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15 thoughtful gifts to send if you can't make it home for Thanksgiving

Show your appreciation from afar.

Thanksgiving Gifts Credit: Harry & David/Diptyque

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Thanksgiving is going to look a lot different this year amid the COVID-19 pandemic. For some of us, instead of gathering around a table with our closest friends and family, we might be chowing down on turkey and sweet potato casserole over Zoom. While it's hard not to be face to face with the people you love this year, you can still celebrate from afar.

There are tons of gifts you can ship over to your loved ones to ease the sting of not being there a little bit. Not only will the right present make you feel that much more connected to each other, but it will also symbolize your appreciation and gratitude. Here, the top items to send this Thanksgiving when you can’t be there in person.

1. This Thanksgiving dessert essential

Credit: Wolferman's

A Thanksgiving dinner without pumpkin pie is sacrilegious.

Would it really be a Thanksgiving feast without a pumpkin pie? Made from natural ingredients like ginger, cloves, cinnamon and heaps of pure pumpkin, the pie is shipped frozen so your recipient is able to thaw and serve it at their leisure. Though it might be gluten-free, it certainly doesn’t compromise on taste, according to reviewers: “This pie was amazingly good, getting great reviews from my whole family, gluten-free or not. My daughter was reluctant to try it because she said making gluten-free crust that tastes good was very hard, but this pie passed the test. Family members who are not gluten-free also ate it up, some of them were very surprised when I told them it was gluten-free.”

Get the Gluten-Free Pumpkin Pie at Wolferman’s for $34.99

2. This limited-edition Diptyque gift set

Credit: Dyptique

Special occasions call for special, celebrity approved candles.

Fewer candle brands are more iconic than Diptyque, a brand that even Meghan Markle loves. Featuring timeless fruit- and floral-forward fragrances from notes of fig, white flowers and spice, it’s the ultimate way to help your loved ones create a warm and welcoming environment in their home over the holidays. You can send an individually gift-wrapped Diptyque candle or opt for the festive holiday trio. One five-star reviewer calls it the perfect gift: “Diptyque's Christmas packaging this year is gorgeous! The box looks quite grand and of course very luxurious, as always, so this makes such a gorgeous gift.”

3. This highly-rated L.L.Bean throw

Credit: L.L.Bean

Come on, feel the warmth.

Every member of their household can take turns cozying up under this super soft throw that looks as great wrapped around your shoulders as it does draped over a sofa. It comes in four colorways, each of them featuring a chunky cable-knit design on one side and a butter-soft Sherpa fleece on the other. One five-star reviewer cautions that it’ll be deemed the superior blanket of the house, so you’re best off buying enough to go around: “These blankets have brought much strife to my home. Children and grandparents alike are fighting over these blankets, now deemed “the good ones,” while all other throw blankets are no longer acceptable. They are very soft and the cable knit side dresses them up a bit.”

Get the Chunky Cabled Fleece Throw at L.L.Bean for $59.95

4. This advent calendar for tea lovers

English Tea Shop
Credit: English Tea Shop

It's always the right time for a cup of tea.

Advent calendars are the gifts that keep on giving because they a) offer dozens of mini gifts for your loved one to enjoy, and b) allow you to countdown to the holidays together. The book-style calendar comes with 25 tea pyramids in festive flavors like coconut Chai, Moroccan spice, peppermint melon, the cartons of which form a puzzle at the end of the month. Reviewers rave over the calendar’s presentation, making it a treat for the tastebuds and eyes: “Five stars based on presentation & price! I love the presentation of this tea calendar! I’ve had a different brand in the past, where the calendar could be hung up on the wall, but this one looks much more like a traditional advent calendar. It’s adorable & the book style makes it perfectly fitting for me!”

Note that it won't ship until November 27th but your loved ones will get it in time for the countdown to Christmas. You can also find a similar tea advent calendar at Uncommon Goods that's currently still available or shop one of these other popular advent calendars.

5. This top-rated box of Godiva chocolates

Credit: Godiva

Like Willy Wonka's golden ticket, but better.

Boxed chocolate has unfairly gotten a questionable rep over the last few years because it supposedly lacks originality. That’s not the case with this iconic gold box decked out with your choice of a personalized ribbon and note. It features gourmet-quality Belgian chocolates like buttery caramel coated in rich dark chocolate and white chocolate with hints of raspberry puree. Because of that awesome selection, the box has also racked up a 4.8-star rating and 2,900 reviews, many of which claim the packaging is as exquisite as the chocolates themselves. This gift also eliminates the burden of them having to choose what to have for Thanksgiving dessert, because the answer will definitely be this epic collection of treats.

Get the 36-Piece Assorted Chocolate Gold Gift Box from Godiva for $49.95

6. These top-rated silk flowers

Credit: Yiliyajia

These blooms will stay perched on their mantle to infinity and beyond.

This Thanksgiving, consider sending a centerpiece made of artificial flowers (which, let’s be honest, sounds a lot fancier when you call them silk flowers) since your loved one can enjoy them forever. This top-rated arrangement is Amazon’s number one centerpiece with over 2,800 reviews and includes two bouquets, one bunch of greenery, and a ceramic vase. It comes in 13 variations, including an autumnal color palette with a more festive vibe that’s sure to add some life to their home.

Get the YILIYAJIA Artificial Flowers in Vase on Amazon for $29.99

7. This giving shawl

Credit: Demdaco

Happy tears may very well be in your future.

What better way to exhibit your gratitude over Thanksgiving than by gifting a Giving Shawl? This top-rated shawl with a five-star rating is like comfort food in apparel form: it features a buttery soft nylon material, an inside pocket for storing your belongings, and a keepsake bookmark printed with an encouraging, heart-warming message. It’s great for sending to virtually anyone, as it’s one-size-fits-most. One reviewer describes her powerful experience gifting this shawl to her mother: “The tag that came with it tells the receiver that it represents a hug from the person giving the gift. When she read the words she was in tears—and that's not like her. So, yes, this is really special. It's not just a wrap, it's a token of thanks and caring.”

Get the Women's One Size Soft Knit Nylon Giving Shawl Wrap in Gift Box from Amazon for $50.95

8. This adorable way to "succ" up to your pals

Olive Branch Design Co.
Credit: Olive Branch Design Co.

A little bit of humor goes a long way.

Missing Friendsgiving this year? No sweat. What’s awesome about this gift set is that you can customize virtually every aspect. Choose your soy candle scent—like pumpkin pie, white tea or chardonnay—and select any add-ons (for a small fee) including chocolate, lip balm, a tote bag, or coconut milk soap. The set has been sold over 44,000 times, and reviewers say it makes the perfect token of appreciation: “The packaging was beautiful and looked like an already wrapped present. My mom loved all of the contents and was super excited about the succulent.”

Get the Olive Branch Décor Co. Gift Set at Etsy starting at $38.39

9. This missing puzzle to their holiday

Credit: Shutterfly

It's a playful way to show you care.

You might be physically apart this holiday season, but there’s nothing like a puzzle to metaphorically bring you all together. This special keepsake operates as both an activity they can do on family game night, and a décor item to display when not in use (it also comes with a matching photo box, so you don’t need to complete the puzzle to show it off). You can customize your puzzle size, difficulty level and photo collage, making it a unique gift they’ll cherish forever.

Get the Joy Love Laughter Puzzle at Shutterfly starting at $19.79

10. This dinner prep savior

The Pioneer Woman
Credit: The Pioneer Woman

You've never seen fashion and function intersect in the kitchen like this.

If you won’t get to be there for Thanksgiving dinner when you normally help cook and set the table (right?!), this gift is bound to lend an extra hand in your absence. The set comes in three varieties, each boasting a more stunning floral theme than the next. Its 20 melamine, silicone, wood and nylon utensils are the perfect addition to any kitchen, whether they plan on cooking or baking their way through the holiday season. Reviewers call it a “fancy, but highly practical kitchen set. The whisk is thick and strong and the blades of the knives are decorated in a lovely floral print (both of which have silicone, heat-resistant handles). The wooden handled spatulas are also flexible and easy to use.”

Get The Pioneer Woman 20-Piece Gadget Set at Walmart for $35

11. This best-selling wine purifier

Credit: Ullo

Level up the wines they already own.

Because Thanksgiving is not like any other night, sediment-filled boxed wine isn’t going to cut it. This wine filter with 1,200 reviews strategically removes all sulfites and preservatives (that are known to contribute to headaches and hangovers), while maintaining each wine’s natural aromas, hues and tasting notes. Acting as an aerator, the Ullo also “opens up” the wine, too, allowing you to properly savor each drop.

Get the Ullo Wine Purifier on Amazon for $64.95

12. This sophisticated olive oil and balsamic vinegar collection

Credit: Calivirgin

It doesn't get classier than essence-infused oils.

Olive oils and vinegars are such a great gift no matter the occasion—but they’ll be especially well-received during “cooking season” when folks are looking to take a few extra risks in the kitchen. In this beautifully presented gift set, you get an extra-virgin olive oil, basil-infused olive oil, lemon-infused olive oil, garlic-infused olive oil, and a full-bodied aged balsamic vinegar from Modena to balance out the flavors. Proof it makes a great gift? One five-star reviewer says “Their bountiful basil olive oil is one of the best oils I have ever tried. It tastes like fresh basil. The other oils are fantastic, too, and the balsamic vinegar is to die for. We gave a set to friends who had us for dinner and they loved it.”

Get the Calivirgin Olive Oil Sampler Set at Williams Sonoma for $49.95

13. This festive skincare set from Lush

Credit: Lush

All-natural ingredients and fabulous scents make for the perfect gift.

Allow them to usher in the colder weather with Lush skincare essentials that pair best with a piping hot bath. Start with the ever-hydrating Snowcake soap made of oat milk and soy yogurt, followed by Dream Cream body lotion that’s racked up a cult following for its ability to soothe even the most sensitive skin thanks to natural ingredients like camomile, rose, lavender and cocoa butter.

Get the Season’s Greetings Gift Set at Lush for $17.95

14. This 'cheesy' gift box

Uplands Cheese
Credit: Uplands Cheese

You're going to want to hog this artfully curated snack selection all to yourself.

Getting cheesy is not only allowed but it's actually encouraged over the holidays. Filled with Harry and David's top-rated seasonal, gourmet cheese, this gift is a bougie cheese board in a box they’ll love devouring as a snack or for a pre-Thanksgiving appetizer. One reviewer raves that the cheeses have "a unique delicious flavor you can’t get elsewhere."

Get the Gourmet Cheese Collection from Harry & David for $29.99

15. This genius DIY bouquet

Credit: Poppy

Pop these in the mail to boost their mood—and tablescape.

For the real deal, opt for this on-brand floral kit that comes with instructions on how to design a show-stopping bouquet. Delivered in a box to protect your delicate florals and greenery, it’s the perfect alternative to delivering your loved ones an already-assembled arrangement. Plus, allowing them to arrange their bouquet to their liking adds a built-in activity element.

Get the Pumpkin Spice Bouquet at Poppy for $65

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