Photobox’s resident gift guru, Matt James of Party-Ideas-by-a-Pro, is an award-winning party planner who’s produced birthdays, weddings, and events for A-list celebrities such as Stella McCartney, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Sir Elton John. He shares his inspirational ideas for using Photobox products to create thoughtful and meaningful Christmas gifts.


Birthdays, Anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Christmas… they only come once a year, so why not make them last and spread the love over the entire day!

Instead of buying one gift, as is tradition, choose 12 smaller presents and your special someone will have something to open every hour, throughout the day.

If it’s for a birthday and they’re under 60, a nice touch is to write the time they should open each gift as the same number of minutes past each hour as the age they’re turning. For example, for a 29th birthday, instruct them to open gifts at 7:29am, 8:29am, 9:29am etc. Similarly, if it’s for an anniversary the minutes past could reflect the number of years or for Mother/Father’s Day it might be the number of children the gifts are from.

If the occasion falls on a weekday, I love the idea of sending them off to work with a big bag packed with gifts to open throughout the day. You could text them every hour to remind them to open each gift – or even call or FaceTime – so that you can experience the moment with them and share their reaction to each present.

If they’re going to be at home but you won’t be with them, you could try to hide each gift around the house in advance. And then call or text them every hour to reveal the location of each gift, one at a time.

A Gift Every Hour can also be applied to Christmas presents. You could either bestow gifts every hour throughout the day to prolong the festivities or use it to countdown to Christmas with a gift every day – like an advent calendar – culminating on Christmas day.

The gifts

The gifts themselves don’t have to be expensive. In fact, I’d suggest a mix of fun little trinkets, gag gifts, homemade items, a few of their favorite things, some things with sentimental significance and anything that invokes a memory or celebrates your relationship with that person.

Some examples might be:

  • secretly arranging with their boss for them to have the day off
  • a video message from a long-distance friend
  • a coupon for a foot rub
  • their favorite sweets/chocolate/snack/treats
  • their favorite meal (which you could cook for them as one of the evening gifts)
  • a stack of handwritten ‘Open When’ letters for different occasions (i.e open when you need encouragement, open when you need a reminder of why I love you, open when you’re feeling sad, open when you’re missing me etc).
  • a collection of messages sent on postcards from friends
  • a plan for a date night
  • something that reminds them of how you first met
  • your last Rolo

Photo gifts are a great way to include a few presents with sentimental significance or ones that evoke memories or celebrate relationships. However, these don’t have to be limited to just traditional gifts, such as a framed photo. Check out some of Photobox’s small gifts, like iPhone Cases, Cushions, Pouches, Beach Towels, T-shirts, Snow Globes, Keyrings, and Jigsaws – all of which can be personalized with photos that celebrate your relationship with the person.

In fact, A Gift Every Hour is great way to give them some practical or fun gifts that you know they need, would love, or could get daily use out of, which on their own might feel too small or insignificant to give as their main birthday/Christmas/anniversary/Valentine’s day present.

Some ideas are:

Reasons I Love You framed photo

An easy way to make a traditional framed photo even more special is to hand-write all the things you love about that person on the mount. These can be poignant, sentimental, or lighthearted; it’s about celebrating all the things that make them who they are.

Check out the Photobox range of framed prints here.

30 Messages from 30 Friends

This idea is perfect for a birthday but can be adapted for other occasions too. It takes a bit of planning but it’s worth it!

First, print a batch of personalized postcards with an old photo of the birthday boy/girl as a young child. Then send these out to the same number of their friends, family, and co-workers as the age they’re turning, e.g 30 friends and family for a 30th birthday. Ask everyone to mail it back to you with their favorite memory of the person or a simple birthday wish written on it and then present all the postcards to them as ’30 Messages from 30 Friends’.

Check out photo postcards here


Photo Mug

On its own, it might not feel special enough to give as a main birthday or Christmas gift, but as part of A Gift Every Hour you can create something personal that will remind them of a shared memory and bring a smile to their face every day.

Check out the range of Mugs here.


Phone / Tablet Cases


A great way to make a practical gift more personal. Turn photos of kids, family, and friends into phone or tablet cases so they can carry you with them all day.

Check out the range of cases here.

Personalised Pouches

Whether it’s a selfie with your bestie to make her smile while she’s putting on her make up or that terrifying honeymoon bungee jump forever captured on a wash bag, these personalised pouches can be tailored to any occasion.

Check out the pouches here.

Personalised Playing Cards


He might be dreaming of poker night with the lads, when in reality it’s more likely to be a game of snap with the kids. But either way, personalising the deck creates the ultimate trump card!

Check out the playing cards here.

Photo Calendars


A picture is worth a thousand words, so tell the story of your relationship – from the time you met to the present day – with a different photo every month to capture all the major milestones. It’ll ensure they’re reminded of you throughout the year.

Check out the full range of calendars here.



A keyring might not sound like the most imaginative gift for a special occasion, but when you personalise them with self-depreciating and embarrassing photos of yourself or other loved ones, they make a great gag gift that’ll bring a smile to their face every day.

Check out keyrings here.



Not just for Nana! Piecing together a photo jigsaw can also be a fun way to slowly reveal a funny, memorable, or even downright embarrassing memory!

Check out jigsaws here.



With nine magnets in each set you can create a mini collage showcasing some of your most memorable adventures together.

Check out magnets here.

Snow Globes


Available with classic snowflakes or fluttering hearts, these personalised decorations are a fun trinket you can give at any time of year.

Check out the snow globes here.


For more gift ideas, check out the full range here.


Collage Canvas

Illustrations, layouts, background colours… Let your creativity run wild with a Collage Canvas.

Photo Coasters

Relive your best moments every time you have a drink – cheers!

Simple Mug

Put one of your favourite photos on a mug – plain and simple.

Collage posters

Put up all of your favourite shots in the spotlight with a supersized collage poster.

Box Framed Prints

Add depth to your creation with a 48 mm deep frame and make your snap take centre stage.

Wooden Photo Panels

Turn your best snaps into wooden works of art.

Acrylic Prints

Give your photos some serious wow-factor with an acrylic print that makes colours truly pop.

Aluminium Mounted Prints

Get your photos printed directly onto aluminium for a modern alternative to a traditional print.