Christmas gift ideas for friends

Want a really thoughtful Christmas gift for your besties, this year? Check out these how-to guides for inspiration.

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 Friends - Spell It Out

Spell It Out

When was the last time you reminded a friend what they mean to you? (1am slurrings after several bottles of Prosecco aside). The truth is, we don’t often take the time to tell our mates that we love them, appreciate them and are grateful to have them in our lives, which is what makes it so touching when we do.

Christmas is the perfect opportunity to get a little slushy and sentimental, so a meaningful gift like Spell It Out is good excuse to speak from the heart – and prove it’s not just the Prosecco talking.

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Christmas gift ideas for friends - reasons I love you

Reasons I Love You

I’m sure she knows she’s your bestie – because, you know, who else would have kept that secret! But have you ever taken the time to articulate why?

Reasons I Love You is a fantastically feel-good Christmas gift for friends that will have you reflecting on all the memories and adventures you’ve been through together – the bad dates, the drunken holidays, the dodgy flat shares – to remind her why you love, value, and admire her.

Whether it’s the way she reminds you not to be so hard on yourself, how she’s always right about who you should and shouldn’t date or how she always calls out your disastrous attempts at styling your hair, showing your love and appreciation in this way is better than any shop-bought gift.

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Christmas gift ideas for friends - the motley bunch

The Motley Bunch

Among all the stress of Christmas, the shopping lists, the crowded stores and the holiday travel – it’s good to be reminded that there are people in our lives worth all this aggravation! No, not your family, silly. That loveable, raucous, quick-witted, advice-giving, sometimes bad influence but always loyal, tell-it-like-it-is, misfit bunch you chose as besties. So what better way to celebrate those friendships than with a group photo?

The Motley Bunch is creative way to capture a group of friends in a fun, quirky collage that lets their individual personalities shine. It makes a perfect Christmas gift for friends as you can photograph each one separately, without them knowing what it’s for, then present everyone with the final group shot as a surprise.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends - Profile Portraits

Profile Portraits

Families often celebrate their relationships with formal portraits but when it comes to our chosen family, our friends, we tend to rely on more casual and spontaneous photos to capture the memories. So, why not get everyone together to create a more professional-looking portrait that celebrates your friendship?

Profile Portraits is an easy way to create a more artistic group shot of all your 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. Such a frame-worthy photo would make touching Christmas gifts for all your friends.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends - Little Boxes

Little Boxes

It’s not always easy to get all your mates together for a decent group photo. There’s always that one friend who cancels on the day, not to mention the one who’s always jetting off somewhere. So you typically have to make do with old Ibiza hen night pics or that one of everyone in those dusky peach bridesmaids’ dresses, which, let’s face it, ain’t nobody going to be putting in a frame anytime soon.

Little Boxes is a fun way to create a more stylised group shot of a bunch of friends. One that’s relaxed, spontaneous and real, yet still special enough for everyone to frame or hang on the wall. And because you can photograph everyone separately, without letting on what it’s for, you can then surprise the whole gang with the finished collage as their Christmas presents.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends - Heart and Sole

Heart and Sole

You can tell who your best mates are because they’re the only people you’d answer a FaceTime from regardless of how you look, you can never stay mad at them for long because you have too many things to tell them and even when you say stupid stuff they still listen like it’s a TED talk.

Heart and Sole is a cute way to get all your besties together and affirm that special relationship in a playful manner, without being too cheesy. It’s a simple idea but will make a touching gift for the entire gang to remind them of the bond you all share.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends - The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

True friends don’t judge each other… they judge other people together. So whatever shady behavior your posse are most guilty of, it’s time to confess.

The Usual Suspects is a fun way to capture all the colourful characters that make up that misfit bunch you call besties, while getting them to own all their funny and annoying character traits or weird habits and obsessions that you love them for.

Whether it’s ‘The Tiger Mum’ guilty of ‘Passive aggression’, ‘The Mummy’s Boy’ who ‘Takes laundry home’, or ‘The Potty Mouth’ who ‘Can’t be trusted around kids’, this refreshingly honest group shot of your very own Most Wanted will make a truly original Christmas gift for the entire gang.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends - A Gift Every Hour

A Gift Every Hour

Christmas only comes once a year, so why not make it last and spread the love over the entire day?

A Gift Every Hour is a fun way to give your bestie 12 smaller presents; one to be opened every hour. They don’t have to be expensive; in fact, a good mix of homemade, sentimental and gag gifts works well. It might be a stack of handwritten ‘open when’ letters for different occasions, her favourite childhood treat or an old photo of the two of you as youngsters that she’d long since forgotten about. It’s a great way to give more thoughtful, personal and meaningful gifts that celebrate how well you know each other.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends - Head Swap

Head Swap

Drunken selfies after an evening drinking shots notwithstanding, most group photos nowadays just consist of everyone huddling together and saying cheese. Bit of a snoozefest! And certainly not worthy of putting in a frame. So how about rounding everyone up to create something a little more memorable for Christmas?

Head Swap is an easy way to make a standard group shot of all your mates a whole lot more creative – while still keeping everything lighthearted and informal. Instead of cheesy smiles or awkward poses, try to capture lively, animated facial expressions that celebrate everyone’s individual personalities.

While you can’t keep the photo itself secret, you can reproduce it on a different gift to make surprise Christmas gifts for all your friends.

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Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends - Head to Head

Head to Head

In the annual quest to find simply THE most original or unusual Christmas gifts for friends, it’s easy to overlook the beauty of something simple and understated – like a photograph. Yet photo gifts are a subtle and effective way to capture a moment of intimacy, celebrate friendships and highlight the people that matter most in your life.

Head to Head is an easy yet creative way to photograph your group of friends, resulting in a unique photo that’s relaxed, informal and above all else, real. Simply by shooting from an unexpected angle it keeps the portrait natural, while elevating it above the everyday group shot. And while you won’t be able to surprise them with the photo itself, there are many different ways to turn it into a touching and original gift for the entire gang.

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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.

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    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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