Sending gifts through the mail is a suitable stopgap for when you live too far away to deliver a gift in person. Posting cash inside a card is never a good idea, as money has a nasty habit of disappearing along the way, but we have some other ideas if you need to send a birthday or seasonal gift out of state or overseas.
A small gift box is inexpensive to post, even overseas, and it is a great opportunity to curate a few items you know the recipient is going to love. Look for small, lightweight items such as scented candles, candy, a pretty scarf, or a decorative notepad. Try to personalize the gift box as much as possible, and don’t forget to include a hand-written card or note inside.
Brands use gift certificates to make it nice and easy for us to help our loved ones spend money in a particular store. Any business can print their own gift certificates using a tool like Adobe Spark ( for details), but if you prefer to buy rather than make, visit any brand website and check to see whether they sell gift cards or certificates. In many cases, gift certificates are delivered direct to the recipient, so you don’t need to run the gauntlet of the postal service.
Gift cards and certificates can be redeemed for virtually anything, including clothing, homeware, entertainment, and meals out. Select a gift card for a brand you know the recipient will love, and let them spend the money in their own time.
A Video Message
This gift is purse-friendly but big on happiness for the recipient. Grandparents, in particular, will love to receive a video message. Spend a few weeks recording video footage of each member of the family and edit the various clips into a movie. Include face-to-face footage where each member speaks directly to camera; this makes the whole thing a lot more personal. You could end the film with a short piece direct to the camera where everyone tells the recipient how much he or she loves and misses the person. There won’t be a dry eye in the room!
Video messages are easy to email and guaranteed to be a huge hit.
There are plenty of online services where you can create a personalized calendar containing photos of the kids, your pets, or anything you like. It’s a fun, seasonal gift for long-distance relatives. They can hang the calendar in their home and be reminded of your family throughout the year.
Have you accumulated thousands of points through long-haul business travel? If so, why not gift your points to a loved one so they can fly over to see you. This would make a great gift for a parent or grandparent living overseas, especially one who can’t afford to make the trip on his or her own budget.
Another long distance gift option includes filling up a notebook with thoughts, wishes, and personal memories. It will be a wonderful keepsake for your loved one and a reminder of how much you love them.
Disclosure: This blog received a form of compensation for this publication. All opinions are my own.