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Holiday Gift Guide
A gift for everyone on your list

13 Gifts For Long-Distance Family Members And Friends

Bring your loved ones closer with these long-distance gifts.

The saying “absence makes the heart grow fonder” only rings true to some extent. We all have at least one close family member or dear friend who lives too far away, and they are the ones you have on speed dial and at the top of your messages. The ones who always remember your birthday and who call you up just to see how you’re doing.

Perhaps that person is a parent or grandparent, or maybe they’re your childhood BFF or cousin who’s practically a sibling. No matter who it is or where they live, you can’t go wrong gifting them something that’ll make them feel closer to home.

We’re here to help make even the farthest family member or friend feel nearby. Below, you’ll find a list of practical gifts to stay connected to your long-distance loved ones, as well as thoughtful presents to show them you care.

A nostalgic state mug from Anthropologie.
There is no such thing as too many coffee mugs. These Whitney Winkler Home State Mugs features a watercolor, gold-foiled picture of their home state that will make even the dreariest of mornings a bit brighter.
A watch that displays two time zones.
No matter what time zone your loved family member is in, this unisex watch from Charles-Hubert will help keep you on track. The genuine leather band and stainless steel case is waterproof and features a dual time display. Give this to your cross-country mom or dad so they don’t end up calling you at 6 a.m. on a Sunday!
A nice smelling candle that will remind them of home.
Uncommon Goods
If your child, niece or nephew has left the nest and has moved to another state, these Homesick Candles are just what they need. Whether it’s a sweet bourbon, vanilla scent from Kentucky or a pine and fir fragrance from Virginia, these state-themed candles will bring a smile to your loved one’s face.
A way to make your weekly Skype sessions easier.
With a 10-inch HD screen and top-notch speakers, the all-new Echo Show is your BFF when your real one can’t be there. Ask Alexa to bring up a recipe when your hands are full, or to turn on your favorite TV show from across the room with a compatible TV. Best yet, you can make video calls using Skype and ask Alexa to call your loved ones at the sound of your voice. No more juggling your phone or sitting still in front of your laptop for your weekly Skype session.
These touch lamps that will literally light up your loved one’s life.
Uncommon Goods
With this set of touch lamps, you can send your parent, grandparent, BFF, cousin, or any other loved one well wishes through light. Simply connect your lamp via Wi-Fi and send the other one to your giftee. Now, your connection is only a mere touch away.
This mini photo printer to make memories last longer than your phone memory.
Chances are your smartphone is filled with memorable photos of you and your long-distance loved one. The HP Sprocket Portable Photo Printer allows you to print these photos and turn them into mementos. The small device uses Bluetooth so you can take it on whatever adventure your heart desires.
“We are always close at heart” wall art.
This beautifully framed, hand-crafted heart print features two locations for you and your loved one. Designed and printed in California, this Etsy seller will even provide a proof before the picture is printed to ensure it meets your standard.
A way to stay on the same page.
With the “Once Upon a Book Club” subscription box from Cratejoy, you and your BFF can be on the same page all the time. Every month, a newly-released book along with themed goodies arrive at your doorstep. The subscription even offers book club discussion questions and the opportunity to participate in chats and reading sessions.
This new piece of luggage that encourages them to come visit.
The Bigger Carry-On from Away is the perfect nudge to get your loved one come visit you. The sleek, guaranteed-for-life bag fits all major U.S. airlines carry-on restrictions. There’s even an ejectable battery to keep phones and tablets fully charged while on the road.
Fresh flowers on subscription, to brighten up their home.
Give the gift of fresh flowers with a Bouqs flower subscription. This international flower company will ship your choice of bouquet to your loved one as often as you please. They even ship plants, for folks who prefer greenery over florals.
A coffee table book that tells the story of two long-distance friends.
Maria Alexandra Vettese and Stephanie Congdon Barnes only met in-person once, yet their online blog 3191 Miles Apart documents their lives each morning from Portland, Ore. and Portland, Maine. It's also been adapted for a visually stunning book, “A Year of Mornings: 3191 Miles Apart”. Giving their book to your long-distance giftee is a reminder that the miles between you is nothing compared to the memories you have together.
A meal kit, because food is always the way to a person’s heart.
Scott Eisen via Getty Images
Blue Apron takes the hassle out of searching for a recipe, buying the ingredients, and slaving over the stove. Give a gift card and your friend can select their own easy, top-rated recipes and have them delivered to their door. Buy a subscription for yourself, and both of you can plan to cook the same meal that night! That’s almost like dinner together, right?
A promise for more snail mail.
There’s something about a handwritten card or letter that makes life a little bit sweeter. Giving a notecard set like this one from Target nudges your friend to send you a card in the upcoming days, weeks or months ahead.