Christmas is a time for traditions, and each family has its own. We have a few little traditions that we do over the festive season; we have the same wooden advent calendars for the kids; we do Elf on the Shelf; we go somewhere to visit Father Christmas. And every year, the kids have a Christmas Eve Box of little treats.
I say ‘box’, but I actually use a
large huge gift bag. You can buy specially made boxes with your children’s names on if you like, but a gift bag does the job just as well. (Or, Poundland do a cardboard gift box that would make a lovely Christmas Eve box – I’ve just bought one for this year!) Inside the bag, I usually put the following (contains affiliate links – see my Disclosure policy for more information!):
- PJs – this is the most important thing in the Christmas Eve box. They have to be Christmassy. They have to be worn on Christmas Eve night. Small loves her Christmas pyjamas and asks for them all year round! This year, the kids will be twinning, as I’ve bought them the same PJs – cute!
- DVD – I usually pop in a DVD that we can all snuggle down and watch sometime during the day. We’ve worked our way through most of the Christmas favourites (‘Elf’, ‘Arthur Christmas’, ‘Fred Claus’…) and Small is mid-obsession with Despicable Me 3 at the moment, so I might put that in this year.
- Chocolate selection box – this goes with the DVD; you can’t watch a film without some goodies!
- A Christmas book each – it’s getting harder to find a suitable book for Big now that he’s 10, but Small has lots to choose from, so I’ll put a bedtime story in. (We’ll still end up reading ‘Room on the Broom’, but that’s autism for you!)
- Stockings – not the undies kind! Big and Small have a knitted stocking each, personalised with their initial to hang on the fireplace ready for filling.
- Santa’s plate and mug – we have a special plate to put Santa’s mince pie and Rudolph’s carrot on, and a mug for his
Baileysmilk. The kids leave it out when they go to bed, and Santa always enjoys them and leaves just a few crumbs…
- Magic key – we don’t have a chimney, so the Big Man needs to get into the house somehow. We have a special Santa key for the door which we leave under the doormat outside so he can sneak in quietly!
- Christmas activity – I usually put in an activity for the kids to do on Christmas Eve, such as making a decoration, or a colouring book.
- A letter from Santa – I also create a letter from Santa, or certificates letting the children know that he’s pleased with how good they’ve been and how he’ll be sure to remember them on his rounds that night!
You can add or leave out whatever suits your family. Hot chocolate is a nice addition, but we don’t drink it (I know, right?!). Most things I have are reusable from year to year, or pretty cheap to buy (try The Works for books, for example), so it doesn’t have to be a huge expense to add to your Christmas shopping.
If you’d like a printable Santa letter (just write in your child’s name!), pop your details here to join my School Runs Shopping List, and I’ll send it to you!
I asked some fellow bloggers what other Christmas traditions they have in their families. Maybe there’s one that you’d like to start with your own family?…
Sinead: For us, we don’t open any big presents until after dinner.Stockings from Santa in the morning and then after dinner (but before pudding!) we get our unwrapping on! (Oh and trifle for breakfast on Boxing Day!) www.sineadlatham.com
Laura: Our main tradition is that Mrs. Claus pops round with a package which contains PJs for us all. The package always used to include a DVD too but since Netflix arrived she just brings snacks! But she always seems to turn up when William is in the bath so he’s never managed to meet her yet! www.mumoam.co.uk
Heidi: We always go to the early evening Service at the church for Christmas Eve. It’s perfect and really brings the magic of Christmas home. Once we get home we open the Christmas Eve box, put out the reindeer food and watch The Snowman. www.southernmummy.co.uk
Naomi: We go to our local church’s Christingle service on Christmas Eve. It’s really family friendly and absolutely magical – the candles, the carols, the anticipation. One of the best moments of Christmas for me. https://theorganisedlifeproject.com
Emmy: Christmas Eve, we put brand new pajamas on, before eating a Chinese takeaway and watching a Christmas film of our (alternate years) choosing. Just before bed, we choose a present each to open. Our Christmas day is always about running around after everybody else (multiple parent households) so it’s our little slice of just ours. www.misadventurousmummy.com
Emma: Christmas Eve I go for a meal with the kids and hubby. Back home to a box of treats (5 of them to share) !! With new PJs. Mummy and daddy then wrap lots more presents. Christmas Day we’re up at the crack of dawn to open presents. Then I cook and prepare dinner and pudding for 17 of us…. then I do nothing at night just chill. www.Emma4facs.uk
Pete: We always leave one present to open in the evening on Christmas day. This gives the kids something to look forward to for the whole day. www.householdmoneysaving.com
Clare: We go to our local garden centre to visit Father Christmas in the morning and go to the Christingle service at our local Church in the late afternoon. www.mytunbridgewells.com
Beth: We always have a takeaway on Christmas Eve with all the family followed by a rather competitive game of scrabble ! Twinderelmo.co.uk
Sarah: We don’t open any presents until after dinner, it honestly keeps the magic in the day a bit more than the mad crazy rush at 5am. www.mummycatnotes.com
Lynne: We have a 1st December box including Elf on Shelf, Christmas book, a bauble for the tree, and advent calendars. On Christmas Eve, we like spotting NASA’s space station in the sky that looks like Father Christmas and his sleigh flying over. https://madmaddens.wordpress.com/
Nicky: Christmas Eve is where it begins, when the elves bring the Christmas Eve hamper with small gifts including Christmas Eve movie and munchies. Even my 18 and 20-year-olds still love it, and my7-year-old is more excited about Christmas Eve than the day!! https://spinninplates.com
Awaybies Kids: My dad loves rice and as a result, we have had a tradition for years of having a delicious mushroom rice with Christmas dinner, along with all the usual trimmings like roast potatoes! www.awaybies.com
Kelly: I pick up the fab food bargains an hour before Sainsbury closes on Christmas Eve, a huge Chinese is ordered for a family gathering, the kids open a Pyjama present and stockings are handed out. www.reducedgrub.com
Leanne: The women and kids of the family go to the pub on Christmas Eve (the men are welcome to but are quite grumpy and usually don’t bother!), back at home we drink Baileys and eat a selection of breads, cold meats, olives and cheeses while watching a Christmas film. http://asliceofmylifewales.com
Victoria: Bacon butties for breakfast here always, and no one is allowed out of bed before eight – or he might see us! www.starlightandstories.com
Lucy: We all stay overnight at my parents house on Christmas Eve. Nobody is allowed to go downstairs til everyone is awake. Then we go down in age order, youngest first. It’s lovely seeing over the years more children and grandchildren added to the queue. www.mommamack.com
Lianne Marie: Christmas eve I do a big buffet we do Christmas Eve boxes in the afternoon so we can play with the goodies and then an Christmas movie then the kids to to bed and we have prosecco and quality street whilst we wrap pressies www.anklebitersadventures.co.uk
Leigh: We get up no earlier than 6:30am having argued the kids back into bed repeatedly from about 5am. We sit in the living room and instigate a sensory bombardment of Christmas music and Christmas TV whilst opening presents. If we’re lucky we’ll get a coffee on the go during this time, if not I’ll usually nod off whilst trying to open the battery compartment of a Peppa Pig toy laptop.www.dadgeek.co.uk
Christy: We work Christmas Eve so nothing special in the day, but we open our Christmas Eve boxes (PJs, movie, hot chocolate and some treats) and watch a movie. On Christmas Day I insist on breakfast and tea before presents. We open some presents for an hour and then we walk the dog – no matter what the weather! We then visit my uncle, who is disabled and can’t leave the home. He doesn’t get many visitors even at Christmas so I make sure we spend a good hour or two with him and we take the dog which he loves. Then we go to my mums and have Christmas dinner around 2pm. We don’t open presents from my mum or other relatives until after dinner, usually around 5pm! By the time we get home everyone is knackered! www.welshmum.co.uk
Leyla: My eldest’s birthday is on 19th December, my sister’s birthday is on 24th, my brother’s birthday is on 25th and my dad’s birthday is on 31st! So, we group the birthday/Christmas celebrations on Christmas Day, at my parents (although we celebrate my eldest’s birthday at home on the day) and provide mini birthday cakes throughout the day and a Happy Birthday song for each. We also have a mini quiz time which my sister hosts, all about the birthday girl/boy, and it’s so much fun. We overload on food, cake, fun, and quizzes! http://www.motherhooddiaries.com
Do you have any particular traditions in your family at Christmas? Let me know in the comments!
You might also like to read about our Reverse Advent Calendar that we’ve started this year!