A post from a parent asking about Christmas Eve boxes has sparked a debate about whether they are just another opportunity to spend money.
Taking to parenting site Mumsnet, the mum asked how the giving of Christmas Eve boxes seems to have become a normal tradition.
“Since when did they become a thing?” she asked. “I’d never heard of them before this year but they seem to be mentioned as if it’s a normal part of the Christmas traditions.”
The woman went on to ask if others had been practicing the new tradition and for how long.
“Not knocking at all, just genuinely curious,” she ended her post.
And other parents were quick to offer their own opinions on Christmas Eve boxes.
Some believe the boxes are something of a gimmick and just one more opportunity to add to the commercialism of Christmas.
“Just another added expense and thing to worry about to keep up with your FB imo,” one user wrote.
“They’re not a tradition in this house and never will them,” another agreed.
“I file them in the same “mindless consumerism” box with elves on shelves, 1st December boxes, wrapping your door with a tatty bow, changing christmas decorations every year, north pole breakfasts, special christmas bedding, disposable paper tableware….”
“Honest to god, of all the days in the calendar, why would anyone provide a box full of gifts the night before the recipient gets a stack load more gifts? It’s just mad consumerism and instagram living,” another user commented.
“I think a much better idea would be to create a Christmas box and donate to the local foodbank or similar charty [sic] where a child may not get ANY gifts.”
But other parents argue the tradition is a great way of helping little ones wind down from all the pre-Christmas excitement and spend time together as a family.
“In our house, it has always been a way of winding down in the evening and hinting at magic beginning to work and my Victorian granny did it. She’d sneak a plate of freshly baked treats onto the hearth with a letter about sleeping well and listening for bells,” one user wrote.
“Ours is the same stuff each year, new pyjamas (get worn until grown out of and then passed down to the younger one). A copy of The Night Before Christmas (same one each year), some hot chocolates and chocolate coins and our Santa key. It doesn’t have to be expensive or full of junk.
“I don’t understand why some people are quite so snobby about it,” one user wrote. “It doesn’t have to cost much at all. I think there’s something really lovely about the thought of a family together on Christmas Eve, cuddled up on the sofa with a hot chocolate watching a film or reading a story and eagerly awaiting Christmas. If it’s not for you, fine, but why be so dismissive of what other people do?”
Whether you’re for or against the giving of Christmas Eve boxes, the tradition is certainly on the rise. According to the BBC, Google searches for Christmas Eve boxes reached their highest ever-point between 13 and 19 November in 2016, tripling search figures from 2014.
Meanwhile, Notonthehighstreet.com claimed Christmas Eve box sales had increased by a staggering 364% between 2015 and 2016.
Christmas Eve boxes are clearly the divider of parents, but if you like the idea of trying the trend out for yourself, here’s some suggestions of what to include.
What to put in your child’s Christmas Eve box:
- Some hot chocolate powder and marshmallows
- New PJs to wear on Christmas Eve
- Festive puzzles or games to keep your children occupied on Christmas Day
- A Christmas book or film
- A Christmas colouring book
- Some festive snacks – like chocolate snowballs, etc..
- A novelty Christmas mask or headband.
Got a story tip? Send it to email@example.com
Or sign up to our daily newsletter here.