For most of us, Christmas is about spending time with family and friends, but that’s not the case for New Zealand troops abroad.
Hundreds of New Zealand military personnel are deployed overseas throughout the Christmas period, and in the next few months they’ll each receive a homemade Christmas package.
"It’s our way of thanking those that are deployed and recognition that they’re away from their families for Christmas," RNZRSA’s chief executive Marty Donoghue said.
Donoghue said the Christmas package tradition has been running for 82 years.
The boxes will be sent to troops in South Korea, the Middle East, Antarctica, and South Sudan.
James Molony, who currently serves in the NZ Defence Force, received one of the packages when he was deployed overseas during Christmas.
"It’s quite special being thought of," Molony said.
"The connection with home is pretty significant, so you get a parcel, and you’re connected back with your home country."
This year, handmade cards from students at Silverstream School and Mt Cook School have been included inside each Christmas parcel.
"The soldiers will appreciate it," Molony said.