Christmas gift ideas for dad

Put a tiny bit more effort in this year (in fact, these how-to guides make it simple) and create a gift that’ll probably make Dad well up.

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.

Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - Spell It Out

Spell It Out

Most dads insist they don’t want you to buy them anything for Christmas; they’re all “Don’t waste your money on me love…”. Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure it’s because they typically end up with an array of clichéd ‘gifts for men’ involving golf, whisky, aftershave or cufflinks – which they probably don’t want or need. In reality, your dad’s going to be far more touched by a gift that has meaning, something heartfelt and personal that makes him feel loved. And that can be as simple as your words.

Spell It Out is a thoughtful and inexpensive way to remind Dad what he means to you, with a simple gift that he’s likely to appreciate the most. I bet he won’t complain about you spending money on this!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - Reasons We Love You

Reasons We Love You

Everyone loves their dad, but it’s easy to forget to let him know that. Sure, you might occasionally say it in passing but it’s typically a bit of a throwaway line, isn’t it? How often do you actually elaborate on that and tell him why you love him?

Reasons We Love You is a wonderfully feel-good Christmas gift for dad that celebrates all the admirable characteristics and quirky personality traits that make him who he is, such as ‘You would never throw someone under the bus to better yourself’, ‘You always ask how my cat is doing, and you don’t even like cats’, or ‘You know that Mum is always right. No matter what.’

Whether it comes from yourself or the entire family, it’s an opportunity to give him one of the most meaningful gifts of all: appreciation.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - Profile Portrait

Profile Portraits

Dads often take great pride in displaying photos of their kids, which is why he still has that cringeworthy photo of you in a gold sequined ra-ra skirt from the 1982 Junior Disco Dancing Championships. Not to mention your brother’s graduation photo with the quintessential 90’s ‘Manchester Rave-On’ curtains haircut. Unfortunately, the gallery of pride for your parents is often a gallery of shame for you. Maybe it’s time to take matters into your own hands.

Profile Portraits is an easy way to create a more modern photo of you and your siblings, simply by experimenting with different angles and positions; no gimmicks or props, just some subtle art direction that results in a beautiful portrait that’s both classic and contemporary. Make it Dad’s Christmas gift and with any luck it might replace one of the more embarrassing ones he has on the wall.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - The Motley Bunch

The Motley Bunch

Most family Christmases result in anything but a silent night – and all is typically far from calm and bright! In fact, at some point there’s guaranteed be a heated debate [read: row] about what time to put the turkey in, who’s sleeping where or what to watch on TV. But that noisy, chaotic, opinionated bunch you call family is what ensures that the annual get-together is anything but dull and boring.

The Motley Bunch is about capturing that spirit in a modern family portrait. One that truly represents who you all are as a family – in all your feisty, quirky, unruly glory. And as each photo can be taken separately, you can even include Dad without him knowing, which will create a great surprise when he opens it on Christmas Day.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - A Gift Every Hour

A Gift Every Hour

It’s very easy to spend so much time racking your brains for that one perfect Christmas gift for dad, that you overlook lots of smaller gift ideas that, while potentially more meaningful, might feel too modest or insufficient on their own.

A Gift Every Hour is a great opportunity to give dad 12 smaller gifts; one to be opened every hour. These might be things with sentimental value, homemade items, gag gifts, a few of his favourite things or just practical gifts you know he needs or would get daily use out of. You can then make these more meaningful by personalising with family photos, such as a desktop calendar featuring old photos of your siblings through the years, or a chef’s apron with a photo of the dog begging for food. Plus you get to see his face light up throughout the entire day – which might offer a little respite from a day spent with all his crazy relatives!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

Christmas is a time to be thankful for your family; even if you’re actually more thankful for caller ID so you can avoid them the rest of the year. Which is why Christmas and honesty aren’t usually a great mix – you know what happens when Aunty Pam’s had a few sherries!

That said, The Usual Suspects is a great way to have a laugh with (or should that be at?) your nutty relatives with a lighthearted family portrait that highlights their hilarious and frustrating characteristics, along with the crime they’re most guilty of.

Whether mum is ‘The Slummy Mummy’ who ‘Fakes it at book club’, sis is ‘The Drama Queen’ who’s ‘Always Cold’ or your brother is ‘The Metrosexual’ guilty of being a ‘Charcoal face mask addict’, Dad’s sure to love this refreshingly honest family portrait.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - Head to Head

Head to Head

Most dad's delight in simple pleasures; good food, a cold beer and a little peace and quiet usually do the trick. So when it comes to a Christmas gift for Dad, don’t overthink it. A simple family portrait that captures a moment of intimacy between his kids is likely to mean far more to him than any shop-bought gift.

Head to Head is a creative way to photograph you and your siblings, creating a unique family photo that’s relaxed, informal and above all else, authentic. Simply by shooting from an unexpected angle it keeps the portrait natural, while elevating it above the everyday. Sometimes, it’s the simplest gifts that make the biggest impression.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - Little Boxes

Little Boxes

Christmas is a time to cherish with your family – but it also serves as a good reminder of why you moved very far away from them! Mum will insist on doing all the cooking herself but spend hours muttering under her breath about the vegan nut roast you requested, dad will inevitably drink too much and start making inappropriate jokes, and EVERYONE – including your 5-year-old nephew – will bombard you with unsolicited relationship advice.

Yet despite all this, it’s those hilarious and infuriating characteristics that makes your family who they are. And Little Boxes is a way to capture all those weird and crazy family dynamics in a modern portrait that will make an original Christmas gift for pops. Tell him it’s to remind him why he probably doesn’t want everyone to come home too often!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - Head Swap

Head Swap

Chances are, if you mention the idea of a family portrait to dad, he’ll probably let out a quiet little groan; thinking he’s going to have to get all scrubbed up and don a suit and tie. And let’s face it, those formal studio shots, where everyone is on their best behavior and smiling lovingly at each other, are probably not a very realistic representation of your family dynamics anyway. So why pretend?

Head Swap is a lighthearted and informal family portrait, where stiff and posed is replaced with lively and expressive. These natural, animated shots are all about capturing the true spirit of your family – with all its colorful characters – in an honest and realistic portrait. Plus, you can even include Dad without him needing to be involved. Making it both a great surprise gift and, no doubt, a welcome relief. Win-win!

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Dad - Heart and Sole

Heart and Sole

The reason dads are so tricky to buy for at Christmas is because there aren’t typically many material things they want. And anything they do want, they’ve probably already gone out and bought for themselves. Like that robotic lawn mower your mum still rolls her eyes at! Which is why photo gifts often make perfect Christmas presents for Dad, they’re both uniquely personal and something he’s sure to treasure.

Heart and Sole is a quirky way to photograph all your siblings together and an opportunity to affirm relationships or express heartfelt sentiments – without being too cheesy. What dad wouldn’t take pride in a photo of all his children together, celebrating their common bond? It’s such a simple idea but far more meaningful than any material gift you could get him.

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How to make your gifts

  • Choose your product

    Choose your product

    Photo Books for grandparents. Dedicated mugs for everyone in the family. Canvas Prints to show off your holidays. Take your pick.

  • Personalise your product

    Personalise it!

    Upload photos from your phone - most smartphones take such great quality shots - and customise your gift with colours, text, filters.

  • Check out easily & securely

    Check out. It’s easy and secure

    Swift, simple and secure – all the security you’d expect for worry-free shopping.

  • Delivery

    Delivered to you direct

    With a choice of delivery options available, your gift can be with you in no time.

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