Just because our friends live on the other side of the country or even a different country altogether doesn’t mean that we can’t show them we care. It just means that we have to think outside of the box to make special moments in their lives — like their birthdays — even more special. It could be as simple as a classic friendship bracelet or a stuffed animal friend of their favorite kind of cuddly creature. Check out our list of 10 creative birthday gift ideas for your long-distance friends.

1. Friendship Journal — Send your friend a friendship journal so they can be inspired by fun prompts regarding your friendship. They can write about their favorite memories of your friendship. Your friend can make a list of their top five favorite things about your shared companionship. Before you give your friend the friendship journal, you can write them a thoughtful note as an introduction to your friendship journal at the beginning of the journal. Remind them that they’ll always have your friendship, no matter the distance.

2. Colorful Gel Pens — If your friend loves the friendship journal, they’ll love a set of colorful gel pens to go along with the journal. These gel pens are the perfect gift for any friend who loves fun pens or stationery. If your friend enjoys getting creative with bullet journals or writing down their thoughts and ideas, get them a set of gel pens to spark their creativity.

3. Custom Map — Let’s say you and your long-distance friend live in different states or even different countries. You can send them a customized map that puts your location and their location together in the shape of a heart. It’s a reminder that absence makes the heart grow fonder. They’ll think of you fondly every time they look at your personalized friendship map.

4. Scratch-Off Travel Map — According to data from Statista, the most popular museum worldwide remains the Louvre in Paris. If your friend has been there, they can use the new beautiful scratch-off travel map you’ve gifted them to scratch that off their map. If they haven’t, they should definitely add it to their travel wish list! They’ll have so much fun scratching off different countries they’ve been to that have satisfied their wanderlust.

5. Capsule Messages in a Bottle — You can get pretty creative with your messages in a bottle for your friend. You can put thoughtful notes for your friend in empty pill capsules and send them in a faux prescription bottle. Add messages rolled up with string or ribbon into a Mason jar. Write one long letter and put it in an empty wine bottle. Decorate any of these bottles with stickers, glitter and paint.

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6. Friendship Bracelets — There’s something so sincere about handmade friendship bracelets. There are plenty of friendship bracelet kits you can find online. You can also go to your local arts and crafts store to make them yourself. Get creative with strings, beads and charms. You can spell out your names on the friendship bracelets with alphabetical beads.

7. State Necklaces — Wear your friendship in style with pretty gold or silver state necklaces. If you live in New York while your long-distance BFF lives in California, you can get necklaces with pendants in the shape of both states. They’re stylish and delicate jewelry pieces that will match with just about anything you both own. Plus, it’ll remind you both of your friendship — even from afar.

8. Stuffed Animal Friend — Send your long-distance friend some cute stuffed animals. Think about what their favorite animal might be. Do they like mythical creatures like unicorns and dragons? Do they like a classic teddy bear? Maybe they were totally into a dinosaur stuffed animal when they were younger. When you give them the gift of a stuffed animal friend, you give them the snuggly gift of something to cuddle with and remind them of your special friendship.

9. Cozy Teddy Bear Jacket — Speaking of cozy, send them a teddy bear they can actually wear. Trendy teddy bear jackets are both fashionable and snuggly. They can be worn any time of year when your friend can use some extra warmth or something to feel comfy in. If they’re a WFH warrior or just looking for a jacket that can double as a blanket when you’re on the couch, get them a cozy teddy bear jacket. You can do an online streaming watch party where you two watch the same show together even when you’re apart.

10. Matching Astrological Pajama Sets — This gift is perfect for the friend who knows what their sun, moon and rising signs are all about. Get yourself and your bestie a pair of matching astrological pajama sets. If you’re a Cancer and they’re a Capricorn, you can get pajama sets inspired by each of your astrological signs.

You can mix and match any of these 10 creative birthday gift ideas to send to your long-distance friend. Put together a stuffed animal care package online that can be mailed directly to their home. Stick to the jewelry theme and send them both the state necklace and the friendship bracelet. Your friend will surely be able to cherish your friendship no matter how many miles apart you are.

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