DIE sind Geschenke? I think that's perfectly acceptable.
That doesn't work. It's "Das sind ..." (followed by a plural) or "Das ist ..." (followed by a singular), regardless of the gender of the noun that follows.
Google Translate has consistently shown "Freunden" as a translation of "friends"
Is this incorrect?
It's wrong here. Don't use Google Translate.
"Freunden" is correct in the dative case. After "für" the sentence is accusative.
Hey to give you an idea about google. Translate any text from another language to English and you can see the grammar mistakes. Google does a good job a lot of the time, but they aren't perfect all of the time. :)
Can you not say "Diese sind Geschenke für meine Freunde" ?