail! Shoe boxes are the perfect size for packing pressies and goodies and to ensure they arrive in time for Christmas, they have to be ready by 5th December for Afghanistan, and by 10th December for Iraq.
  2. Goodies, foods, and pressies! This is the fun part. It’s time to dig deep and come up with the goods. You know that can of soup in your cupboard that doesn’t go out of date until 2012? Yeah, we’ll have that for the packs. You know those nice pair of socks you got given for Christmas ages ago but have never worn and are still in the packaging? Yeah, we’ll have them too! But you know that chocolate bar? Not so good, it will melt in the mail. Here are some other things you might want to think about including: magazines (though please be aware of what is culturally acceptable in
    Iraq and Afghanistan), soap, hand cream, biscuits (though not chocolate
    ones), paperback books, suduko puzzle books, packs of tissues, pic ‘n’
    mix sweets (apparently VERY popular!), diluting juice powder sachets,
    soup sachets (think cup a soup etc…), deodorants (NOT aerosols though,
    only roll ons) etc.

  1. Saying thanks. Something I really want to
    include in the pack is a short letter of thanks. Words can never
    describe how grateful we are for what our servicemen and servicewomen
    do out there for us, but by sending them some presents and letting them
    know we are thinking of them at a time of year when we will all usually
    be with our loved ones, we can go some way to saying that very special
    thank you. So when you’re packing up your shoebox, don’t forget to
    include a little Christmas card saying thanks and asking the soldier to
    share the presents with his fellow servicemen and women!
  2. To our troops, with love. Time to send the packs out! The
    idea is that we send as many packs as possible out to our troops and
    then the items be distributed amongst the camp when they arrive. In
    order to do that though you will need the name and address of a
    soldier.  Our lists of soldiers will not be being made public but if
    you send me an email at
    saying you’ve got your shoebox ready, I will pass you on a name and
    address for you to write on the parcel and then take to the post
    office.  By all means if you have friends, family or loved ones serving
    over in Iraq or Afghanistan, you are more than welcome to send your
    shoe box to them.  But why stop there? Send as many shoeboxes under 2kg
    as you can manage and together, we can bring a bit of Christmas to our
  3. This is my shoebox and I sent it to… As a final stage
    of the Packs for Troops project, why not take a quick digital snap of
    the inside of your shoebox.  Then write a short paragraph, 3-4
    sentences about why you are taking part, what’s in your shoebox and
    what you would like to say to our troops this Christmas.  Email the
    photo and the paragraph to me at and we’ll put it up on the
    CFSAN blog along with your name.

Here’s hoping for a bumper ConservativeHome response!

Jonathan Isaby

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