16 Thoughtful Gifts to Send to Long-Distance Friends and Family

You might not be together, but you'll feel closer than ever with these sweet and sentimental gift ideas.

Sponsored: Our editors independently choose products they love from the sponsors’ product lines. Price and availability could change after publish date, and we may make money from these links.
November 01, 2021

When we were kids, my best friend and I pinky-swore that we'd buy houses right next to each other one day when we became "real adults." So, of course, we ended up attending two different colleges, moving to separate states and eventually living in two different countries. The irony is not lost on me.

Our 14-years-strong long-distance friendship has taught me a lot about staying connected, though, like how a simple "thinking of you" gift can always help bridge the distance. If you're apart from your own friends and family this year, try sending a token of your love with these sweet and sentimental gift ideas.

From $69.99

Spoil your loved ones and spread some serious holiday cheer with a gift from Harry & David. You can choose from hundreds of delectable treats, like Christmas cookies and Royal Riviera pears, or opt for the Grand Gift Box, which includes cinnamon swirl bread and peppermint bark. Harry & David will even deliver the treats to their door, so your loved ones don't have to lift a finger.

Buy It
From $155

Sometimes the best gifts are the ones they never saw coming. Instantly melt Mom or Dad's heart with this custom signpost listing the locations of all their kids and/or grandkids. Each arrow is painted with a "warmly weathered" finish and stationed on an oxidized steel bar that they can display in the backyard.

Buy It

Fact: Distance is no match for good old-fashioned friendship bracelets. Brighten their wardrobe and bridge the gap between you with a pair of these two-toned stretch bracelets. They're available in 13 different hues, so you can easily find a design they'll love and a matching one for your own wrist.

Buy It
$28.50

Maybe you can't be there to read to your niece or nephew in person, but you can still share a story with them. Start with this adorable board book, which follows a poodle named Pierre who learns that waiting is hard but worth it! The charming illustrations and stuffed poodle will remind them of you, and keep them company until you're together again.

Buy It

What better way to spoil your crafty sister or sister-in-law than with a bouquet of flowers that she actually gets to embroider? The kit comes with everything she needs, from the wooden hoop to the colorful DMC thread, and will make a cheerful piece of wall art that she can enjoy for years.

Buy It

Missing your favorite co-worker right about now? Let them know you're thinking of them and rooting for them from afar with this ready-to-ship "Way to Go" gift box. Inside, they'll find a new notebook, a thumbs-up candle and a pair of socks that support education and literacy.

Buy It

If you can't squeeze them in person, this cheeky throw is obviously the next best thing. The blanket is crafted from cozy cotton with a soft fringe trim, reads "Very Big Hug" in black text and will give them all the warm and fuzzy feelings every time they see it.

Buy It

Okay, we may have teared up a little when we saw this one. If you live a few hours away and won't be home for the holidays, add a special touch to Mom's tree with a pretty, personalized ornament that reads, "Side by side or far apart, family will always be close at heart." You can shop the look in ceramic and customize it with your own states.

Buy It

Make Mom or Dad feel like everyone's home for the holidays, even if you're celebrating separately, by surprising them with a 16-slot frame for their mantel. You can fill the squares with candids you and your siblings have taken throughout the year or use the professional shots from your Christmas mini photo shoots.

Buy It
$84.99 $55
On Sale!

Give Grandma and Grandpa a way to see everyone and stay connected with their very own Echo Show 5. This compact device will fit neatly on their countertop and allow them to make hands-free calls to other Echo devices or via Skype. And when they're not chatting with their favorite people? They can use the crisp 5.5-inch screen to watch the news or follow recipes step-by-step.

Buy It
From $17

Give your long-distance partner (or your BFF!) a little piece of you to take everywhere they go and mail them this custom keychain. You'll start by uploading a favorite photo, and then the artist will use acrylic pens to render it into an adorable keepsake.

Buy It
$34

Send your sibling or childhood bestie some love from afar with a hand-poured candle inspired by your hometown. They'll appreciate how the sleek glass container complements their decor, while the subtle notes spark nostalgia for you and the place where you grew up together.

Buy It

Let Grandma or Grandpa know that you're thinking of them, especially when you're far apart, by handing them this personalized pillow cover. The canvas material is nice and soft for their favorite chair and can be customized with multiple names at the top and bottom.

Buy It

Shop More Gift Ideas

Next Up

16 Best Gift Ideas for Tea Lovers

From loose leaf to cold or hot, we've rounded up the best gifts to surprise your tea-loving friend or snag for yourself.

9 Handy Tools and Accessories for Your Gift-Wrapping Station

You may not be able to recruit Santa's elves, but you can create an efficient gift-wrapping operation with helpful tools and supplies you might not already have on hand to make the job easier.

12 Thoughtful Gifts for Grandparents

Turn the spoilers into the spoiled with these sweet and sentimental gifts.

23 Gifts for Teens That They'll Actually Like

Some people say that teens are difficult to shop for, but we beg to differ. Grab any one of these gifts, and we guarantee you'll get plenty of smiles and "thank-yous" from your kid.

The Best Toys + Gifts for 10-Year-Olds

We've curated the perfect gift guide for our decade-making tweens to have fun with friends, bring out their creativity and embrace their personal style.

The Best Membership Gifts for Everyone on Your List

These thoughtful membership gifts are perfectly tailored to their interests and can be delivered in minutes — no shipping delays to worry about!

40 Cheap Stocking Stuffer Ideas for Everyone on Your List

From clever gadgets for tech lovers, DIYers, pets and more, shop these creative gifts under $25.

12 Amazing Gift Ideas Under $150 for the Whole Family

Check three, four or even more people off your list at once with these unique gift ideas that promote family togetherness.

25+ Best Gift Ideas for Every Kind of Camper

From backcountry breakfasts to alpine treks, we've got all the essentials for stocking stuffers and wishlist gifts for your favorite campers.

26 Splurge vs. Save Gift Ideas for Everyone on Your List

Whether you need a splurge-worthy gift idea or an inexpensive, yet still thoughtful one, we've got your holiday gifting needs covered.

Go Shopping

Refresh your home with stylish products handpicked by HGTV editors.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.