When you have to come up with something creative and interesting to get everyone you know for Christmas, you can often blank on the last person you’d think: your friend. Even though you enjoy spending time with this person as well or maybe better than anyone else in your life, when it comes time to get a gift for them, it’s not always easy to think of something special. This only gets harder the more you have to do it, so when you find yourself absolutely stumped on what to get the person who makes you laugh and has been there for you through thick and thin, fear not! We’ve taken the guess work away for you.
We reviewed dozens of Christmas gift ideas for friends to identify the best of the best. We looked for the practical gifts they’re going to use every day and the little splurges they’ll love but never think to get for themselves. We found gadgets and gifts for wine enthusiasts, too. No matter what type of gift you want to get for your friend, we have something for you on our list below.
Pretty early in our research, we identified the KONA French Press Coffee Maker as the obvious choice for our top pick. (And it’s not just because we needed a caffeine pick-me-up at the time.) For a coffee lover (and for those keeping track, that’s 64% of Americans), it’s an absolute must and for the coffee skeptic, this method of brewing can give enough control that they may be able to find a formula even they like.
In This Article
The 5 Top-Rated Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends
|Best Overall||KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless Steel Filter||4.6|
|Runner Up||YIHONG Set of 8 Stainless Steel Metal Straws||4.7|
|Best Budget Buy||Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray||4.5|
|Best Unique Christmas Gift for Friends||YnM Weighted Blanket||4.4|
|Best Funny Christmas Gift for Friends||Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition||4.4|
*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change
Our Top Pick: KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless Steel Filter
The KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless Steel Filter will allow your friends to make their coffee exactly how they like it – even if they have no idea how to do that, yet. They’ll just dump the grounds into the high quality glass pitcher, pour in steaming hot water, stir, and let it steep. This is where the customizing it to their tastes comes into play; they can control the water to grounds ratio, how hot the water is, and how long it steeps. Each of these will make a different tasting brew and if your friend has any interest if exploring the art of coffee, this is definitely the gift for them.
A hot cup of coffee isn’t the only thing that they’ll be able to make, though. By using cold water rather than hot, you’ll be able to use the french press in just the same way but letting it steep overnight rather than just 15 minutes. will give you a cold brew coffee. The extra thick borosilicate glass coffee pitcher is protected with a BPA-free, heavy duty plastic shell and handle. But even if the plastic wasn’t as safe, you still wouldn’t need to worry about giving this – none of the plastic ever touches your coffee.
The numbers on this french press will speak for themselves. There are well over 11,000 customer reviews on Amazon and it has an impressive overall rating of 4.6 stars. And it costs only $30!
KONA French Press Coffee Maker With Reusable Stainless Steel Filter Key Features:
- Dishwasher safe
- 2 color options
- 12 or 34 ounce sizes available
Our Runner-Up Pick: YIHONG Set of 8 Stainless Steel Metal Straws
The YIHONG Set of 8 Stainless Steel Metal Straws is an absolute must-have item these days. Reusable straws help reduce the use of plastic straws and in doing so, reduce the build up in landfills all over the world. You’ve very likely heard the backlash on plastic straws, but the truth is, straws are just so convenient that shedding their use entirely is a difficult feat. Not only will the straw prevent you from freezing your sensitive teeth, but the ability to just leave your glass on the table and drink from the straw without lifting it will prevent a lot of spills (and for a friend with kids, this is a huge selling point).
They’re made with an incredibly durable stainless steel and come with their own brushes to make cleaning an easy task. There are 8 straws included, 4 straight and 4 bent, so you’ll be able to use the style you prefer for each drink you prefer them. Your friend can pop a few in the car or her purse and make sure she always has them handy no matter where she goes.
With over 3,000 customer reviews on Amazon and an overall rating of 4.7 stars, this is definitely a gift that’s sure to please. And while the experience of a straw will be saved with these, your friend won’t be contributing to the overwhelming landfill problem so you and he or she can all feel better about your roles in the world.
YIHONG Set of 8 Stainless Steel Metal Straws Key Features:
- 5 color options
- 2 sizes available
- Includes 3 nylon cleaning brushes
Best Budget Pick: Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray
We love the idea of giving the Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray, and we know with a little consideration, you will too. At first glance, it’s a hilarious gag gift. If you’ve been friends with a person for years, there’s a fair to decent chance you’ve had some experience with each other’s bathroom habits and giving this will definitely elicit some chuckles, even if not. But the best part of this gift will be the unspoken: it’s going to be used. They may never, ever buy something like this for themselves, but no one’s bathroom engagements smell like flowers and if it happens at an inopportune location, that fact can lead to a lot of embarrassment. This spray is undeniably practical for this occasion and whether they ever admit it (and they probably won’t), this will come in handy.
The spray is made of a variety of different essential oils and botanical scents to create a pleasant smell and eliminate unpleasant odors. And you can use it on more than just the toilet; trash cans, diaper bins, or strong laundry will benefit from its use, as well. The original use, though, is just as simple: just spray it in the toilet bowl before you go and no other smell will escape.
This spray has an overall customer rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon and it’s earned that rating by nearly 14,000 customer reviews, which is, in itself, impressive. There are a variety of smells and sizes, but the travel size is by far the most convenient and that will only cost you $5!
Poo-Pourri Before-You-Go Toilet Spray Key Features:
- 8 sizes available
- 23 different scent options
- Non-toxic, all natural formula
Best Unique Christmas Gift for Friends Pick: YnM Weighted Blanket
The YnM Weighted Blanket may not be a gift you’ve ever considered, but it is definitely worth taking the time to do so. Not only will your friend feel like they’re getting a heavy hug, but they may end up getting the best sleep of their life, too. Many people sleep, even in summer months, with a big, heavy comforter and this blanket takes that habit a step further. It isn’t that we want the warmth of the blanket – it’s the weight. Sleeping with this blanket feels as if you’re being held to the bed on which you’re lying and that will provide a lot more comfort than you may imagine.
The weight can also prove incredibly helpful for a variety of health concerns, as well – specifically mental concerns. If your friend suffers from anxiety, in particular, this is a wonderful tool for him to have at his disposal. The weight will ease anxiety and allow him to sleep better because, as we said, it feels almost as though you’re being hugged. It’s the same type of concept as a dog’s thunder shirt that will comfort them when they’re scared of the storm. It could also help with autism, sensory processing disorders, ADD/ADHD, insomnia, restless leg syndrome, and can even ease some fibromyalgia pain. Your friend may even, after getting that better sleep, feel calmer and in a consistently better mood.
It may not be the cheapest gift on our list, but considering what you’ll be giving in this blanket (relief and comfort!) combined with the overall rating of 4.4 stars and over 3,000 customer reviews, this gift is well worth the cost.
YnM Weighted Blanket Key Features:
- 100% satisfaction guarantee and 3 year repair warranty
- 14 size options
- 10 style and design choices
Best Funny Christmas Gift for Friends Pick: Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition
If you play games and enjoy a good laugh with your friends, Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition is a great addition to your evenings together. The tagline is “A Card Game For People Who Are Into Kittens And Explosions And Boob Wizards And Sometimes Butts” and we feel like that’s, actually, a pretty accurate, albeit random, description (because the game has a lot of randomness to it). Explaining the rules may be a bit convoluted, but once you begin playing you’ll catch on fast and the main take-away is that it is hilarious.
There is a less explicit version of this game available with the listing if your friend is a bit more proper, and that game is recommended for ages 7 and up. This is the original game that they created for family night, but the NSFW (Not Suitable For Work) version will be the perfect gift for those who enjoy a little less appropriate content. It’s recommended for ages 30 and up. (30 is an exaggeration to make a point, though. 21 and up will work just fine.)
There are nearly 13,000 customer reviews on Amazon for this game and with that many people who felt strongly enough to come back and voice their support, it’s a safe bet that your friend will be one of the 85% of satisfied customers. And with those kind of numbers, you can feel confident in the 4.4 star overall rating.
Exploding Kittens: NSFW Edition Key Features:
- Includes 56 cards
- 2 – 5 players, up to 9 when combined with other decks
- 3 variety options available
Who Should Buy a Christmas Gift for a Friends
If you have friends and you both celebrate Christmas, then you should probably consider giving them gifts for Christmas. It has seemed to become the social norm to exchange gifts for this holiday and without a conversation to say the opposite, you can pretty much count on them giving you a gift. You won’t want to be unprepared, so make sure you’ve either made, bought, or found something for them or had a clear conversation to establish you will not be exchanging gifts. Otherwise, Christmas is about to get awkward. Talk about it with your friend.
Even if you neither of you celebrate a traditional Christmas, though, the holidays are an excellent time to shower your friend with a bit of spoiling. In fact, if you’ve had a gift in mind for them for a while, but simply can’t wait until their birthday, this is exactly the time to give it. More important than the expectation to buy a gift at a certain time for a specific social reason – you buy your friend a gift if you think that it will make him or her happy. If you can afford it, buy one; if not, do something for them as a gift. If your goal is to make a friend happy, giving the gift of time spent together absolutely counts and will be appreciated as much if not more than any material possession.
Important Features to Consider
A Christmas gift for a friend should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a Christmas gift for your friend:
- Functionality. If you have a gadget in your life that you absolutely love because of how useful it is or how much it helps you perform your daily activities, then you may want to consider giving one to your friend so that he or she will enjoy the convenience as well. Of course, this strategy depends on you knowing your friend’s daily routine and your similarities. It will do you no good to give friends your favorite kitchen gadget if you know they don’t cook. Alternatively, you can think about the way they live and look for things that will make their life easier, whether you know anything about it or not (Say, if they fish and you don’t, you can still look into the highest reviewed lures.)
- Sentimental. If you have a relationship that means a lot to you, then picking out a gift that shows your friend that feeling will be easy. A picture of you with a friendship passage on the frame is pretty common, but you can also find something that pulls memories from your past to remind your friend of your history. For these sentimental gifts, you can always opt for a homemade gift and that will likely save you a few bucks (but don’t count on it saving that much, craft supplies can really add up in cost!) You could also take the time to make their favorite foods to give to them – cookies, candies, or breads, traditionally. This will save you the most, but, being as they’re perishable and consumable, they won’t last. If you have the money to throw at the gift and want something that they’ll keep forever, consider a custom order. A commissioned drawing of you as children, hugging you as adults is one idea, if you want to go big. (And that will definitely cost you; commissioned art is costly, even on Etsy.) But even a shadowbox with some of your favorite memories can elicit the same emotions; ticket stubs, receipts from fun nights, inside jokes and a favorite picture, maybe; and cost way less.
- Funny. Because friendships are a gloriously unique human relationship where you thrive in each other’s humor – probably more than any other relationship in your life – you may want to consider a gag gift for your friends. It may take a certain relationship, or a special occasion but if timed properly, you can get the side-splitting laughter from a gift that relies on your similar senses of humor. An over-the-hill gift for a friend a few months younger than you, or a gift that calls to mind humorous memories are a great gift idea for your friend. These gifts are going to be the ones which will rely most on your knowledge of the person for whom you’re giving. Funny will often tip-toe along the line of inappropriate and you need to know where that line is so you’re not giving a gift that will offend or hurt your friend.
- Adult beverage themed. This type of gift is obviously a moot point if your friend is underage or doesn’t drink. If that’s the case, you definitely don’t want to give any of these types of gifts, no matter the scenario. You’ll need to know your friend well if you’re planning on giving the gift of an alcohol related item. Not just to determine what type of wine or scotch they prefer, but what goes with that type of drink. If he loves a good 10+year old scotch, but you don’t have the budget for a $80 bottle, then some appropriate accessories should work. Perhaps a decanter or freezing rocks to prevent the ice melting and diluting the taste will be the winning gift this year. Maybe a wine glass set that is particular durable or a vacuum sealed wine cup that will keep the wine chilled would be better. You’ll need to figure which of these is appropriate for what friend.
- Games. We love giving games as a gift to friends because it will likely benefit you, too. And anything that will facilitate you and your friend spending time together is a good gift idea. If you’re ever invited over to your friend’s house for game night, adding another game to the mix is sure to be a hit. Games are fun, (particular those on our list), but the game is just the catalyst of the fun; the real fun comes from your conversation and laughter.
- Something they’d never get themselves. One surefire way to knock it out of the park in gift giving is to give the gift you know your friend has always admired but would never spend their own money on for themselves. You can look into getting them a spa day, or the more expensive vacuum they’ve been coveting forever. Selfless friends make this method particularly easy because they’re more likely to pass on giving themselves gifts. Friends who perform plenty of self-care may be a bit trickier to use this strategy on, but even if they get the regular spa days, there’s no reason you can’t make note which spa they go to and spring for their next session.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I get my friend a Christmas gift?
Does your friend celebrate Christmas? If so, then you probably should get something for her or him. In fact, we dare say that unless you talk it over beforehand, you should just assume that your friend thinks you’ll be exchanging gifts of some kind. How big or small the gift is will depend entirely on you and your relationship. If you know there’s something that your friend will love, then you can get it whenever you notice it and spring it on them for Christmas, or you can take some time to think it through nearer to the holidays. Either route you choose, though, you should probably give it some thought because it’s probably going to happen. There are a couple alternatives that may provide a type of exception, though. You can make a mass amount of cookies that you dole out for gifts and while that’s not abstaining from gift giving all together, worst case scenario is that they don’t want to exchange gifts and you have more cookies.
How much should you spend on a Christmas gift for a friend?
Because your friends know you and likely know your financial situation, the amount of money you spend on their gifts should absolutely be relative to your finances. You should not go broke spending on the holidays and your friend would not want that, anyways. If money is tight, then you don’t have to spend a lot (or even a little) to make sure you’re still making your friend feel loved. Sometimes it may be worth the conversation to make sure you’re not giving when they aren’t or visa versa – just to save yourself the awkwardness. A casual “Are we doing gifts this year?” may save the both of you a lot of trouble. Even if you are both in a financial position to give, you still may not want to because the holidays have a way of getting pricey. Have the conversation to make sure. If you decide to exchange gifts, you’ll probably work out a sort of budget during the conversation. There will likely be clues during the progression of the conversation like, “I was just going to give out cookies” or “I did have something kind of small in mind” or even “Oh, I know exactly what I’m getting you and you’re going to be blown away!”
If you’re looking for a general rule of how much to spend on your friend for the holidays, though, you should probably use the “night out” formula. Whatever you spend on a night (or day) out together with said friend, is how much you can expect to spend on your friend. If you take the kids to the park and buy a coffee, you’re looking at a $10 or under gift. If you usually go for dinner and then drinks, you may be looking more along the lines of $30-$50.
What should I gift to my best friend?
If your friend bears the title “Best Friend” there’s a good chance you know them pretty well and that should make getting them a gift easier for you. – At least in theory. A few months prior to Christmas you may still be drawing a blank, though. If that’s the case, make a conscious effort to note your friend’s habits, routines, and current interests. If you spend enough time with a person (or texting a person if you’re busy), then there’s a good chance the answer to your gift giving mystery will naturally present itself. You’ll just need to make sure you’re taking note. If something comes up when you’re with them and you want to make sure not to forget it, text yourself ASAP.
As your best friend, you can also opt for a shared experience. Concert tickets or movie passes to a show you both love would be a great gift for the right set of friends and the time together is probably more worthwhile than a gift card. If you know money is tight for your bestie, however, maybe a gift card to a practical place may just be the life saver she needs to keep her afloat.
How do you choose a Christmas gift for a friend?
You should choose gifts for your friends based on how well you know them. If you know them well, then you can give them a gift that you know they’ll love. If you only know them sort of well, then maybe you should stick to the more universally loved gifts (there are plenty on our list!). One thing on that list that we didn’t include is gift cards. Though it is impersonal, a gift card to their favorite store or restaurant is sometimes the best gift you can give; especially if you’re on a tighter budget. A $10 gift card to Starbucks can be a big lifesaver for the mornings your friend needs another cup of caffeine before starting the grind.
Other Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends We Reviewed
We looked at 20 other ideas for Christmas gifts for your friends. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best Christmas gifts for friends list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your friend. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.
- Book and Game Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends
- Adult Beverage Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends
- Practical Christmas Gifts for your Friends
Book and Game Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends
Cards Against Humanity: Green Box
The tag line for this game is “The Card Game for Horrible People” and while we’re not sure about that, this will definitely reveal what kind of humor your friends really have!
- Expansion set
- 300 new cards (245 white and 55 black)
- Original game recommended but not necessary
Orange Circle Studio 2020 Do It All Planner
This is particularly handy for the friend who’s always busy (or always missing appointments) but even those with a less crazy schedule, organizing their time can prove helpful.
- 17-month calendar
- 5 style options
- 300 stickers included
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
If your friends struggle with caring too much or just would appreciate the laughs enclosed in this self-help book laced with profanity, then this is a perfect gift for them.
- 5 formats available (Kindle, Audible, Audio CD, Paperback, and Hard cover)
- 244 pages
- Profanity-laced self-help guide
What the F*@# Should I Make for Dinner?
If you get a text from your friend (or you send the text) asking what you’re having for dinner this week so that they can plan for their own ideas, this is a perfect way to help out that common problem.
- Hardcover or Kindle available
- 100 pages
- 50 recipes
Adult Beverage Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends
Hillside-Kit Bangle Stainless Steel Wine Flask
This is a hilarious gag gift (or not, no judgement) that will have your friend laughing and appreciating, even if they only use it occasionally (or never).
- Includes funnel for easy pour
- 14 color options
- 3.5 oz max capacity
Hip Stainless Steel Flask & Funnel Set by QLL
This may be the best gift to give if you have a group of friends for whom you’ll be buying this Christmas. If you want to add a little flare, then buy some vinyl letters and slap on their initials to personalize it.
- Includes 6 flasks and 6 funnels
- 8 oz max capacity
- 2 year warranty
This tumbler is vacuum sealed to keep your drinks hot or cold for up to 3 hours.
- 2 style/size options
- 34 color choices
- High quality stainless steel design
Sovrano Wine Gems – Set of 4 Wine Chillers
This may be labeled as a wine chilling set, but you can pop these in any drink to cool it without watering it down.
- Stainless steel construction
- Includes storage pouch
- Lifetime warranty
Practical Christmas Gift Ideas for Friends
23andMe DNA Test – Health + Ancestry Personal Genetic Service
If your friend has ever wondered about ancestry or worried about future health concerns this is an excellent way to satisfy though curiosities.
- Includes collection tube, funnel bag, and self addressed, postage paid mailing box
- Tests for 90+ health reports and personal genealogy
- Additional health reports posted on profile as they become available
Colony Co. Reusable Produce Bags
Your friends may not consider buying these bags for themselves, but if they use a lot of produce, they’ll be a time saver they’re sure to appreciate.
- Set of 9 bags
- Machine washable
- 4 size options
Cost: $25 (an estimated, rounded cost of the product)
Contigo AUTOSEAL West Loop Vaccuum-Insulated Stainless Steel Travel Mug
This may be the less expensive version of the more popular Yeti cup, but one look at those reviews tells you it is definitely not a drop in quality; 4.3 stars with over 20,000 customer reviews.
- Top rack dishwasher safe
- 20 color choices
- 3 size options
This particular version of the face mask will help sleep and possibly cure a headache, making it well worth the cost.
- 2 color choices
- Hot or cold option
- Bonus reusable ankle wrap
Kitchen Gizmo Snap ‘N Strain Strainer
This strainer is so easy to use, you won’t need to clean out the entire sink to dump the boiling water from the cooked pasta and it’s dishwasher safe making clean up easy, too.
- BPA free and FDA approved
- 2 color options
- 1-year warranty
If your friend ever fixes or builds anything, with any small metal pieces ever, than this is an incredibly useful solution to the problem of losing tiny parts and screws.
- Utilizes 15 magnets
- Adjustable Velcro strap
- Lightweight: Under 70 grams
Nano Shield Dishwasher Magnet Clean Dirty Sign
There’s nothing worse than going to load the dishwasher and finding the dishwasher is full – of dirty dishes. Save your friend the trouble with this useful gadget.
- 4 color options
- Magnet or adhesive option on each sign
- Sign slides from left to right to indicate whether contents are clean or dirty
Simple Modern Wave Water Bottle
This bottle has a narrow lid that will let your friend drink without the additional risk of spilling and without the straws of other water bottles, it has less risk of mildew and mold building up.
- 45 color and design options
- 8 sizes available
- Vacuum sealed and stainless steel design
Viking Revolution Beard Oil Conditioner
If your friend has a beard (or a significant other with a beard that they enjoy grooming), then this is a great gift for superior appearance.
- Made with organic argan and jojoba oils
- 3 packaging options
- 2 scents available
resqme, Inc 01.100.09 Safety Yellow 3″ Car Escape Tool
It may seem paranoid and we certainly hope no one ever has to use this, but this is a gadget everyone should have to quickly remove themselves and loved ones from the seat belts in their car and break the window for fast escape.
- Compact and powerful
- 3 packaging options
- 7 colors available
Travel Power Strip – NTONPOWER 3 Outlets 3 USB Portable Desktop Charging Station
Especially designed for travel, but handy anywhere you need a plug, this power strip holds three power outlets and three USB ports.
- Overcharge and over voltage protection
- 3 color options
- Flame retardant material
YAMIU Travel Shoe Bags Set of 4
If your friend travels a lot or just ferries people to and from soccer practice, these shoe bags are a must-have for any home.
- Waterproof nylon fabric design
- Zipper or drawstring available
- 3 packaging options