Make it all about the pair of you. Pick up some pro tips and create the most thoughtful gift for your man, this Christmas.
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.
Men can be hard to buy for. All those traditional ‘gifts for men’ ideas would have you believe that engraved whiskey tumblers, BBQ meat tongs, dumbbell-shaped beer glasses, and monogrammed money clips constitute unique and personal gifts. But when it comes to choosing Christmas gifts for boyfriends, you really need something a little more inspiring and imaginative.
That’s why you can’t really go wrong with a photo gift; they’re infinitely more personal. And if you really want to make it unique and meaningful, Spell It Out is an easy-to-do idea that allows you to say something heartfelt in a lighthearted and original way. It’ll also spare him from having to put on his best ‘just what I always wanted’ game face had he unwrapped those dumbbell-shaped beer glasses on Christmas Day!
A great way to win over a man, is to win over his buddies. Impress them with your general awesomeness and you’ll win the coveted bro-squad seal of approval. Trust me, that’s important.
Sure, you can buy a round of beers, roll with all their jokes and invite your single friends along to parties, but that’s entry-level stuff. The longer you’ve been dating, the more effort you’ll need to make. Secretly enlisting their help to make him a uniquely personal Christmas gift is a seriously cunning next-level move.
Little Boxes is a creative way to photograph a group of friends and turn it into an original gift for Christmas – plus it’s easy to do because you can shoot each person separately. You see, guys don’t take that many group photos of their mates. In fact, the last one was probably at a dodgy stag do or from their uni days. So do it for him!
People want to know that they’re appreciated – even men. Wait, especially men. It’s not often we get things right, so when we do, a little stroke and some positive encouragement definitely won’t go a miss. Reasons I Love You is all about Show & Tell: show appreciation and tell him that you love him. Or rather, why you love him.
Whether it’s reasons that are profound, such as ‘You remind me that I often apologise unnecessarily’, express gratitude; ‘You carry me upstairs after I fall asleep on the sofa’, or are lighthearted; ‘You watch Celebrity Big Brother with me, even though you think it’s lame’, this will make an fantastically feel-good Christmas gift for a boyfriend.
And remember, the more you encourage it, the more likely he is to keep doing it – so don’t forget to include one about foot rubs!
One of the things guys often complain about, is girlfriends who give them a hard time when they want to just chill with their mates. However much he might enjoy dinner and a movie with you, there’s just no substitute for that sacred time reserved to drink beer, play videogames, lift weights, watch football, fart and burp with the lads. So what better way to show him you’re not that girl buy getting him a selfless Christmas gift that’s all about his mates and nothing to do with you.
Heart and Sole is a creative way to photograph all his mates together and affirm their relationships in a playful manner, without being too cheesy. And the fact it looks like an album cover and they’re in a cool up-and-coming band is just a bonus!
Friends are God’s way of apologizing to us for our families. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t just as crazy and dysfunctional – especially his friends!
Cast your eye over the colourful characters in your group and you can probably point to ‘The Clean Eater’ whose seemingly intolerant to everything, ‘The Hopeless Romantic’ who drunk dials exes, ‘The Sensitive One’ who insists on starting acoustic guitar singalongs or ‘The Know It All’ with a penchant for mansplaining.
The Usual Suspects is a fun way to celebrate all the colourful characters that make up his crew, embrace their funny and annoying character traits and get them all to own the shady behavior they’re most guilty of. It’s an easy-to-do Christmas gift for your man that’s both personal and original.
Let’s be honest, the best part of Christmas for most guys is unwrapping and playing with their presents. After that, it’s all downhill. They’ve got to push on through with mum’s dry turkey, family squabbles, the Queen’s speech and relatives asking when he’s going to settle down, before a bit of respite in the form of the Doctor Who Christmas special. So why not make the best part last the entire day?
A Gift Every Hour is an opportunity to give him 12 smaller gifts – one to be opened on the hour throughout the day – that are truly personal. These could be gag gifts, homemade items, a few of his favourite things, or anything that evokes a memory, celebrates your relationship or has sentimental value. Whether it’s a coupon for a massage, his favourite childhood treats or a photo from when you first met, it’s a great way to ensure you’re in his thoughts throughout the day – especially if you’re not spending it together.
I bet your boyfriend has very few cool photos of all his mates together. Cringy ones in fancy dress making questionable choices at a drunken stag do in Prague maybe. But cool? No. So why not round them all up and create one for him?
Head Swap is an easy way to make a group shot of all his mates a whole lot more creative. Instead of cheesy grins or awkward poses, go for lively, animated facial expressions that convey everyone’s individual personalities. You can also include him without him needing to know, making it the perfect surprise Christmas gift for your boyfriend.
You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your friends. So do you ever look at his mates and think ‘but why on earth did he choose them?!’
Well, no matter, because whether you get them or not, as the ‘mates before dates’ sub-clause of The Bro Code clearly states, no girlfriend shall come between a guy and his bros. Well, not initially at least. But give it time; he’ll see 😉.
The Motley Bunch is a great way to endear yourself to all his mates by including them in a surprise Christmas gift for him. You could place yourself at the centre with all his mates surrounding you (subliminal signals work you know!) or because each photo is taken separately, you could include one of him without him having to know what it’s for.
Not all group photos have to be quirky and creative to warrant putting them in a frame. Sometimes simplicity works just as well, especially for guys.
Profile Portraits is an easy way to create a modern, natural group shot of all his mates, simply by experimenting with different angles and positions. No gimmicks or props, just some subtle art direction that results in a stunning portrait that’s both classic and contemporary. It’s a great way to capture a group of friends in an artistic way, without it seeming overly fussy or contrived.
Men are pretty simple creatures on the whole. While you might go to extreme lengths to ensure Christmas gifts for your girlfriends are uber-creative and original, you probably don’t need to try quite so hard for guys. It’s like, if you bring us a pizza, we’re not going to complain that the toppings aren’t right; it’s still pizza! So while getting all his mates together for a group photo as a surprise Christmas present is a cool thing to do, it doesn’t need to resemble a Vanity Fair cover shoot; just keep it real.
Head to Head is an easy way to create a frame-worthy group photo of all his mates that’s still relaxed, informal, and authentic. Simply by shooting from an unexpected angle it keeps the portrait looking natural, while still elevating it above an everyday photo. It’s the perfect unfussy thoughtful gift.
Photo Books for grandparents. Dedicated mugs for everyone in the family. Canvas Prints to show off your holidays. Take your pick.
Upload photos from your phone - most smartphones take such great quality shots - and customise your gift with colours, text, filters.
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