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Do you remember when you were younger and present giving was so easy? You could pretty much impress your friends and family with anything – a Popsicle frame barely glued together with your favourite picture of you and your best friend or a creative bookmark covered in fun snaps of everyone. No matter what, it always pulled those heartstrings.

Now that you’re older though, birthday present giving requires a little more thought. And it definitely draws a challenge when you don’t even live in the same country. These days, everyone is everywhere and almost everyone is a juggling a long distance relationship of some sort – whether it’s a good friend, a sibling, a parent or your partner. So how do you find the perfect gift that conveys the right message but doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? Here’s a few creative ideas to spoil your best friend with their next birthday!

1. Book in a virtual date

No doubt if your best friend lives away you have Skyped a million times before. Setting up a special birthday virtual date though will make the day extra fun for her. Obviously different time zones need to be taken into consideration, and you may find yourself having to wake up at a terrible time to make it work – but hey, it’s their birthday!

Start by ‘booking’ the time in with your best friend via an email so it’s officially locked in. If there’s a close group of you, it can be a good idea to have everyone over and create a virtual date together. Set the scene by dressing up nice, eating dinner “together” with a glass of bubbles in your hand. For whatever reason if your best friend cannot Skype on the day, put together a video message and record it on a CD and post it in time for him/her to watch. You can also get your whole group of friends involved in this one too, if relevant.

2. The perfect delivery

Surprising your friend with a gift basket delivery on their special birthday will definitely bring a smile to her face – and you can tie it into your virtual birthday date as well to make it extra special. Hampers range in price, size and included goodies so it’s super easy to find one to impress your friend this year.

To find the perfect delivery, get a hamper that encourages your friend’s favourite hobbies or offers the perfect excuse to relax with. Some gift basket delivery sites also offer mini gift hampers which are fantastic for places with a higher delivery cost.

3. Get creative

Long distance relationships of any kind force you to get a little creative when it comes to present giving. And just because you’re not a kid any more that can get away with a Popsicle frame, it doesn’t mean you can’t still be creative and tug on those heartstrings.

For close friends and family that do live in a different state or country, keeping up to date with the latest photos and family stories is even a bigger priority. Sure, technology has made it much easier to do this with Facebook being a go-to-source for photos and catch ups but it’s just not the same.

Instead get those creative juices flowing by putting together a scrapbook or journal filled with memories your friend or family member will absolutely adore. Again, it’s a good one for all your friends to get involved in by including a message from them, pictures and anything memorable you might want to add. To really add a personal touch, top it off by doing the old fashioned pen to paper and write a note wishing them a huge happy birthday.

4. Tickets, vouchers and subscriptions

Just because you and your best friend live in a different city or country, it doesn’t mean you can’t source tickets or vouchers they can use. Purchase tickets for his or her favourite concert or event or hunt down a nice day spa near their location you can buy a voucher for online. Post it off in time for their special day complete with a card (go for a handmade card if you’re feeling creative) or a letter with a few of the latest snapshots they can enjoy.

For those friends that love a little quite time with a cup of tea and their favourite magazine, arrange a yearly subscription so they don’t have to worry about heading out to buy it herself. You can always pick a subscription based on her hobbies. For example; if she loves gardening, music or baking look for subscriptions she can pull ideas from all year round.

5. A personal message

You can take almost any gift and customise it with a personal message to give it a unique touch. This is a great idea for long distance friendships as it’ll serve as a constant reminder she’s on her loved ones’ minds. Consider purchasing a jewellery box or a nice ornament for her home you can have engraved with a super special birthday message on it.

Lockets are a beautiful way to keep loved ones close too and can be made even more personal with a nice photo of the two of you inside complete with an engraving on the back. Engraving tends to be a really cost effective way to give a gift a personal touch, just make sure the gift you choose is fine to be customised.

The phase “it’s the thought that counts” really reigns true when it comes to present giving and long distance relationships. Sometimes the smallest gifts can go the longest way. What gift will you send your long distance friend or family member this year?

By Jayde Ferguson, an online blogger and copywriter, who recommends the birthday gift hampers at Boxt.com.au for the perfect long distance gift this year. Boxt are a leading online provider of hampers and other gift ideas and do delivery throughout Australia.