Thoughtful online gifts for loved ones abroad

Christmas comes but once a year and when it comes it brings great fear! What do you buy for your loved ones abroad to make your presence felt, even when you can’t be present?

This year many of us won’t make it home for Christmas with the extended family. So panic buying on Christmas Eve followed by hastily wrapping the gift, after one too many glasses of sherry is not an option.

With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of possible online gifts for loved ones and friends near and far. The great thing is, you can buy them from the comfort and safety of your own home. Make your presence felt when you can’t be present!

Create a memory by recording your year in a photo album

Online gifts: photo album

I don’t know about you, but I find the older family members the hardest to buy for. They usually have all that they need and there are only so many brooches and scarves that an older lady needs. They can also be more brutally honest than children, if they don’t like a gift!

For the last few years my parents and my in laws have received photo albums rammed with memories of a summer holiday spent together with their grandchildren. As this year we couldn’t travel to see them, I have had to be a little more creative with the theme for the albums. I have opted for a review of the year featuring all their children and grandchildren and an album full of funny family photos from years gone by. Hopefully it will put a smile of their faces on Christmas Day.

Even if you don’t have older people to buy for and 2020 is probably a year most of us would rather forget, you might want to put together a calendar or family album anyway. It would be nice to keep as a record of what you did to keep themselves entertained throughout this extraordinary year.

Make a moving movie

Don’t panic if you’ve left it to the last minute or you don’t have stacks of time or cash for lavish gifts. Some of the most cherished gifts I have ever given or received have not been the expensive ones, but the ones that really tug on the heart strings.

You could make a simple movie using either photos or snippets of videos you’ve taken. After that, just add some simple music as a backdrop. I usually use the iMovie app, which you can download for free. Trust me, if I can do it so can you. In case you are struggling with the technology, ask any child over the age of five and they will be able to help you. In less than half an hour you will have a tear jerking, heart warming, smile producing present in your hands.

There’s little better than a letter

online presents 3 - Happy Go KL

If you fancy something a little more traditional, why don’t you write a loved one a letter or get your child to and then post it instead of emailing it. I loved receiving letters when I was younger and have kept them all. When you look back, they can provide a wonderful snapshot into life at the time of writing. However, I must warn you that you may cringe if you ever find a letter written by your teenage self in years to come.

If you’re stuck for what to write, you could make a list of things that you can’t wait to do with the recipient when you next see each other!

Online gifts – top picks for personalised present giving and general gift sites worldwide

Now we know that not everyone has the time or creative flair to produce personalised gifts. Or maybe you’re buying for a teenager who would not be able to hide their disappointment at being presenting with a personalised mug, rather than some top of the range trainers. So we have put together a list of tried and tested websites from around the globe that the team at Happy Go KL use when indulging in a spot of seasonal shopping.

By using a website based in the same country as the person receiving the gift, you can get it posted directly to their door, saving precious time and money. But remember no matter which country you’re shopping in, always look to see if they have any voucher or discount codes available. Just do a quick Google search before you buy.

online presents 4 - Happy Go KL


  • For photobooks, calendars, cushions and cards try Photobook Malaysia. They usually have lots of discounts available, so look out for those before you buy.
  • Printcious is handy if you need a t-shirt or babygro personalising, as well the usual mugs and tote bags.


online presents 5 - Happy Go KL
  • You can get additional great tech and sports gear on Catch.
  • For that nice wine for a special occasion, head over to Dan Murphy’s.

New Zealand

  • If you think your loved one would appreciate a gift basket jammed with locally produced treats to eat, visit We Love Local to arrange a delivery.
  • But if finding a place to buy books, DVDs, toys as well as other bigger items, then the answer to all your Christmas prayers could be found on either Fishpond, Mighty Ape or The Warehouse. Fishpond has got an Australian sister site as well.

The Netherlands

  • Rituals is the place to go for bits for your bathroom, beauty products and homeware. They also stretch to yoga wear. Although they are based in the Netherlands, they will deliver all over Europe.
  • The Bijenkorf is a warehouse that delivers the usual stocking fillers of perfume, bags and clothes. They deliver within Netherlands and to neighbouring France and Belgium.
  • At Simply Colours you can pick an item and get it personalised with a name or message. The glass Christmas baubles are a particular favourite. As well as the Netherlands they also deliver to Germany, Belgium and the U.K.

United Kingdom

  • For Christmas cards, calendars and other personalised gifts such as tote bags and cushions try Funky Pigeon.
  • To make photo books you can try Snapfish. They also have sister sites in other European countries, as well as the U.S.A., New Zealand and Australia.
  • And if you are looking for something completely different but still very personal, head to Not on the Highstreet.


Unique gift providers can be found at Etsy. The gifts are all supplied by independent sellers based globally. You may want to order sooner rather than later, as they may take a while to arrive.

Get your gift giving all wrapped up

Even if you celebrate another festival beside Christmas, you could bag some of the ideas above and get your gift giving wrapped up way ahead of schedule. Not only will you hopefully produce something that someone will cherish, but you also get to feel so smug when everyone else is panicking!

online presents - Happy Go KL

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