By Jaimi Erickson
It felt like a family. We had potlucks and a playgroup together. Our children were all toddlers and babies. We were all in the exact same season of life. My first, close military spouse friends meant the world to me.
Just before we had to PCS away from those friends, I had my second baby. My friends stocked my freezer with meals. They watched my toddler at the playground while I was feeding the baby. These were the small actions that allowed for big relationships to grow. It was the iconic military spouse experience.
I still keep in contact with a few ladies from that group. Life as a military spouse means making friends quickly. It also requires saying good-bye regularly.
When living far away from friends — which every single one of us military spouses experience at some point — we miss the get-togethers. It is not easy to travel for celebrations and events. Yet, we want to maintain those solid friendships that last a lifetime.
Having a go-to list of gift ideas helps me show love to my long-distance friends. Even when we are states, or countries, apart I can send simple gifts to let them know I care.
Whether your friend has just had a baby, has a deployed spouse, is going through a health challenge, these gift ideas are easy to ship. They will have a big impact.
Gifts for Friends That Live Far Away
- Email a restaurant gift card. It gives your friend a night off from making dinner.
- Order dinner and have it delivered to your friend’s house. This is so easy with the food delivery apps out there.
- Gift them a meal delivery service for a week or month.
- Send a gift card for grocery delivery.
- Get them a house cleaner for a week. (Ask for their permission first. Not everyone likes other people cleaning their house. But, some do!)
- Diapers and wipes delivered can ease the stress of a new baby. Remember all those diaper changes?!
- Spoonfulofcomfort.com has yummy gifts to send. Who isn’t comforted by delicious soup?
- Wine and special chocolates never disappoint.
- A fun personalized wine glass or tumbler is a great idea for a custom gift.
- Cozy socks and special lotion are always a win.
- Cupcakes from BakedbyMelissa.com help you send delicious cupcakes for any occasion.
- Send flowers to surprise them with a special treat.
- Harry and David mini herb garden is a gift that keeps on giving with fresh herbs at their fingertips.
- Silver Swag Box curated gifts each month make this gift unique and special. Plus it is packed by someone else, so that makes it easy for you too!
Gifts for Kids That Help Mom and Dad Get a Break
Gifts for friends’ kids can help mom or dad get a much-needed break, too! I have sent simple crafts and games for kids. Dollar-store coloring books, with a package of stickers and crayons are fun.
A cardboard house to color can be easily ordered and shipped direct. We have even put together a few of these toddler activity ideas or preschool activity ideas to send. My older kids have helped make them and then we deliver or ship them to friends.
Anything that helps occupy the kids in a productive way can give mom or dad a bit of a break. That is always a gift!
The Friendships Are the Most Important Gifts
So many situations offer us an opportunity to reach out and encourage our friends who live far away. Texts, calls and direct messages still brighten their day.
During my husband’s recent deployment, the texts from friends just checking in brightened my day. The relationships we build are worth maintaining. It does not matter what gifts we give or actions we take as long as we help them feel loved.
Strong friendships just get stronger in spite of the miles, or years, that we live apart. When we get back together it is like no time has passed.
Cherish the friends you make along the way. That is the best gift of military spouse life.