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    23 Things To Help You Feel Closer To Family Members Who Are Far Away

    Just because you can't hug them in person doesn't mean you can't hug a big ole pillow shaped like their face.

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. An adjustable neck mount for your phone to make a hands-free virtual dinner with the fam a total breeze, whether you want to wear it or prop it on the table.


    You can also use it to steady your phone on a flat surface, or wedge it between couch cushions for stable Netflix marathoning!

    Promising review: "Best invention for cell phones and tablets. This is one of the best products ever! I use it for my lives, FaceTime, and for watching my iPad. Super light and comfy! My hands feel better after one week of use!" —Dannette M. Cara

    Get it from Amazon for $9.25.

    2. A string of enchanting fairy lights with clips for photos, so you can have all your happy memories with your family as a night-light in your room ✨.

    A string of clip on fairy lights with photos attached to them

    Each battery-operated string of lights comes with 20 clips for photos, and has eight different lighting modes so you can personalized it based on the vibe of your space.

    Promising review: "This product is so cute! All of the lights in the clips work perfectly fine and give a soft glow. My favorite part of this product is that with the remote you can turn it to whatever setting and brightness you choose. This also allows me to shut it on and off without out having to get up out of my bed at night if i need some light late at night. The clips are also great quality and are perfect for hanging pictures, cards, money, etc. This adds a cute aesthetic to my room." —Dee Vee

    Get it from Amazon for $11.99.

    3. A Bluetooth-connected instant mini photo printer that transmits images directly from your phone and prints them on the spot, so you can make happy memories feel even more solid and lasting.

    A white mini printer about the size of a phone printing an image from a phone

    The printer is controlled using an app that lets you edit the lighting and crop of the photo you choose, and comes with a pack of ZINK (zero ink) paper — the printer doesn't need an ink cartridge because it prints the colors from the paper itself. The ZINK paper also has an optional adhesive peel-off back, so you can turn any photo into an instant magnet or sticker.

    Promising review: "I did a lot of research on printers and by far this is the best to buy. The reasons are endless, but the app and the printer makes beautiful pictures. There are so many options, from borders, adjusting lighting, resizing, rotating, collage, and the list goes on and on. This little printer does more than a big one can. Another added bonus is the picture back peels off to use as a sticker or put on a magnet for the office pics. I use my planner also like a memory keeper of the day to day happenings. So when I can grab a quick pic of the grandkids, in the moment, on my phone later in the evening I print the perfect size and stick it into my planner. Now I am not letting little moments slip away. Nor do I have to drag a photo album out to see it. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this printer and will be giving them as gifts this year to family and friends. 10 Stars and all thumbs up!" —Carol Smith

    Get it from Amazon for $79.97.

    4. Why I Miss You, a small journal you can fill in the blanks of and send to the family you're missing most. It comes with sweet prompts like "Next time we hang out, let's ___ until we ____" and "We should start a long distance _____ club."

    A small rectangular pocket-sized journal

    TBH, all of my answers to these are cake-related, but do with this what you will.

    Promising review: "My boyfriend loved this! Said it was the most thoughtful gift he ever received! Had a blast filling this out and we reference it a lot!" —Lori Dison

    Get it from Amazon for $10.32.

    5. A "mushion," which is the delightful name of these head-sized cushions you can get with your loved one's faces on them to hug when you miss 'em most.

    Cushions with people's faces screenprinted on them

    Once you purchase the "Mushion," all you have to do is send a high-quality photo of the face you want printed on it, and Firebox will format it for the cushion from there.

    Promising review: "It was great! The mushion was of extraordinary quality and I will most likely buy more in the future!" —Firebox Customer

    Get it from Firebox for $22.99.

    6. An Amazon Echo Show 5 enabled with a camera screen for calls, so you can keep the whole fam connected for some socially distanced cross-country chats.

    A person on the screen of an Amazon Echo Show 5 on a video call with their family from the other end

    Similar to other Alexa-enabled devices, the Echo Show 5 responds to voice commands and can be synced with Audible, Amazon Music, Amazon Video, and other apps and programs like Spotify, iTunes, and NPR.

    Promising review: "I bought these for my mother, brother's family and mine for Christmas. Figured it was a quick way to communicate between Michigan and Indiana where everyone is spread out over. Usage was so-so the first few months, but now it's at least once a day. Thank you for coming up with such a simple product that does so much to keep my family connected face-to-face in these times!" —mike

    Get it from Amazon for $59.99.

    7. A customizable face mask you can all get to match from afar — you can either the same print with your initials and names, or put a beloved family photo on it. Zazzle has a *ton* of options to choose from.

    A model in a face mask with a monogram in the top right corner

    I ordered one of these, and they're nice and lightweight — plus the elastic is easy to tie for a snugger fit!

    Type Of Fit: Elastic ear straps

    Pocket For Filter: No

    Fabric Type: Polyester

    Shipping Time: Expected to ship between June 22 - June 29

    Get masks from Zazzle for $12.95.

    8. One Question A Day: A Five Year Journal, so you can each get your own copy and use the daily question as a conversation starter in the group chat every morning.

    The journal
    Castle Point Books

    This comes with a range of questions from “What did you have for lunch today?” to “Can people really change?” Plus, since it's a five-year journal, you'll be able to keep up with it long-term and appreciate how you all change over time.

    Get it from Amazon for $15.08 or from Bookshop (to support local bookstores) for $15.62.

    9. A sweet little socially-distanced greeting card, because the one thing that hasn't changed in quarantine is that there's nothing quite like the ~thrill~ of getting mail from someone you love ❤️.

    A card with illustrated people talking through cups attached to wires from a distance
    Copper and Brass Paper Goods

    Copper and Brass Paper Goods is a Black woman-owned Etsy shop established in 2016 that specializes in Afrocentric wrapping paper and gift-giving accessories.

    Get it from Copper and Brass Paper Goods on Etsy for $4.

    10. A "because quarantine birthday" wineglass so y'all can have a toast in each other's Zoom birthday chats after singing "Happy Birthday" in nine different (but no less enthusiastic!!) keys.

    A transparent wine glass with opaque text
    Red Lines Designs/Etsy

    Red Lines Designs is a Michigan-based Etsy shop established in 2016 that specializes in handmade vinyl gifts, from wine glasses to decals to ring dishes.

    Promising review: "This wine glass turned out so AMAZING!! I bought three for family birthdays this week... Shipping was super fast and price was great!! Such a fun gift idea!! Everyone loved it!!" —Maria Galdamez

    Get it from Red Line Designs on Etsy for $7.99+ (available in 35 colors, including *glitter* options!).

    11. A Friends photo frame mug you can slide a pic of your fam in — a way of saying 🎶I'll be there for you 🎵even when you gotta say it from afar.

    A purple mug with a yellow frame modeled after the door on the show Friends that you can slide a pic into

    A perfect gift for when you and your fam have to "PIVOT!!!" your usual hangs.

    Get it from Firebox for $16.99.

    12. A 25-pack of Baked By Melissa's iconic mini cupcakes with a "Thinking Of You" message so your family knows they're on your mind (as is cake).

    A box of 25 mini cupcakes
    Baked By Melissa

    Each pack comes with a mix of flavors, including Tie-Dye (vanilla), Cookies & Cream, Peanut Butter & Jelly, Cookie Dough, Triple Chocolate Fudge, Chocolate Chip Pancake, Red Velvet, Mint Cookie, Brownie Batter, Cake Batter, Cookie Butter, and Confetti.

    Get it from Baked By Melissa for $37 (also available in vegan form!).

    13. A set of Bluetooth-connected long-distance touch bracelets you can pair with a family member so that when one of you is thinking of the other, you can tap the bracelet, and the corresponding one will vibrate and light up in the color of your choice 🌈.

    Two models with the black bracelets on their wrists

    So basically, you can set up little codes for yourself — maybe blue is "I miss you," pink is "call me when you get a chance," purple is "I love you."

    Promising review: "My love is being deployed across seas to Kuwait for the Army and we both know that there aren't going to be too many times where we are able to chat on the phone or Skype/FaceTime each other with the time change and her schedule over there. I wanted to find something that would keep us close even though we are going to be so far away. These are so awesome. The touches are vibrant and every time I receive one from her, a huge smile comes across my face. It's a simple, yet amazing way to let your significant other know that you're thinking about them. You don't need wifi, just a bluetooth connection to your phone. Thank you Bond for keeping us close. PS. Our 15-month-old loves feeling the touches and loves sending his mom touches as well." —Amazon Customer

    Get a pair from Amazon for $98.

    14. Or a Wi-Fi-enabled long-distance picture frame that works the same way — when you tap yours, another frame connected to it will also light up, letting your loved one know you're thinking of them.

    A picture frame with a pink light at its edges

    This version is even cooler because you can connect frames not just between two people, but as a group — so if several of you have frames, one of you can tap it and the others will get a light with your signature color, so they know it's you.

    Promising review: "Arrived on time/earlier than expected. Solidly built and easy to set up! Got the two-pack, arrived together and packaged well with easy instructions. Got one for me and one for my boyfriend to help us connect another way during the pandemic quarantine as we already have a long distance relationship. We both love them! It's a great feeling seeing it light up knowing your significant other is thinking about and missing you too!" —Ann

    Get it from UncommonGoods for $99 per frame ($198 for two frames).

    15. A personalized cutting board you can get engraved in your (or a loved one's) actual handwriting with your most cherished family recipes, so you can all enjoy the same tastes of home even when home is far away 🥘.

    Two cutting boards in light and dark wood with different fonts of recipes engraved on them
    Morning Joy Co,/Etsy

    Morning Joy Co. is a Black woman co-owned Etsy shop established in 2020 specializing in custom laser-print wood signs and home decor.

    Promising review: "I have never had better customer service than this shop! They sent me pictures updating me, and were quick when I had questions or when they had questions! They kept me informed through every step and even sent it out way before I anticipated. This was a Father’s Day gift and the typical ship time fell after Father’s Day... I still wanted it but they unexpectedly got it out in time! I am so thankful and will be a return customer!" —Emily Reel

    Get it from Morning Joy Co. on Etsy for $59+ (available in two colors).

    16. A collection of "Letters To Open When," so you can be there with your fam in spirit even when you can't be there give them an either much-needed pep talk, kick in the pants, or reminder of your love in person.

    A notebook full of letters to open
    Chronicle Books

    There are 12 prompts that include things like "Open when you feel lonely or lost" and "Open when you're looking for inspiration."

    Get it from Amazon for $12.16 or Bookshop (to support local bookstores) for $13.75.

    17. A personalized necklace with the letter of your first name and an outline of each other's states that lets you carry a lil' piece of each other wherever you go.

    Necklaces in silver, gold, and rose gold with a bar that has different letters and state outlines on them

    Once you order, you'll be able to choose a "State 1" and "Initial 1" to represent one person, and a "State 2" and "Initial 2" to represent the second person.

    Promising review: "This was a gift for my best friend since I'd recently moved far away. She absolutely LOVED it. She's the kind of friend that stays connected no matter where I've been. This gift truly honors that!" —azcoolmom

    Get it from Amazon for $17.50 (available in three colors).

    18. A set of temporary friendship tattoos you and your fam can put on the inside of your wrists so you'll think of each other every time you're washing your hands and singing your favorite 20-second bops.

    A set of tattoos with a moon and sun on two wrists

    Tatoorary is an Etsy shop established in 2014 and based in the Netherlands that specializes in temporary tattoos, offering a large range of sizes, colors, and designs. Each tattoo lasts from two days to a week.

    Promising review: "Great temp tattoos! Love the designs. They went on perfectly and scrubbed off easily when I was ready to remove them (after a couple days)." —Kimberly Smith

    Get a set of two from Tattoorary on Etsy for $3.

    19. A glare-free, waterproof Kindle Paperwhite for the ultimate socially-distanced family book club. You can make an account and connect up to six Kindle devices on it so you can read e-books together at the same time.


    Psst — if your library offers Kindle compatible e-books, you can read for free on your Paperwhite, too!

    Promising review: "I can read poolside and in bed with no glare. I love how light it is and the battery life is out of this world. I travel for work and I travel internationally for fun. It's light in my bag, long lasting on the plane, and rarely has to be charged on a business trip — even when I'm gone all week. I've ended up getting everyone in my family one because they all fell in love with mine. I have an iPad — it's way too heavy in bed and the glare makes it uncomfortable to read in daylight. Nothing is as easy on the eyes." —Natasha Lund

    Read BuzzFeed's closer look at the Kindle Paperwhite for more deets!

    Get it from Amazon for $129.99.

    20. A Marshmallow of the Month (!!) subscription box, because you know what? Virtual happy hours with the fam are great, but virtual indoor s'mores hours are inarguably better.

    Roasted marshmallows in hot chocolate

    Marshmallow of the Month is a Black-owned subscription box that includes six marshmallows, along with homemade graham crackers and curated teas, coffee, or cocoa based on that month’s marshmallow flavor. Each box also comes with a chocolate ~surprise~.

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this box. Everything is perfect and the attention to detail is wonderful. Every box is personalized and packed with extra care. The product is so yummy and interesting. I just renewed for 3 more months and I can't wait to see what else they send. It truly feels like a good friend is sending a care package. Give this box a try, you will be so glad that you did. It would also make an excellent gift." —Dana W.

    Get it from Cratejoy for $9.75+

    21. A "Hug This Pillow Until You Can Hug Me" pillowcase to keep you company (and keep all your hugging muscles flexed and raring to go for next time!).

    A pillow that says "hug this pillow until you can hug me"

    Promising review: "I bought this pillow as a gift for my long distance relationship. I was both impressed with the packaging and the quality of the pillow. The packaging was beautiful with a unique design. The pillow inside was extremely soft and the colors held up well after the first wash, no bleeding. Also included was a little greeting card, with a motivational message on the front, and an envelope. Overall, this was a wonderful gift and would definitely recommend to anyone!" —Nans

    Get it from Amazon for $17.86.

    22. A glass with a city map etched on it, so every time you drink out of it you can feel like a part of the city streets where your fam is right now.

    A whiskey tumbler with the map of Chicago etched on it
    Well Told/Etsy

    Well Told is a New Hampshire-based Etsy shop established in 2009 that specializes in quality etched glassware, from wine glasses to pint glasses to whiskey tumblers.

    Promising review: "Love these glasses! Delivery was super quick even during COVID times. My boyfriend is going to love them." —Sam

    Get it from Well Told on Etsy for $16 (available in 248 cities and towns).

    23. Or a social distancing mug you can get to match, so you always think of each other during the best part of your mornings (read: when that sweet, sweet caffeine hits).

    A mug that says "though we may be far apart, we will always be close at heart" on the front, and a two states with hearts in them and people's names connecting them together on the back
    By Tracy/Etsy

    By Tracy is a Massachusetts-based Etsy shop established in 2014 that specializes in coffee mugs, personalized gifts, and custom orders.

    Promising review: "Bought this mug for my mom after recently moving 5.5hrs away. She loves it! Production and shipping extremely fast. Beautiful mug. Definitely would recommend!" —galanakisj77

    Get it from By Tracy on Etsy for $14.99+.

    All of us sending socially-distanced kisses to family that's far away:


    Reviews have been edited for length and/or clarity.

    Looking for the perfect gift for any occasion? Check out all of BuzzFeed’s gift guides!

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