long distance gifts

9 Ideas for Stress-Free Long Distance Gifts

When my husband and I were first married, we did a lot of Christmas gifting. His children lived in Seattle. His family lived in California and Arizona. My family lived in Colorado and Pennsylvania. Our haul in December consisted of eleven boxes. UPS loved us! Forty-five years later, how I give long-distance gifts has changed. My stepchildren have spread out to Alaska, Tennessee, Arizona and California. My brother is a grandfather and my husband’s niece and nephew have growing children. But I am not stressed. Here are a few tips for keeping long-distance gift-giving from getting out of hand and ideas for long-distance gifts that will please everyone!

Take the Stress Out of Shipping Gifts

long distance gifts

  • Understand and accept the economy. Times change, so do prices, as in up! Do not expect to be able to afford to gift as you did 20 years ago. Do not feel guilty at not being able to afford gifts you would like to give. Employ other methods of showing your love at holiday time.
  • Know your physical shopping limitations. We used to dash all over the malls picking out both fun and practical gifts. Dashing may not be in your vocabulary anymore. Consider online shopping as a great alternative.
  • Embrace Technology. Understand the effect technology has not only on gift-giving but on gift sending. If you shop online you can often have gifts wrapped and sent right to their house!
  • Try Pick-up Services. Everyone knows the post office is a nightmare during the holidays. But did you know the United States Postal Service now offers pick-up service? Visit USPS.com to see if your area is eligible then schedule a pick-up time and avoid the post office all together!

Long Distance Gift Ideas

People generally like to give what others will use and enjoy. If you are sending a gift to people across the country whom you do not see very often, you may not know personal preferences. You may not know what they enjoy as far as entertainment or technology is concerned. Maybe you don’t know what size clothing they wear or what styles they like. Given that, here are some great long-distance gifts people would love to receive:

Seasonal Food Baskets

Harry and David has a wide variety of choices so you can find something for everyone. People entertain at holiday times. They get together for meals. What better gift to give than hors d’oeuvres and desserts? This category of gifts can be ordered and paid for online. Gifts are also delivered. Unbeatable.

Split the Cost of Travel

If you live far away from someone you love, one of the best things you can get them is a trip to spend time together. This one needs some discussion since it works best if you gift each other the trip. I often go on trips with my daughter and son-in-law to help out. I usually pick up the hotel bill. They pay for the tickets to Disneyland. We split the meals. Works out.

Gift Cards

Some people think gift cards are impersonal. On the contrary, they allow loved ones to choose their own gifts. You usually don’t know the preferences of those you don’t see often. I would rather receive a gift card for anything than another coffee mug. Your friends and family who live far away probably feel the same. If you know a favorite store or restaurant you can purchase a gift card they can use there. If you don’t get something that has lots of options like Amazon or Target.


Again, it may seem impersonal. But I’ve never seen anyone turn it down. Teenagers and twenty-somethings always seem ready to go shopping. They do appreciate money!

Subscription Boxes

Subscription boxes are very popular right now. Typically, you pick how many months you would like them delivered. Then every month they’re shipped with curated items that remind them of you! For dog lovers, there is Bark Box. For wine lovers try Firstleaf Wine Club. If you’re not sure what they’d like CrateJoy has 100s of options for you to explore.



One of the most important gifts you can give is yourself. Share a holiday letter telling the news of your family. When you share your life they know that they matter, that you want them to know how you are doing. Share your life, share your love. Enjoy the holidays!



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