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Thanksgiving Care Package Must-Haves if Your Student Can't Come Home

Morgan Keegan

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Thanksgiving is a family-oriented holiday, and if your student has to stay in their college town for Thanksgiving this year like I do, they might be pretty bummed about it.

Here are some things to include in a care package to help your student have a homey Thanksgiving away from home!

1. Pre-Cooked Thanksgiving Meal Kit 

If your student is in the dorms, or just simply doesn’t want to buy and cook an entire Thanksgiving dinner for a few people, look into local restaurants and grocery stores’ pre-cooked meals. All your student will have to do is pick it up (better yet — have it delivered) and warm up the feast!


2. Their Favorite Fall Treats

These can be anything from your homemade pumpkin bread, apple cider cookies, or any sweet treat you’d usually have waiting for them when they arrive home for the Thanksgiving holiday. Share some recipes with them and offer to walk them through the process over video call!


3. Thanksgiving/Holiday Decorations 

If your student is used to coming home to a fully decorated house, send some fun decorations for their space to help it feel like a home away from home. These can also be some fun DIY’s for them to do with roommates.


4. Fuzzy socks

Fuzzy socks are a staple for the holiday season. Send your student some holiday-themed socks or some in their favorite color to keep them cozy at school.


5. Mug 

Mugs are great care package gifts because they’re so affordable and versatile! Pop one into your care package to give your student something novel and fun to use in their morning routine. Maybe throw in some of their favorite tea or coffee as a bonus.


6. Apple Cider K-Cups

If your student loves your homemade apple cider, send them some apple cider k-cups so they can have some warm apple cider on a chilly day.


7. Fall-Scented Candle 

Candles can make any room cozy and inviting, especially during the holiday season. Send your student one of their favorite fall scents to enjoy while sipping on their apple cider.


8. Fall-Scented Fragrance Oil

If your student is staying in their dorm, candles may not be an option, but scented oils in a diffuser will definitely do the trick. Pop in some fall-scented fragrance oils so they can safely enjoy their favorite fall scents. I’d suggest wrapping them in plastic before packaging to keep everything else oil-free in case of a leak.


9. Cozy Hat

Is your student's campus in a northern state? Send them a cute hat to wear when as brace for chilly winter temperatures.


10. Hand Lotion 

Fall begins the time of dry, cracked skin that doesn’t quit until spring. Throw in your student's favorite hand lotion to keep their hands crack-free through the end of the school year.



Although your student may not be able to have a traditional holiday at home this year, these items will help them feel warm and loved — which is what Thanksgiving is all about.

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Morgan Keegan is a Graphic Design Specialist and Content Creator for CollegiateParent. She attended the University of Colorado at Boulder, graduating with a degree in Creative Writing, Journalism, and Communications. She grew up in Bronx, NY and enjoys painting, hanging out with her two cats, and taking care of her many plants.
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