We all remember the Christmas Eve tradition of setting out a carrot for Rudolph and a mince pie and milk (or something stronger) for Santa before going to bed, but there seems to be a new addition to the night-before-Christmas routine sweeping the UK.
In recent years there has been a notable trend of gifting loved ones a ‘Christmas Eve Box’ – a box jampacked with goodies that you are allowed to open on Christmas Eve, before opening your remaining presents on Christmas morning.
This new tradition is believed to have been influenced by elsewhere in Europe where children from many countries receive their presents on 24th December. In the UK, it has been adopted as a way of starting the festivities early and has proved popular with families with young children.
The idea is to gift items that will suit your Christmas Eve plans; it is common for parents to provide pyjamas, a classic Christmas film, a boardgame and hot chocolate to help enjoy a cosy evening before an early night. Adults Christmas Eve Boxes can of course be the same, but perhaps with a few extra foodie treats and boozy beverages.
Not everyone thinks this is a great idea though, and a lot of debate has arisen around whether it is more stress and worry for parents – especially at a time where money is particularly tight – and just another reason to spend money and indulge in the consumer side of the festive season. There is also no denying that are a clever retail invention, and many shops will sell countless empty boxes each year for the purpose of making up a Christmas Eve Box.
To counter the consumerism concept, you can of course upcycle a container you already have for this, whether it is a Santa sack, pre-loved wooden box, wicker basket or even a pillowcase, and the items you pop inside might actually be things you already enjoy together on Christmas Eve anyway – this way they are just presented nicely and made more of a fuss of.
It is also commonplace to put activities into the Christmas Eve Boxes such as boardgames or reading books, which is likely a reason it was adopted – to give excited, restless children something to do the night before Santa arrives.
Love them or hate them, with the increased popularity in recent years, Christmas Eve Boxes seem to be here to stay.