Christmas gift ideas for the self-employed and freelancers

If you’re running a business, the festive season is often a busy time with client projects to finish, tax returns to submit, and plans to make for the following year. Inspiring or helpful presents can give you a boost, or provide the perfect way to support friends, colleagues, and collaborators, so we’ve compiled a handy list of Christmas gift ideas for freelancers and the self-employed.

Whether you’re new to freelancing and need help creating the perfect home office, or you’ve been self-employed for years and want to reward yourself, it can help you find some great ideas.  

Backpacks and tech organiser bags

When you’re travelling to client locations on a daily basis, a comfortable and good quality backpack can make a big difference to your comfort and organisation. Extra padding, waterproofing and other features will help to protect expensive equipment, including laptops and phones.

As a motorcyclist, I’m a big fan of Kriega backpacks, but their Urban EDC Messenger Bag is a tough and durable option when I’m commuting to client offices by car or train.  But there are other great options in every style and price point, including the Herschel Heritage Backpack, the Rains unisex mini rucksack, or well-known brands such as Osprey.
Kreiga Messanger Bag - Christmas gifts for freelances and the self-employed

And even if you’re not regularly leaving your home office, a tech organiser bag can be incredibly useful for storing cables, chargers, memory cards and other equipment that tends to go missing on a regular basis. 

There are various options available for less than £10, but if you want something more stylish, a personalised leather tech roll organiser like this example from Not on the High Street will definitely stand out as a Christmas gift.

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Book gifts for freelancers

Books are an obvious choice for Christmas presents, especially for long, dark nights in front of the fire eating Christmas leftovers. But picking the right choice can be tricky, especially when there are countless titles aimed at business, freelancing and self-employment.

Some of the examples which I’ve found extremely useful over the years including Let My People Go Surfing by Yves Chouinard, Do The Work by Stephen Pressfield, Will It Fly by Pat Flynn for getting things done and testing new ideas, Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon for creativity, and Company of One by Paul Jarvis for a focus on building a smaller, sustainable business rather than chasing constant growth and expansion for the sake of it.

And many friends of IPSE have also published great books based on their freelancing and self-employed experiences, including Anti-Sell by Steve Morgan,  Survival Skills for Freelancers by Sarah TownsendHype Yourself by Lucy Werner, The Freelance Bible by Alison Grade, and more.

We’ve previously collected some more of our favourite books for freelancers, here.


Annual memberships

Gift security and peace of mind to anyone self-employed with an IPSE membership starting from £109, and offering benefits including tax and legal helplines, events and training, access to hundreds of templates, guides and resources, and useful money-saving offers.

There are options tailored specifically to anyone just starting out on a new business or career, to experienced company directors requiring IR35 and Managed Service cover.

Or why not invest in inspirational and educational memberships? IPSE members can save 25% on the cost of joining English Heritage (with code IPSEEH25), getting access to more than 400 historic sites, with free entry for up to six children, and reduced or free entry to events. You can even book a holiday cottage in the grounds of a castle for a special break from work.


Diaries and Planners

Even the most reluctant organiser can be encouraged by a good quality planner and diary. And even in the electronic age, putting things down on paper can be a big help in clearing your mind to focus on the most important tasks.

The This Freelance Life planner, organiser and diary is designed specifically for the self-employed with daily, weekly, and monthly pages, goal setting and invoice tracking. And there are also planners designed to help anyone improve their happiness, along with their organisation. Or for those who need support to tackle procrastination.

A nice notebook can also encourage anyone to jot down their ideas, and most people will be familiar with brands like Moleskine. And a good quality pen makes the perfect accompanying gift.



No home office or travel kit is ever finished. There’s always room for improvement or trying something new, and sometimes really simple upgrades can be easily overlooked, like a laptop monitor stand to prevent neck pain.

Practical choices include USB hubs (this powered RSHTech hub has made switching devices so much easier in my home office). But Christmas gifts that can transform a working day include lights, an ergonomic mouse, or a mechanical keyboard. As someone who constantly types, investing in a Razer Ornata V2 has not only made work more pleasurable and less strenuous on my hands and wrists, but the RGB lighting is sometimes practical, as well as entertaining.

Christmas gift ideas for freelancers and the self-employed - Technology.jpg


Home And Office

There are endless options if you want to make your home office or workspace a more enticing and enjoyable place to be. It’s never been easier to find motivational or inspirational art or prints to boost your mood during the day, with a massive selection available from sites including Etsy. Or directly from your favourite artists. 

Plants have been shown to bring health benefits to a home or office. And even if you’re not particularly green-fingered, there are great options including low maintenance spider plants, or the relaxation of caring for a Bonsai (even I can manage to keep one alive). Or you can line up replacements easily with a plant subscription from Bloombox, including a pet friendly option.

Cushions, blankets, and ornaments will also add colour and comfort to any workspace. And potentially give you something to talk about during virtual meetings and Zoom calls. Candles can also be a great way to change the ambience and aroma in a room, which is particularly handy with pets or if you’re near a kitchen and easily distracted by cooking smells. Hibi incense matches are a great alternative to candles, especially if you’re travelling.

In a home office, you can also make space for personal hobbies or exercise equipment to make the most of your breaks during each day. My favourite recent addition has been a Fender acoustic guitar and stand to encourage me to get away from screens, and resume my teenage dream of rock stardom. Or at least making it through a complete song between work projects.


Food and Drink

Alcohol is a fairly traditional Christmas gift, but there are plenty of options for anyone who prefers an alternative choice, with subscription services offering coffee, recipes, organic vegetables, and more. Or marshmallows and sweets, if you prefer a regular treat.

A good quality mug is always appreciated (as a movie geek, I’ve always relied on the selection from Last Exit To Nowhere for friends and family). And a USB cup warmer will help you avoid the risk of cold tea or coffee. As someone who doesn’t really do hot drinks, the Chilly’s reusable range of water bottles is a bit more interesting than a typical clear plastic bottle, and keeps drinks cold for up to 24 hours, which is handy on warmer days.


Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, which means IPSE may earn a commission if you buy the associated products. This doesn’t change the price you’ll pay, and helps to support the UK’s largest non-profit community for the self-employed.

Meet the author

Dan Thornton.jpeg
Dan Thornton

Freelance writer, marketer, SEO