It's not too late to fill someone's belly with holiday cheer.
The pandemic is really throwing a wrench in everyone's holiday meal plans, and with leaders asking people to refrain from travel and extended family meals, sending far-off family and friends deliciously thoughtful food gifts is 2020's best bet. "Gathering over a table is something that so many cultures, have in common," explains Aly Walansky, a food news writer for Today.com, Forbes, and the Food Network. "But this year, we can't gather together, or at least shouldn't, and that means trying to find ways to recreate that family dinner in a way that is safe and distanced. Sending food gifts that can be shared virtually is a way to have that meal together, even if together is across a screen."
The solution, she says, exists in the magic of technology and fast shipping. "If you're been locked at home, separated from all the people and things you love, a touch of the familiar can do wonders. You can order everything from authentic deli meals to Chicago-style pizza delivered right to your door to honor the flavors everyone is craving."
Freshly Meal Subscriptions, starting at $8.49 per meal
If you can't be with family and friends this holiday, you can at least send them everything they'll need for a healthy, delicious meal with Freshly. It's a weekly subscription service delivering fresh, not frozen, chef-cooked meals that can be heated and served in just three minutes. Unlike pesky meal kits, all they'll need is an appetite, a microwave, fork, and the ever-optional plate to get a hearty meal on the table. They can pick from a menu of over 30 single-serve meals including classic comfort foods and twists on popular takeout favorites made with healthier ingredient swaps. You'll look like the king or queen of thoughtful gift-giving.
This easy-to-give blended Irish whiskey from Kilbeggan is even easier to drink, and ships in time for treasured, intimate holiday meals and nights by the fire. It's a double-distilled blended Irish sip that's down to Earth enough to sip in slippers, but complex enough to pair with a more sophisticated holiday meal with table manners and mom's life-affirming pie. It works just as well on its own as it does paired with popular mixers like cola, ginger ale, and coffee. Expect a dry mouthfeel with woody, oak-like tones.
This straight-from Wisconsin cheese gift comes pre-loaded with five different popular cheeses from everyone's favorite dairy state, and it ships in time for Christmas thanks to Amazon. They'll get a hunk each of sharp cheddar, baby Swiss, colby, smoked gouda, and edam -- all in an adorable little gift-worthy crate. Sure, it's share-worthy, but probably even more fun for someone stuck at home with nothing but Netflix on their itinerary.
Little House Confections
This olive oil-based, dairy-free cake is just the right level of moderate sweetness to end a holiday meal or pair with a handful of salted almonds and a sipping port. In fact, it's the cake that put Little House Confections on the map as a viral overnight cake-making sensation thanks to clean flavors, sophisticated elegance, and ingredients food lovers can easily understand. Each cake serves four to six people, and is made in a nut-free kitchen.
This candy-filled pack is enough to keep a large, home-bound family happy through the entire holiday break. It's filled with iconic See's Candies treats, including a large batch of peanut brittle, a pound each of assorted chocolates, nuts and chews, truffles, Almond Royal (you'll go nuts for it), and Toffee-ettes. The gift pack also includes 11 ounces of extra fancy mixed salted nuts, and half a pound each of assorted peppermints and assorted molasses chips. Expect a battle over who gets first dibs, but that's a crisis we can all handle in 2020.
Patron Reposado Tequila, $55.99
This reposado tequila is handcrafted from 100 percent Weber Blue Agave and aged for three to five months for a festive mouthfeel with notes of oak, citrus fruit, and honey. The finish is light and sweet -- perfect for blended drinks, cocktails with the pod crew, or slow solo sipping. And guess what? If you're not pressed for time and a super-speedy delivery, you can even have the bottle engraved with your initials, a special date, lucky number, or whatever else tickles your personalized fancy.
Hot N Saucy
Upgrade their hot sauce game with this garlicky formula created by Jamaican-American chef Samantha Davis-Allonce. It's a playful Harlem-inspired take on traditional hot sauce with bright, peppery flavors and happy, colorful packaging that'll make even your refrigerator door crack a smile. It's also gluten-free, all-natural, and a life-changing way to upgrade the typical grilled cheese, roasted chicken, or any other cold weather food favorite.
Nutella recently released their first-ever Nutella DIY Holiday Breakfast kit to give families a fun activity that brings them together, in-person or virtually, all while supporting No Kid Hungry. The limited-edition, fun to give and receive gift features all the key ingredients to make Nutella Gingerbread Pancake recipe at home, and includes a specially-marked Nutella holiday jar. For every specially marked jar sold in either this kit or individually at local retailers, a portion of proceeds will go to support No Kid Hungry -- meaning you can feel good about this sweet treat no matter what.
Gray Whale Gin, $39.99
Tell the gin lover on your list to prepare the tonic, because this classic holiday booze is an upgraded version of the old classic thanks to a little Californication. It's zippy, savory, and infused with local sustainable botanicals -- perfect for intimate cocktails at home. The bottle also makes an enticing top shelf display.
This set of six handcrafted, superfood-rich chocolate bars is just the kind of thing you'd love noshing on with family if you were all together. Send them a set this year instead, and maybe order an extra one for yourself. They're made with 70 percent fair-trade Ecuadorian cacao that melts in your mouth. They're sweetened with just honey, are dairy-free and boast zero refined sugars, soy, preservatives, gluten, palm oil, or atificial stuff. Flavors in this set include ginger with black pepper, rose with cardamom, orange quinoa with turmeric, peppermint with lavender, sea salt with turmeric, and exciting raspberry with beetroot.
Kenny & Ziggy's
Bring the New York deli experience (or the recipes Grandma is used to, anyway) to your home with a soup and sandwich pack from Kenny & Ziggy's. Start with their famous matzo ball soup with giant, mouth-watering matzo balls. Then move on to a belly-filling triple-smoked pastrami sandwich on fresh-baked rye bread with deli mustard, homemade cole slaw, and two crispy, crunchy pickles. You may be suprised to learn this deli is actually based in Texas, so zippy-quick shipping is available nationwide through Goldbely. You can always other other cult-favorites from Kenny & Ziggy's though, like their combo meat sandwiches, latkes, lox, and more.
Saltverk Flaky Sea Salt, $10.99
Feeling salty about missing out on family time this year? Join the club, and at least make the salt extra high quality. Saltverk sea salts are handcrafted from Iceland's Viking waters, ripe with the natural flavors of the Westfjords and the ruggest north. Better yet, this company boasts no carbon footprint and an environmentally-friendly addition to all sorts of meals. Be sure to order quickly for prompt Christmas delivery from Amazon.
Is there anything better than boozy ice cream? Hardly, and while most of us will be home with immediate family only, this fast-shipping gift is the way to feel closer to your 'in' crowd in the days leading up to December 31. Orders include four pints of champagne-infused ice cream made with fresh strawberries, black cherry puree, and G.H. Mumm Brut Grand Cordon. Get ready to relax on the sofa, because this 21 and over chilly treat contains up to five percent alcohol by volume.
Dylan's Candy Bar
The annual holiday tradition to wander around New York City and into the iconic Dylan's Candy Bar doesn't have to be totally out the window this year, because this Christmas Crunch popcorn snack mix tin is a trio of white chocolate holiday mix, hot chocolate marshmallow swirl and gingerbread crunch popcorn- a must-have for parties and Christmas movie marathons. And yes, it's straight from Dylan's Candy Bar and perfect for cozy holiday movie nights, kitchen counter munching, and sharing with the treasured loved ones you're hunkering down with.
No gift-wrapping necessary with this energizing gift for the home brewer (we're all home brewers at this point though, aren't we?). Sample coffee from far-flung holiday vacation hot spots like Costa Rica, Guatemala, Kenya, Colombia, Ethiopia, and Honduras with this artfully-decorated bean purveyor's offerings. Plus, they ship just about anywhere so you'll be able to share a cup over FaceTime with loved ones.