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  • Scattered Families

Sending gifts overseas

Have you got a son or daughter (possibly grandchildren, too) living overseas or far away? Is there a special celebration coming up? One of the ways we like to mark these occasions is by sending a gift. But marking special occasions like Christmas, birthdays, or other major life milestones can be a challenge when you have loved ones who are far away.

Of course you can send a parcel. But the cost of sending parcels can end up being more than the cost of the gift itself. And you can’t always guarantee that the parcel will arrive on time - or actually be sure that it will arrive at all!

Alternatives might involve a bit of internet research, but it’s surprising what’s you can come up if you hunt around and if you are prepared to try something different.

Here are five ideas to get you started:

  • Not every country has an Amazon or its equivalent, but many major retailers now offer e-gift cards/vouchers that can be sent via email and used online or in store. They can be used for wide range of items, from electronic goods and DIY equipment to clothing and perfume.

  • With so many services now based on a subscription model, buying a year’s subscription can be a great gift. It could be for something common, maybe a streaming service like Netflix or Disney, or a magazine subscription for a favourite hobby or interest. Another alternative would be to pay for a year’s access to online learning platforms such as Skillshare, Masterclass or Domestika.

  • Use the internet to track down stores in or close to your son or daughter’s neighbourhood that will either deliver to their door, or who will put aside an item for them to collect. Obvious contenders are local florists, wine merchants or speciality food outlets. You can order by email, then pay by bank transfer or make a card payment over the phone.

  • Digital books from the likes of Amazon, Kindle and Kobo can often be gifted online in e-book format. You could send the latest offering from their favourite fiction author, or perhaps they’d appreciate a non-fiction e-book connected to a hobby or other interest? If you prefer the human touch of a bound paper book, then check out local and national bookstores in the country of destination and see if they can deliver for you.

  • Or how about a voucher for a performance venue, allowing them to enjoy a concert, play or a different type of entertainment? Some vouchers are valid for up to 12 months, so they’ll not only be able to find something that suits their individual tastes, but also make sure it fits into their busy lifestyles.

You may not be able to get together in person for every special occasion, but sharing gifts of one sort or another with your son, daughter (or grandchild) is another way to play a part in their celebrations.

Even if you are in different parts of the world when there is a happy event, you can still foster that feeling of closeness by sending something that shows that, although you can’t be with them on that special day, you are still thinking about them.

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